Social Work Day
19th March 2013

Greetings Cristina Martins IFSW from Os Príncipes on Vimeo.

President of IFSW Europe e.V.

It is a very great privilege to represent the social work profession at European level in these challenging times. At home here in Portugal my workload as a frontline social worker in a hospital setting has increased substantially over the past couple of years. Many of those whom I am assisting are fighting ill health against a background of poverty. This situation is fuelled by the growing inequality that is the root cause of so many of the very serious social problems that adversely affect the health, well-being and life expectancy of the most disadvantaged individuals and groups in society. 

Along with our partners IFSW Europe has been actively lobbying politicians and other decision makers to sustain the 2020 commitment to reduce the levels of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in society and we are pleased that there is now a much clearer appreciation by those in power of the immediate and longer term consequences of failing to support people at times of crisis. This includes recognition of the importance of social services and the vital role that social workers undertake on behalf of vulnerable individuals and groups.

We are pleased too that there is now a commitment by the European Parliament to invest in the social infrastructure and to introduce new measures to address the unacceptably high levels of unemployment that are blighting whole communities and having a catastrophic impact on the younger generation. The big question now is whether enough money will be made available to bring about the changes that are so urgently required. We must continue to demand fairness and a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources. 

Solidarity holds the key to our success as social workers and I earnestly hope you will join with me in celebrating our work across Europe wherever you find yourself on WSWD on Tuesday 19th March 2013. 

Greetings from IFSW Europe to All Social Workers!

Annual General Meeting
20th March 2013

We would like to notify you that this year's Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th March 2013. This will take place at the Malta Federation of Professional Associations Hall, registration at 5:30pm. Further details and minutes of last AGM are being disseminated with this e-mail.

This year, due to unforeseen circumstances and resignations, three vacancies for members to be elected on the MASW Executive Committee have arisen. The MASW would like to invite you to submit your nominations to the Association. Nominations will be accepted up until the date of the AGM (i.e 20th March 2013]). The nomination form can be obtained by sending an email to

If the form is sent by post, please sign where indicated while if it is sent by e-mail ( please copy in the secondee and the nominated persons.

Members are welcome to submit any proposals for changes to the statute and the statute can be seen here.

MASW would also like to encourage those members who have not yet paid up their membership to do so.  Membership applications will also be accepted on the day of the AGM.  You can renew your membership by sending a cheque of €25 (€12.50 for students) payable to MASW at the below address, or it is now also possible to pay the membership fee through the BOV Internet Banking "Bill Payment Facility". In addition, you may fill in the membership form online through our website -, or by post. 

We would also appreciate, that you, as MASW members, encourage your fellow colleagues, social work friends and students to join the association and participate in strengthening both the voice of the MASW and the identity of the Social Work Profession.

On behalf of the executive team, I thank you for your attention and should you need any further clarifications, do not hesitate to contact us.


Joseph Antoncich
MASW Secretary


Saturday 10th November at 11:20 - MASW meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi 

The MASW met with the Prime Minister this morning to discuss important issues in relation to social work practice in Malta. The agenda discussed by the MASW Executive Committee present was as follows:

Social Workers and the role of public officers – our main concern for the time being is that there are a number of social workers who are currently employed within government departments and therefore are allocated the status of public officers, while other social workers who perform public duties are not allotted such status due to the fact that they are employed within a public entity.

Social Workers’ caseloads and resources – this is an on-going concern that has plagued social workers for years and yet remains a topic of major debate given the fact that intense responsibilities are being placed on social work services without the optimal level of human resource to counter the present demand.

Lacking of services and resources to deal with particular social issues – we have observed that there is a general lacking in particular services that are necessary for the well-being of persons at risk, such as the need for more placements for children at risk, drug rehabilitation programmes for persons under the age of 18, 24 hour emergency social work services, particularly with the police and so on.

Code of Ethics – Discussions and work have been on-going for the past years to finalize the Social Work Code of Ethics which is being drafted conjointly with the Social Work Profession Board. The end of this process and the final product will be an asset to the profession and the interventions of social workers.

MASW Executive Committee Members present were: Ms Colette Farrugia Bennett, Mr Joseph Antoncich, Ms Anthea Agius and Ms Myriam Grech

Meeting between Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi and the MASW Executive Committee   


June 2012 - MASW's Nominations to form part of the Social Work Profession Board

In accordance with the Social Work Act, Chapter 468 of the Laws of Malta, whereby it is stipulated in Article 4 (1) b, that two members of the Maltese Association of Social Workers would be nominated to form part of the Social Work Profession Board, the MASW is pleased to announce that it has nominated Ms. Christina Galea Curmi and Ms. Roslynn Vella following recent nominations. Ms. Roslynn Vella would act as the representative of the MASW executive committee in accordance with the Association's statue.

Naturally we will await confirmation on the matter and inform you in due course. 

