Social Work

General Description

Social Work is a confidential family-focused and person-centered service, available to children and adults with a learning disability and their families. The Social Work Department has its professional social workers based throughout Co. Mayo to offer a localised and easily accessible service. The social worker supports children, adults and families, concentrating on the challenges that arise for a person with a learning disability and /or autism and their families.

The needs of individuals and families are assessed in a supportive professional approach, addressing the concerns of the individuals with learning disabilities and their families at any given time. The service is delivered through the provision of a home-based approach or within Western Care Association offices.

The focus of the Social Work Department is to support and enable people to address difficulties as they arise.  This can be facilitated through the use of 1:1 counselling, family counselling, group counselling, group supports, networking, and other appropriate interventions as required.

The role of the Social Worker is to respond to the emerging needs of the individual and their family (where appropriate) in a planned co-ordinated approach, focusing on the particular areas of self esteem, self confidence, independence, individual rights and entitlements.

The Social Work Department operates as part of a community-based multi-disciplinary team put in place to support and respond to the needs of individuals with a learning disability and their families.
The Social Work Department also provide the following services  
Family Supports
Through discussions with the individual and their family, particular supports maybe required. The Social Worker may be positioned to put in place
supports to address these requirements for a defined period of time.
Home Sharers provide a service in their community, to our service users, having been recruited, screened and trained to undertake the tole of providing a break in their own home for a child / adult who has a learning disability usually for short periods of time. Homesharing provides opportunities for the child or adult to develop new relationships, participate more in their communities and experience an increased sense of inclusion in their community and environment.
Community Facilitation Service
The community facilitation service is an intergral part of the Social Work Department at Western Care Association. The service which is exclusive to the Castlebar area came into operation in 2001. It was identified that a number of people with intellectual disabilities were living and working independently in the community. Some people found themselves in vunerable situation where they required support but had nowhere to turn. As a result of this need the Community Facilitation SErvice was developed.
The Community Facilitation Service has worked closely with Mayo County Council and Castlebar Town Council in obtaining secure, affordable quality accomodation for people. This has culminated in the development of the first integrated housing project in County Mayo which has been very successful. Working in partnership with these two bodies affords the community facilitation service the opportunity to put forward the housing needs of people availing of the service particularly if a person requires wheelchair accessable accomodation.
The Drop In
The Drop-in as the name suggests, is a place for people to 'drop-in' and have a chat with the Community Facilitators. People can share their good news and also seek support with anything that may be worrying them. A wide variety of concerns are addressed, basically anything that the person identifies as a worry or an area to work on for themselves.
There are a number of activities organised by service users with the support of staff where necessary. Some of the activities are based at the Drop-in but people are encouraged to use their community wherever possible.
Activities can range from art, relaxation, music, cookery, bowling, concerts, drama and all these can be seen at a glane on the social events calendar. The service users are responsible for the social events calendar which is prepared quarterly in advance. They decide the activity, the date and organise any bookings that are necessary. This helps build people's self esteem and also offers the opportunity to acquire new skills around planning and organisation. Shopping trips, weekends away, city breaks and sun holidays are all part of the drop in activites with people.