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Generation Covid: Experiences of the coronavirus pandemic among secondary school graduates of 2020 in Ireland

School closures and remote learning resulted in major disruptions for final-year secondary school students who were due to take their examinations in June 2020. This article by Ayeshah Emon (Teaching Fellow in Social Policy), Jo Greene (Graduate from Masters in Applied Social Research) and Virpi Timonen (Professor in Social Policy) examines the impact of the coronavirus restrictions on the lives, education and plans of graduating secondary school students in Ireland. We found that while participant responses to the pandemic were diverse, some students struggled more with the worry and uncertainty caused by the pandemic than others. Instead of assuming uniform effects of the pandemic in young populations, we need to be attuned to the diverse pathways whereby some young adults can tap into their social networks and creative resources while others need extensive support to make up for the lost opportunities and isolation that ensued from the pandemic.  

The article – titled “Generation Covid: Experiences of the coronavirus pandemic among secondary school graduates of 2020 in Ireland" -  is available on Open Access (free for all to read) in Cogent Education – https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2021.1947014

7th July 2021


New paper on children's views about their time in primary school

RG Childhood JournalWhat do children think of primary school and its role in their lives over the years as they prepare to move on to secondary school ? Professor Robbie Gilligan and Dr Jennifer Scholtz, Research Associate, collaborated with Professor Daniela Sime, University of Strathclyde to investigate this surprisingly under-studied question. They have recently published an open access paper in the journal Childhood based on their study in a Scottish primary school. The findings are a reminder of the aspects of school life that children value - a sense of belonging, support and encouragement from teachers, and friendship and fun with peers. There are also insights as to what children may find more challenging from their time in primary school. Further details at
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0907568221992852

6th July 2021


Irish Hospice Foundation: Adult Bereavement Care Pyramid

Hospice Pryamid

The Irish Hospice Foundation has launched a national framework to guide those working with and supporting bereaved people in Ireland.
The Adult Bereavement Care Pyramid places bereaved people’s needs at the centre and shows the appropriate support/services and competence required to meet basic through to complex bereavement needs.
Dr Erna O’Connor, Assistant Professor in Social Work was a member of the project committee established to develop this framework.

Further information on using the framework is available from the
Adult Bereavement Care Framework Pyramid booklet

22nd June 2021


Congratulations to Adjunct Professor Vivian Geiran on his recent Irish Examiner piece entitled When is enough punishment enough?

Adjunct Professor Vivian Geiran recently published a commentary piece with the Irish Examiner entitled When is enough punishment enough? The full piece can be read here

15th June 2021


Dr Stan Houston and PhD student Calvin Swords publish a co-authored article in the Journal of Social Work.

Dr Stan Houston and PhD student Calvin Swords have published a co-authored article in the Journal of Social Work. It is entitled, ‘Critical realism, mimetic theory and social work’. The article focuses on how critical realism and mimetic theory can be considered and applied in self-directed groupwork with scapegoated groups. By being theoretically informed, social workers can pose critical questions to group members to assist them in linking personal problems to political issues. Available at: https://doi-org.elib.tcd.ie/10.1177/14680173211008806.

14th June 2021


Call for papers for new Youth Partnership Youth Knowledge Book: Youth transitions in pandemic Europe – impacts, resources, policy responses

PhD student Amy Stapleton and the co-editors of this  new Youth Knowledge Book are pleased to announce an open call for papers on youth transitions in pandemic Europe - impacts, resources and police responses. Deadline for submitting abstracts: 1 July 2021. Deadline for full papers: 30 October 2021
More information available at https://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/open-calls

8th June 2021


PhD student Alison Spillane and Supervisor Dr Catherine Conlon publish article in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics


PhD student Alison Spillane and her supervisor Dr Catherine Conlon have co-authored an article with colleagues in the Irish Family Planning Association entitled, ‘Early abortion care during the COVID-19 public health emergency in Ireland: Implications for law, policy, and service delivery’. Published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, the article outlines the work undertaken to maintain access to abortion care in early pregnancy during the pandemic through the lens of a single community-level provider and explores what these developments may mean for abortion law, policy, and service delivery. The article is available here.

26th May 2021


PhD Student Calvin Swords and Supervisor Dr Stan Houston publish 'Mental Health Recovery Frameworks Often Marginalize Personal Narratives'

Mad in USThe well-known non-profit organisation ‘Mad in America’ have published a featured piece on a recent article from PhD student Calvin Swords and his supervisor Dr Stan Houston. The featured piece is entitled ‘Mental Health Recovery Frameworks Often Marginalize Personal Narratives’. Mad in America is an organisation which is viewed as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad). Available at: https://www.madinamerica.com/2021/05/mental-health-recovery-frameworks-often marginalize-personal-narratives/.
This is based on the article co-authored by Calvin and Dr Stan Houston in the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies. It is entitled ‘Using Social Constructionism to Research the Recovery Movement in Mental Health in Ireland: A Critical Reflection on Meta-theory shaping the Inquiry’. it considers the significance of social constructionism and allied meta-theoretical constructs in exploring personal recovery in mental health practice and service delivery. Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijass/vol21/iss1/5

24th May 2021


New Research Opportunity for Parents of a Child or Children with Disabilities

Dr Susan Flynn is pleased to announce a new research opportunity for parents of a child or children with disabilities. If you are interested in applying or would like more information the full details can be found here

11th May 2021


'Generation Covid' college graduates: New article on their pathways through the pandemic

University graduates are faced with labour markets and future trajectories that have been transformed by Covid. This article by Virpi Timonen (Professor in Social Policy), Jo Greene (Graduate from Masters in Applied Social Research) and Ayeshah Emon (Teaching Fellow in Social Policy)  sheds light on how students graduating in summer 2020 in Ireland coped with an altered landscape of personal relationships and uncertainty surrounding the future. We identify sources of support and resilience and point to coping strategies deployed by the graduates. In contrast to media portrayals of ‘selfish youth’, we highlight their striking concern for the vulnerable in society, and solidaristic behaviours such as high levels of compliance with restrictions.