Joseph Antoncich


Friday, March 6, 2012 - New Executive Committee  Elected on MASW

The Maltese Association of Social Workers would like to first of all welcome the newly elected board of executives and thank its outgoing members, particularly Mr. Anthony Girard and Mr. Robert Busuttil for their services and dedication to the association.

Following our first meeting as executives, we would like to welcome Ms. Colette Farrugia Bennett as the new chairperson, wishing her all the success possible in this post. Ms. Roslynn Vella, Mr. David Castillo, Ms Myriam Grech and Ms. Anthea Agius have retained their posts as Treasurer, International Relations Officer, Training and Continuous Professional Development Officer and International and Public Relations Officer respectively. On the other hand, Ms. Martina Testa has been nominated as Memberships and Events co-ordinator, while Mr. Joseph Antoncich has been nominated as the association’s Secretary and Communications Officer.


September 2011 - Dignity for Domestic Violence Survivors

Ms Maryanne Gauci is a 55 year old gentle woman with an endearing Australian accent. She describes herself as a partner, daughter, sister, niece, carer, an aunt of a 21 year old, special and only nephew, and a returned migrant, after having spent 26 years in Australia. She looks back with fond memories at her high school and university days and early working days as a social worker, when she also used to be a hockey and tennis player.  Some countries that Ms Gauci visited are quite exotic – Malaysia, Thailand, India, South Africa. She misses Australia but considers herself lucky to be in Malta which has given her many opportunities, such as, being Malta’s national focal point for the Council of Europe’s campaign to combat violence against women. She also tries to find time for walking, reading, watching movies, and why not, shopping. 


Ms Gauci worked for six years in Australia as a qualified social worker, a profession she is proud of.  When she came to Malta she read for her post graduate diploma and masters in gerontology whilst she worked for seven years at the Department for the Elderly, as officer in charge of the Telecare Service.  Her next post was with Aġenzija Appoġġ, where she held various posts, and now occupies the post of Service Manager for Adult and Family Services.  Her altruistic streak led her to work in a caring profession.  She describes social work as an area that looks at individuals in a holistic way in relation to their environment – their family; their communities, and their place in society.  Ms Gauci declares that “I valued people who supported me when I needed help so I wanted to share with others what I had to offer.”


At Aġenzija Appoġġ, the Domestic Violence Service offers three services; the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU), Għabex shelter, and the Men’s Services. in the DVU, Social workers deal with victims of violence who may be ‘drop-in’ to the agency for help, or be referred by other services in the agency, or entities outside the agency. There would be an initial assessment regarding whether there are domestic violence issues or not.  For example, sometimes there are no power/control issues as with domestic violence, but issues of marital dispute even though the relationship is an equal one. In cases where there is an immediate crisis, where there is risk to life or safety, or there is injury, the victim is referred to a shelter or hospital or for medical treatment, if they consent.  Ms Gauci explains how they work with women who also may come for guidance, eg. Re legal issues, as they are considering leaving a violent relationship, and are referred for a ‘one-off’ legal consultation provided by the agency’s lawyers.  Some women decide to stay in the relationship; they just want the violent behaviour to stop.  If the woman decides to stay the social workers discuss safety planning with them.  A lot of emotional support is provided to help these women, to build up the courage to ‘open up’ about what they have been through ,and one of the main roles of the social worker here is as a ‘listener’. Some women may have gone through abuse even for up to 30 years, and this may be the first time they have told some-one. UK research shows that it may take up to 30 physical violence incidents before these women take action.  They often have little self-confidence and are traumatised.  It is a relief to finally get the ‘secret’ out.


continue reading article


Social Work Is.... video by IFSW Europe


posted Jun 1, 2013, 11:04 AM by Colette Farrugia Bennett   [ updated Jun 1, 2013, 11:04 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

Following the recent alleged violent aggression on two social workers of the Richmond Foundation, the Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW) will be organizing a silent demonstration in order to show solidarity towards its fellow colleagues whilst simultaneously raising awareness that violence towards social workers and other helping professionals is not tolerated.

For this purpose the MASW will be holding a demonstration near Café Cordina, in Republic Street, on Monday 3rd June 2013 at 17:30 (those interested in participating should start gathering thirty minutes earlier). This demonstration is scheduled to take place right before the next Parliamentary sitting on the same day at 18:00. The Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity (Hon. Dr. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca) and the Shadow Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity (Hon. Dr. Chris Said) will be informed of the activity in order for them to listen to our concerns. The press will also be invited for the event so as to receive our comments.

The MASW believes that a number of Social Work professionals will be present for this demonstration, especially since this is a crucial point for social workers and other helping professionals. The MASW will also be submitting a formal report along with its recommendations to the Minister and Shadow Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity.

