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Emergency Social Work Service

The Regional Emergency Social Work Service provides an emergency social work service for people in crisis, including:

  • Children and young people
  • Older people
  • People with mental health problems
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People with physical disabilities
  • Families and carers of all these groups.

Other situations that this service can deal with:

  • An out of hours service for homeless people on behalf of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) by providing temporary accommodation in the cases of priority need. We do not need with housing applications, repairs or transfers.
  • A service on behalf of Social Security Agency in emergency only situations out side normal office hours.

Hours of operation

The service is available outside normal office hours including weekends and public holidays: 5:00pm to 9:00am Monday to Thursday and 5:00pm on Friday to 9:00am on Monday.  There is 24 hour cover over public holidays

Contacting the Regional Emergency Social Work Service

Phone: 08001979995

When you contact this service your call will be answered by a switchboard operator who will take a few details from you such as your contact details and the nature of your call. They will pass your details to one of the social workers who will call you back. All social workers are experienced in dealing with emergency and crisis situations.

If you have hearing difficulties, you can communicate with the service through, email or text.

What happens next?

The social worker will then either:

  • Provide advice and guidance to assist you in dealing with the emergency
  • Arrange to provide necessary services
  • Recommend that you contact another agency
  • Refer to your local office on the next working day.
  • Visit to make an assessment of the emergency

All contacts with the service will be passed to the relevant social services /NIHA/SSA office on the next working day.

This is an emergency service. Referrals will be dealt with according to the social worker’s evaluation of the risk and its urgency.

All users of the Regional Emergency Social Work Service will be provided with a service that is fair and equal regardless of race, religions, language, culture, gender, disability, age and sexual orientation.

What situations are treated as an emergency?

There are a number of situations in which the Regional Emergency Social Work Service will become involved or work with other agencies to ensure the safety of an individual and the community. Examples of emergency situations are where:

  • there are immediate significant protection and welfare concerns in relation to children and young people and vulnerable adults
  • urgent advice and/or support is required by families or carers
  • older people are at risk
  • there is consideration that compulsory admission to hospital under the Mental Health Order (NI) 1986 is required.


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