The article – titled “‘We’re Meant to Be Crossing Over … but the Bridge Is broken’: 2020 University Graduates’ Experiences of the Pandemic in Ireland” -  is available on Open Access (free for all to read) in YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Researchhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/11033088211004792

7th May 2021


Are you interested in Postgraduate Study in Social Policy and Practice?

ASS Open Day

Whether you are interested in social work, social policy, social care, or social change this course will provide you with new knowledge and perspectives. The programme attracts individuals from the public, private and community and voluntary sectors who want a sound grasp of the principles that underpin social policy and social service provision.  This includes those:

  • delivering and managing social service provision e.g. housing, health, child and family and disability services
  • designing, developing, or funding social policy
  • advocating for social policy change
  • who require an understanding of social problems and social policy responses to fulfil their organisation’s corporate social responsibility commitments
  • seeking career change or career development
  • interested in further study

Please register here https://bit.ly/SPPTCD2021 

6th May, 202


Graduate Outcomes Survey

GO Trinity logoCalling all 2020 Social Work and Social Policy graduates! We’ve sent you a link to participate in our online Graduate Outcomes survey – check your TCD email account or find it in your account at https://my.tcd.ie/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_lgn. The Graduate Outcomes Survey captures insights from recent graduates and gives current and future students key information on career destinations and development. @GradSurveyIRL @HEA_irl #graduateoutcomes

5th May, 2021


Dr. Mairéad Finn and Associate Professor Paula Mayock publish article in the International Journal of Housing Policy

Housing Policy

“The housing experiences of immigrants in a 'new immigrant gateway': An exploration of process in an era of ‘super-diversity’”, published recently in the International Journal of Housing Policy, presents new evidence on the housing pathways of immigrants in a rural Irish town.

Situated in the west of Ireland, the study was quasi-ethnographic and included the conduct of in-depth interviews with a diverse sample of immigrants. The analysis highlights the intersecting influences of gender, ethnicity, employment and family situation on immigrants’ movements into and through housing – principally in the private rented sector.

This research was part-funded by the Residential Tenancies Board, Ireland.

Dr. Mairéad Finn completed a BA in Sociology and Social Policy and a PhD at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Leadership, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin.

The article is available here.

27th April, 2021


NEW Upcoming ONLINE Practice Teacher Workshops - May 2021

The School will be running new online practice workshops in May 2021. Full details can be found here

22nd April, 2021


New Open Access article on interviewing

School staff (Dr Catherine Conlon & Prof Virpi Timonen), Dr Geraldine Foley (Assistant Prof, School of Medicine, TCD) and Dr Catherine Elliott O’Dare (Geary Institute, UCD) have just published a new article on interviewing in Grounded Theory, drawing on multiple research projects that were conducted at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. The article contains detailed examples of interviewing in projects that cover research topics as diverse as accessing abortion care services, grandparenting, living with motor neurone disease, intergenerational solidarity and friendship, and long-term care service use.  Even if you do not use Grounded Theory in your research, the article will be thought-provoking and help to understand contrasts and commonalities between interviewing techniques in different qualitative methods. Last but not least, the article is indispensable reading for anyone who is setting out to conduct a Grounded Theory study that involves interviewing or focus groups. The article is available for free to all through Open Access via 10.1177/1609406920980957

20th April, 2021


PhD student Calvin Swords co-authors article with his supervisor Dr Stan Houston in the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies.

CS&SHThis article is entitled ‘Using Social Constructionism to Research the Recovery Movement in Mental Health in Ireland: A Critical Reflection on Meta-theory Shaping the Inquiry’. Reflecting on Calvin’s PhD journey thus far, it considers the significance of social constructionism and allied meta-theoretical constructs in exploring personal recovery in mental health practice and service delivery. Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijass/vol21/iss1/5.

19th April, 2021


Professor Robbie Gilligan co-authors paper with Associate Professor Riikka KorkiamäkiTampere University in Children and Youth Services Review on the concept of misrecognition

Children Youth and Services ReviewA new paper published by Associate Professor Riikka Korkiamäki and Professor Robbie Gilligan investigates experiences of misrecognition among a sample of 18 young asylum seekers in Finland. The study identifies different strategies the young people used to negotiate experiences of misrecognition in their encounters with professionals, peers and ordinary citizens in Finland. The findings offer insights into how young people may respond to challenging circumstances and draws lessons for practice by social workers and other professionals. Dr Korkiamäki was a Visiting Research Fellow in our School for the academic year 2017-18.

The citation for the paper is as follows: Korkiamäki, R., & Gilligan, R. (2020). Responding to misrecognition–A study with unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors. Children and Youth Services Review, 119doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105687  

19th April, 2021


Research on Long-term Methadone Maintenance Treatment Generates Policy Debate

Policy PM

Two recent research articles by Associate Professor Paula Mayock and Fellow Emeritus Shane Butler, have attracted media attention (Irish Times and Irish Examiner), generating public and policy debate about long-term methadone treatment.

Published in the International Journal of Drug Policy and Drugs: education, prevention and policy, the articles present findings that draw strong attention to long-term methadone patients’ lack of social reintegration and the extent to which the experience of stigma permeates their everyday lives.

RTE’s Drivetime featured the research on April 14th, 2021, interviewing Dr. Shane Butler about the study’s findings and getting responses from drug treatment professionals and service users.

Listen back here.  

19th April, 2021