At a Glance...

This sector is all about providing help, care and support across the general community. Then people can also work in partnership with those who experience marginalisation, disadvantages or who have special needs. In a social or caring career you could be involved with working with both clients and their families, often for a long period of time.

Some ways in which you may assist these people:

  • Supporting and helping vulnerable people; older people; people who are homeless; adolescents in residential care; people recovering from alcohol or drug dependency; people who are immigrants
  • Caring for people with learning disabilities or with physical disabilities
  • Giving advice and information about welfare rights, education, money, careers or jobs to people who need it
  • Working in a community education centre, engaging local people of all ages in different learning activities
  • Counselling people to help them sort out problems in their lives, an area where you must develop a trusting relationship with your client.

Becoming a social worker is for those who wish to help improve people’s lives. Being in this field, social workers have see people face life-threatening diseases, live in inadequate housing, face unemployment, substance abuse, or live with a disability. It can tough at times but also rewarding.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is Ireland’s biggest employer of social workers and they also work in connection with doctors, hospitals, charities, adoption agencies, welfare, probation and clinics. There is such a wide spectrum of areas within this career.

Social Workers must hold a qualification recognised by the Health and Social Care Professional Council* (CORU) that will lead to the award of National Qualification in Social Work (NQSW).

There are a few specialised areas you can go into if one in particular stands out such as:

Medical Social Work – These social workers provide persons, families, or vulnerable groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Cancer. They also counsel patients and look after their needs even after being discharged from hospital.

Mental Health Social Work –They try and help individuals who are suffering from any mental illness or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. They will most likely to work in hospitals, substance abuse treatment centres, or with individual and family services agencies.

Probation & Welfare – As a Probation and Welfare officer in the Department of Justice, you may find work with the Adoption Board, in the Courts, or in Prisons and places of detention.

Child Welfare Services – Social workers in this area will be provided is a child or children are thought to be at risk and involves making recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

Being involved in community work is getting right in and dealing with Ireland’s most serious social and economic problems. The idea is to focus on empowering those people in need, which could people from all walks of life and different ages towards applying and finding their own solutions to their problems.

People who usually wish to fulfill a career in community work are motivated and positive to make a change and you are needed to have commitment and dedication as well as practical skills. It can be a challenging place to work in as you are never guaranteed clear cut results.

There are also many areas in this job which you could specialise in, here are a few you may consider:

Community organisations – these organisations work at local level to provide opportunities for people to build their local communities. They are there to provide services to all types of people within the community.

Local Development Organisations and Partnership Companies – These are used by the government to implement social inclusion and rural development programmes and have evolved to become ‘Partnership Companies’. These Partnership Companies work to develop the social and economic infrastructure in local areas, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

Community Education Centres – This is provided for people who may not have gotten a chance at school or who left early. So, people can go and have, essentially, a second chance at an education. AONTAS is the Community Education Network in Ireland and they run this non-profit organisation.

Youth Groups – These can be referred to as ‘non-formal education’ where local clubs are set up for young adults, usually between the ages of 12-18 years. They are purely based on other people’s voluntary time and commitment. Foróige is Ireland’s leading youth group organisation and they receive funds from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs which makes it possible for them to provide the clubs across the country.




Here at YouthConnect we always think about the issues concerning students and young people and with that in mind we have designed this programme specially for you.  It has been developed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in partnership with the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union to inform students about their rights as students and workers.  It’s all about YOU.


  • what rights you are entitled to in school and at work?
  • what a written statement of employment is and why it is important?
  • all workers are entitled to receive a payslip?
  • what the minimum wage rate is?
  • who is on your school student council and how it works?
  • the conditions in which your clothes and accessories are made?
  • how trade unions work?

YouthConnect will help you learn about and understand these and other issues which will be important during school and later when you start to work.

There are plenty of ways to get more information and get more involved.  To get started check out the rest of the website to find out about our activities,  your student council and or let us know what is going on with you.

And there is more – we regularly invite students to take part in some of our competitions.  We have a whole host of things coming up soon, so check back regularly to see what is available.

We hope you like it!



Do you work?  Have you worked before?  Do you know what the minimum rate of pay you should expect to earn?  Do you know the legal amount of hours to work?

Now, more than ever, it is important to know your rights and how to get them, BEFORE starting work.  Joining a union is probably the easiest way to ensure that you don’t get exploited in work and possibly the most important decision you could ever make.

So what’s stopping you… get information… get in touch… get a union…


gasice logo


What We Do

Gaisce comprises a core staff team of +/- ten individuals, based in Dublin and around the country. Our role is to promote the Gaisce programme and encourage young people to take up the Gaisce challenge; to train and support President Award Leaders across a variety of Gaisce operating bodies; to ensure quality in the delivery of Gaisce; and to raise awareness of Gaisce and the benefits of participation in Gaisce. In this section, you can find out more about the Gaisce team, governance in Gaisce and about our sponsors. If you would like to learn more about the Gaisce programme, please visit the Get Involved! section of our website. If you would like to know more about becoming a PAL, please visit the Our PALs section of the website.

Our goal is to make the Gaisce programme accessible to as many young people as possible throughout Ireland.


Our Mission is to contribute to the development of all young people through the achievement of personal challenges



To contribute to the social fabric by encouraging young people to realise their potential as individuals, active citizens and future leaders.
To become the programme of choice for young people and volunteers in Ireland



Contact Us. We are here to answer any questions that you may have with regards to Gaisce. Reach out to us and we will respond as soon as we can.

Jobs from Indeed




Mary Immaculate College offers a Bachelor of Arts degree, a theatre studies degree, primary teaching degrees and early childhood education degrees on its MIC...
EPA Story of your Stuff Competition


EPA Story of your Stuff Competition



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This