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Outcomes of an EAPC White Paper on core competencies for palliative care social work in Europe

Research output: Contribution to conference Conference paper

Published
Publication date8/05/2015
Original languageEnglish
Event14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 8/05/201510/05/2015

Conference

Conference14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period8/05/1510/05/15

Abstract

Aims: An EAPC Social Work Task Force was established in 2009 to consider the diversity of roles of social workers in palliative and end of life care across Europe and make recommendations on the core competencies necessary for high quality practice.
Methods: The authors drew on the practice experiences of social workers from across Europe, combined with a scoping of the international literature on social work competencies from Canada and Ireland. Other sources included the International Federation of Social Workers and survey work with palliative care social workers in the United Kingdom.
Results: This White Paper explores the place of social work in palliative care from a range of perspectives and against the backdrop of variable service provision in Europe. It examines the historical development of the specialism in relation to some of the challenges presented by an ageing population and shrinking resources across the continent. Ten core competencies for palliative care social work are presented which address:
• Principles
• Assessment
• Decision making
• Care planning
• Advocacy
• Information sharing
• Evaluation
• Interdisciplinary working
• Education and research
• Reflective practice
Each detail the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills required for competent work at this specialist level and provide the first opportunity to consider these in a wider European context.
Conclusion: This White Paper will enable all interested parties to engage in a debate that seeks to advance the practice of palliative care social work in Europe. In addition, it will form the basis for the development of new curricula for the on-going education of current practitioners and for those coming into this specialised field in the future. Further, it will be an aid to employers seeking to engage specialist social workers in palliative care.