Critical and Radical Social Work
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The ‘medieval castle approach’: social work and the Irish and Swiss asylum-seeking processes

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  • 1 University of Galway, Republic of Ireland
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Social workers, broadly conceived, are engaged in assisting asylum seekers. Grounded in a small empirical study encompassing the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland, the article comments on the wider context and issues relating to asylum, migration and social work. The findings incorporate themes stretching across six interrelated dimensions: the practitioners’ own backgrounds; the lack of professional social workers; the dependence on volunteers; inadequate resourcing and high caseloads; inadequate supervision; and categorisation. All these issues are significant for social work education and for a profession that needs to exhibit more interest in questions of migration and more of a commitment to human rights.

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