Whilst the MASW urges the attendance of all social workers and other helping professionals to join in this silent demonstration, it also draws to the attention of the attendees that this is not a political activity or a platform for unruly behaviour.


posted Feb 14, 2011, 10:38 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Feb 14, 2011, 10:39 PM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

An MASW Annual General Meeting is scheduled for
Wednesday 23rd February 2011 at 17:45 at Dar Manwel Magri, adjecent to University’s Chaplaincy.
As announced in our last AGM, this forthcoming AGM is being organised in order for MASW to meet the requirements of the Voluntary Organisations Commission.
More details including CPD related to this activity will be given shortly.

MASW reunion-quiz night

posted Jan 3, 2011, 1:50 AM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Jan 3, 2011, 1:50 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

Dear Members,
We would like to invite you for a reunion-quiz night that we are organising in order to celebrate with you the new year. We are planning this event at:
Baco Noir Lounge Terrace,
Kavalieri Hotel,
on the
11th of January at 7:30pm.
Parking space may be found in the vicinities.!/photo.php?fbid=145393028845276&set=a.145391615512084.42276.100001237387840&pid=242308&id=100001237387840

The fee will be 12 Euros per head and it shall include the participation for the quiz and some nibbles as well. You can form teams either before the activity or mingle together on the spot.
We hope to see all of you there :) Of course partners can join too :)
Kindly RSVP this mail by not later than Friday 7th at Noon.
Wishing you all the best for the New Year,
Best Regards,
MASW Executive Committee

MASW Election open until Wed 27th October

posted Oct 25, 2010, 2:13 AM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Oct 25, 2010, 2:14 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

Dear MASW Members,

First of all I would like to thank all those of you who attended today's AGM and contributed to a fruitful meeting and a very pleasant get together.

In due course you will be receiving the outcomes and actions to be carried forward from this meeting.

In accordance with the statute, the election process will remain open until Wednesday 27th October. Therefore those of you who were paid up members as at the time of the AGM may cast there vote until the 27th. The Voting Ballot is attached. Voting ballots are being held by Ms Pat Bonello and Ms Stefania Sacco at Appogg premises. 

For your guidance there are 4 vacancies on the executive and the candidates are:

David Callaby Floridia
David Castillo
Colette Farrugia Bennett
Miriam Grech
Roberto Calleja
Robert Busuttil

Should you have any queries or difficulties do not hesitate to contact me.

In the meantime I thank you once again for your ongoing commitment to the profession,

Best regards,

Anthea Agius

Local Social Work Research - Invitations to Social Workers to Participate

posted Oct 9, 2010, 12:52 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Oct 9, 2010, 12:54 PM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

10 October 2010
Consent Participation Information Letter
Dear Participant,
I thank the Malta Association of Social Workers (MASW) for accepting to participate in my research by approving to forward this letter including an online questionnaire to you. I highly appreciate your participation in this research on ‘How Does Workplace Learning Contribute to Continuous Professional Development (CPD) - The perception of social workers in social care organisation in Malta’. I am undertaking this project as a part of an MSc degree which I am studying with University of Leicester.
The project I am working on is to explore if workplace can be a tool for learning and thus contribute to CPD. The focus of the research is to identify the perception of this notion by Social Workers employed within a social care organisation. While explore how such a concept can be quantified and qualified to lead to this mentioned concept. You have been selected because I trust you are a good candidate to provide reliable and useful information about how you perceive at your workplace experiences and practices. Also you are employed with a developing organisation involved in social care services on the island. Hence, sharing with me your personal feelings and thought on this concept can augur and might forth a beneficial stance in the future not just personally to you but to the organisation as well. It might also be a stance to enrich and uplift even further the Profession of Social Work in our country. Therefore as you are aware your participation is highly important as it is an interest to us all.
An e-survey is the method used. The filling of the questionnaire take approx 30-40 minutes. However it is not obligatory and you can withdraw from the study and any time.
All data gathered will be dealt with strict confidence and it is for the purpose of my MSc dissertation. Your own data will be completely anonymous and unidentifiable once you submit your questionnaire the information will enter directly into the automated data processing system.
On completion of the project a copy of the dissertation will be forwarded to the MASW for its’ members perusal.
If you are interested to participate please follow the questionnaire in this link: “”. It is highly appreciated if your response will be received within a week from date of receiving this email.
Once again thank you for your participation.
Myriam Rose Grech

The MASW 2010 AGM

posted Jul 26, 2010, 12:42 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Oct 6, 2010, 11:19 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

