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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of empirical research conducted with 338 thirdlevel social care students across seven sites and addresses a national Irish debate on title designations currently in use for people working in the social care area of the 'caring professions' within the Republic ofIreiand. The research limits itself to what is understood in international systems as 'child and youth care' or 'social care'. A number of title designations Irish practitioners might strategically adopt are presented, whilst some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing particular titles are explored. The main finding of this study is that there remains significant confusion over the use of titles berween, and within, government departments, the statutory sector and the voluntary sector in Ireland and this continues to hinder the development of social care as a distinct profession. We tease out this issue by providing a 'shopping list' of over sixty titles currently in use around the world, including ones suggested by students of social care/child and youth care training courses.

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