Competence and Irish Social Care Practice: Divergent Policy Narratives

Taylor, Mark. 2015. Competence and Irish Social Care Practice: Divergent Policy Narratives. Social Protection of Child/Protectia sociala a copilului, 17(1), pp. 8-18. ISSN 1453-939X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Irish State is creating regulatory frameworks for social professionals. A regulatory framework for social workers was established in 2011; a framework for social care workers is expected before 2017. The issue of competent social professional practice is a key element addressed within these frameworks. At the same time, the Irish State has already issued a policy framework setting out requirements for training competent social care workers. By analysing how competence is constructed within frameworks regulating social workers and training social care workers, this paper examines how the Irish State is likely to frame competence for social care work practice. Specifically, by considering regulatory and training frameworks as policy narratives, the paper suggests Irish State policies may offer divergent positions on the social status of social care workers and on the moral dimensions of the social care work role. In particular, this paper suggests that different institutions of the Irish State formatting policy concerning social professional competence employ different conceptualisations of the socio-philosophical term ‘freedom’. Consequently, this difference leads to different organs of the State mapping out quite different frameworks for what constitutes competence in social professional practice.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Narrative Policy Analysis; Competence; Irish Social Care Policy and Practice; NarrativePositioning; Social Professions

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)



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Date Deposited:

21 Sep 2018 09:32

Last Modified:

17 Jun 2024 21:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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