Community Welfare Services are provided by Community Welfare Officers (CWOs). This service used to be provided by the HSE, but is now part of the Department of Social Protection. Community Welfare Officers now work for the Department of Social Protection but provide clinics from HSE health centres.
The majority of the work carried out by Community Welfare Officers involves the administration of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.
The types of payments made under this scheme include: weekly Supplementary Welfare Allowance,Rent Supplement, Diet and Eating Supplement, Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme and exceptional needs payments for items such as buggies, clothing, funeral costs etc.
Community Welfare Officers hold a number or clinics per week. A list of contact details for Community Welfare Officers nationwide is provided on the Department of Social Protection Website.
As well as administrating community welfare services , CWO’s will actively refer individuals to other state agencies and/or voluntary organisations if it is appropriate to their client’s needs. For example, the CWO’s may refer you to the Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS).
Some assessments may involve home visits to verify a person’s place of residence for Rent Supplement purposes or simply to interview someone in surroundings that are more comfortable if he or she has special needs or is unable to visit the local health centre in person.