The Registration of Child and Youth Care Practitioners as a Distinct Discipline in Ireland:


  • C. McElwee Irish Association of Social Care Educators Centre for Social Care Research Waterford Institute of Technology Republic of Ireland


This paper is written at a time of profound change where various stockholders are examining the possibility of introducing statutory registration of child and youth care practitioners in the Republic of Ireland. It examines some of the aspects in relation to the self-regulation and registration that have been identified as being particularly important. I argue that the current politicised social climate will work against self-regulation beause the Irish public is now aware, for the first time en masse, that there is neither notification nor formal registration in place for child and youth care practitioners. There is no comprehensive, accurate and current national statistics for active practitioners employed in either the voluntary or statutory sectors. We do not know the figures for part-time and full-time child and youth care employment. We do not even know the qualifications of those working in the field of child and youth care. The paper suggests that the Irish child and youth care system should actively pursue formal registration, that it should do so as a distinct discipline with an independent body and that it should undertake this as a matter of urgency. The Registration body should include nominees from all of the stakeholders, including the voluntary and statutory sector of practitioners and the educational providers. The body should have the full support and resources of the Irish Department of Health and Children who are crucial to the implementation of registration. Finally, the paper provides a number of potential models of statutory registration for discussion that child and youth care practitioners could consider for the future professional development of the discipline in the Republic of Ireland whilst this important debate takes place.




How to Cite

McElwee, C. . (2001). The Registration of Child and Youth Care Practitioners as a Distinct Discipline in Ireland:. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 15, 344–368. Retrieved from