To: Professional and Student MASW Members,
Hope you are all keeping well!
The MASW would like to announce that the Annual General Meeting of the Association is going to be held  on the 20th October 2010 at 5.30pm, at The Professional Centre of the Malta Professional Bodies, Sliema Road, Gzira (opposite Gzira primary school). Minutes of last year's AGM are being attached for approval during the AGM.
The Draft Agenda of the AGM is as follows:
5.30pm Welcome and Refreshments
5.45pm Guest Speaker, Ms Christine Sullivan, "The caring professions – one of the most hazardous professions – a psychodynamic understanding".*
Christiane Sullivan is a warranted Health Psychologist and an EAP registered Psychotherapist.  She has been working in private practice for the last twelve years and supervises professionals coming from the counselling and psychology field, as well as students in training. She lecturers part-time both with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Malta. She has an interest in depth psychology and uses psychodynamic thinking to understand  somatic expressions both in the client and in the therapist.
* CPD certificates will be awarded for those who attend.
6.15pm Approval of AGM 2009 Minutes
6.30pm Presentation of Administrative and Financial Reports 2009/10
6.45pm Break.
7.00pm Evaluation of Past Year and Work Priorities for the Coming Year
7.30pm Proposed amendments to the Statute
7.45pm Elections
8.15pm Closure

This year four vacancies for members to be elected on the MASW Executive Committee have arisen. The MASW would like to invite you to submit your nominations to the Association and will be accepted up to the date of the AGM (nomination form attached). So far the nominees are:

  • Colette Farrugia Bennet
  • David Castillo
  • David Callaby Florida
During Annual General Meetings, amendments to the MASW statute can be made, therefore anyone who would like submit proposals to the MASW statute is kindly requested to do so in advance as per the MASW statute (attached).
MASW would like to encourage those members who have not yet paid up their membership to do so. Membership forms can be downloaded Membership applications will also be accepted on the day of the AGM.
Should you need any further clarifications, do not hesitate to contact us.
It would be appreciated if you could confirm your attendance for the AGM.
Graziana Sciberras
Secretary and Events Coordinator


The MASW 2009 Social Work Awards Official Invite

posted May 11, 2010, 11:13 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated May 29, 2010, 12:34 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

Click on image to enlarge

IFSW Delegate's Meeting - Special Session open to MASW 2010 Members: A New Social Work Tool to guide the Application of Human Rights in Social Work Practice

posted May 5, 2010, 3:08 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated May 10, 2010, 5:57 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

Click to ENLARGE poster:

IFSW-Europe Delegates' Meeting in Malta (14-16 May 2010)

posted Mar 17, 2010, 12:57 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated Mar 17, 2010, 1:02 PM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

We are pleased to inform you that the IFSW-Europe Delegates' Meeting will be held in Malta on May 14th-16th. The first day of the meeting will feature a special activity that will be open to all MASW
members ... so please make sure your memberships are updated!
This will be a great opportunity for all social workers and social work students in Malta to meet foreign colleagues and share different practice experience.
More detailed information to follow.

Update 2: MASW Social Work Awards to take place together with the Warrant Ceremony

posted Mar 17, 2010, 12:05 PM by Clayton Mercieca   [ updated May 9, 2010, 2:32 AM by Maltese Association of Social Workers ]

MASW is glad to announce that the Social Work Awards shall be held in conjunction with the presentation of the Social Work Warrants ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Education, Employment, and the Family. The date has been set to Monday 31st May 2010 at the mediterranean conference centre, Valletta at 19.30.
The General Theme for 2009, chosen by the IFSW, is "Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda". This theme was chosen to emphasise the fact that Social Work has made and continues to make a significant contribution to the response to economic and social changes and to the support of vulnerable people and communities. Social work promotes the social welfare of individuals, groups and communities, facilitates social cohesion in periods of change and supports and protects the vulnerable members of the community, working in partnership with service users, consumers, communities and other professions. In such times of crisis and major social upheaval in all communities, our contribution and role as Social Workers is all the more important.
In nominating Social Workers for these awards we are therefore inviting you to consider the person’s:Flexibility in the face of social change
Ability to engage partnerships with service users, consumers, communities and other professions.
Vision towards the broader service, policy, societal and economic contexts
Nominations for outstanding Social Workers and Social Work Students in the following areas closed on Friday 26th March 2010:
  • Engaging Social Action
  • Challenging and Developing Policies and Practices
  • Recognizing Diversity
  • Advocating for Service Users’ Right to Involvement
  • Alleviating Social Poverty
  • Challenging Discrimination
  • Promoting Professional Values of Social Work
  • Supporting Social Workers and other Colleagues

Joanna Xuereb and Edwina Gouder assisted by Anthony Girard and Roslynn Vella have kindly accepted to receive and assess the nominations independently.
  • All Social Workers and Social Work Students can nominate and be nominated
  • Nominate up to one person for each area listed above
  • Nominate a person only once
  • Nominations are to be sent by email to: or by post: Social Work Awards, Maltese Association of Social Workers, The Professional Centre, Sliema Road, Gzira
  • Deadline - Nominations are to be sent to MASW by not later than noon of Friday 26th March 2010

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