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18 March 2020

Wherever you can help, you are needed’ Sean Holland, Chief Social Worker for NI

Dear Former Colleague,  

The current COVID-19 outbreak will place huge additional demands on our social work family, especially within Health and Social Care services. As a qualified and experienced social worker who has left the social work Register, your former colleagues and local community are in urgent need of your help and support. 

We are writing to you to ask you to consider returning to social work practice. By doing so, you will make more of a difference now than ever before, to service users, to your social work colleagues and to the wider community. 

We would be hugely grateful for any help that you are able to offer in safeguarding the future wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland. Your professional experience and expertise can help in so many ways, in various settings and in different programmes of care.

If you would be prepared to consider re-joining the social work workforce, for however short a time, we are committed to making this process as straightforward as possible. Contracts of employment will be drawn up which will allow you to stop working at any point, should you wish to do so. The Terms and Conditions of any employment you enter into, such as working-hour protections, pay arrangements, and annual leave entitlement will all be in accordance with best employment practices.

You may have important questions you wish to have answered before making any decision about your ability to provide the help we need in bolstering the social work profession in NI.  If so please contact

If you wish to work then please make sure you re-join the Social Work Register by completing the short on line registration form at the following link: (please note the cost to join the register has been waived for 6 months)

You have received this letter because you removed yourself from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council Register of Social workers in the last 3 years. We sincerely apologise if your circumstances have changed and you would have preferred not to have received this letter. Please email the Northern Ireland Social Care Council at and they will update their records.

Thank you

Sean Holland

Chief Social Work OfficerDepartment of Health