Article

History of Social Work in Northern Ireland

Caroline Skehill

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online February 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0048
History of Social Work in Northern Ireland

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The history of Northern Ireland is a complex one that has involved changing borders, governance, and jurisdiction over the centuries. In 1800 the whole of Ireland was brought into the United Kingdom as part of the act of union. Northern Ireland was established in 1921, following the war of independence, remaining constitutionally part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This means that in order to understand the history of social work and related issues in Northern Ireland up to the 1920s, it is important to consult early histories of both Britain and Ireland. The general history of social work in the United Kingdom provides a broad context for the history of social work in Northern Ireland throughout the 20th century, but as in the case of each of the other United Kingdom jurisdictions, Northern Ireland also has its own unique (and changing) context, which must also be understood in its own right. Because of the unique positioning and history of Northern Ireland, an all-Ireland perspective is also important. Notwithstanding the importance of understanding the history within this broader context, because there is not a great deal written about the specific history of social work in Northern Ireland except for during what is commonly referred to as the Troubles (1968–1998), the focus of this entry is on the developments specific to Northern Ireland. Associated entries can be accessed for insight into the broader context. In relation to the details of this entry, other contemporary writings on key moments in history as well as selected writings from particular moments in the past are included here. The period covered goes approximately to 1985, and the sections are divided to reflect the main sources of the history of social work in Northern Ireland and to highlight the gaps for further research.

Article.  5850 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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