Call for papers (closed)

About this conference series

The 9th National Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference will take place online on the 27th October 2023. This conference is a not-for-profit partnership between frontline child protection and welfare staff in TUSLA, the Irish Association of Social Workers (Southern Region SiG) and University College Cork (@UCCsocialwork, School of Applied Social Studies). Click here to find out more about the conference.

About SWCONF21

Child protection and welfare social work in Ireland is a constantly evolving field of professional practice with rapid changes in policy, practice, legislation and statutory systems.  Child protection and welfare social workers collaborate with professionals, services and representative groups to identify and promote the welfare of children and families, and to enhance social justice. Ireland is incrementally becoming a better place for children to live, but there is more to do to ensure that all children have a positive, safe and healthy childhood.

The theme of the 8th national conference, SWCONF21 is: Revitalising child protection and welfare social work: innovations, hope, and community.  What practice and research innovations can revitalise the profession, and communities of practitioners and services involved in protecting children? Taking into account contemporary challenges and opportunities, how can we continue to be hopeful? How can we enhance positive experiences and outcomes for the children with whom we work?

Invitation to submit

The conference committee invites practitioners, academics, researchers, managers, service users, representative groups, policy-makers, community groups and social commentators to submit on the theme for this conference. The conference is open to all disciplines and services. We especially welcome papers from practitioners which reflect upon challenges and innovations arising in everyday practice in child protection and welfare.  Each abstract should explicitly address the conference theme. Click here to download the SWCONF21 call for papers poster.

The conference will be 100% online

Successful applicants will be presenting live on an online platform and they must have access to reasonable quality and reliable broadband. Bearing in mind family-friendly practices, to facilitate delegates who can't attend due to work emergencies, and to maximise the number of parallel presentations delegates can attend, all presenters must consent to their presentation being recorded for delegates to review after the conference day.  

Your abstract will be peer-reviewed by one academic, one practitioner and the chairperson of the SWCONF21 Scientific Committee. Preference will be given to abstracts that present a unique study, practice innovation, policy etc. that has not been presented previously and which is aligned to the theme of the conference. The decision of the SWCONF21 Scientific Committee will be final. 

Presentation formats

All abstracts should include a summary of the background and rationale specific to the conference theme, and implications for practice. If you intend to present research, please include a brief summary of methodology, findings and conclusions.

Oral Papers:  The conference committee is inviting abstracts which can be presented in the form of an Oral Paper. The duration of the Oral Paper presentation is 15 minutes + 5 mins for questions, and can relate to practice, research, system development or policy issues relevant to the conference theme. Time will be allowed for audience discussion in the session.

Symposia: The conference committee is also inviting proposals for symposia. We have limited capacity to host symposia, therefore a very strong rationale will need to be presented as to why a symposium is required rather than an oral paper. The symposia will take place over a 90-minute period and the committee is open to all proposals, including; debates, research data-collection, practice skills sessions, development of position papers on topics and so on. Presenters are expected to structure the symposia to allow for audience participation and input. Please submit one summary abstract per symposium on the abstract submission site. Symposium organisers should also email a more detailed proposal to the Scientific Committee Chairperson ( with more information on contributors, the rationale for the symposium, details on the format and structure of the symposium, the link between the symposium topic and the conference theme, an abstract for each paper if there are more than one, and a description of how delegate participation will be encouraged.

National Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference