Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Message in Solidarity and Call for urgent support for burn victims of Bucharest fire accident

Message in Solidarity and Call for urgent support for burn victims of Bucharest fire accident

On October 31, 2015 a fire engulfed a night club in Bucharest, Romania killing 27 people immediately and injuring hundreds. Since then the death toll has risen to more than 50. IFSW Europe wishes to extend our sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families. 

We also wish to express our solidarity with our Romanian social work colleagues who are caring for the families of those victims still hospitalized. In times of tragedy social workers provide the emotional and practical support the families need to continue functioning.  Social workers are trained to assess and respond to changing needs. These needs might include help with administrative issues, mediation with hospital personnel and the concrete needs of families who are away from their homes for long periods: accommodation, food, clothing, etc.

The large number of victims has created a unique situation requiring international social work cooperation.  The Rumanian health administration started some days ago to transfer patients to different specialized clinics all over Europe because they cannot provide adequate treatment for so many cases.  This may be is the only chance for at least some of the victims to survive.

Those patients going to other countries are accompanied by one family member at government expense. The Romanian authorities take care of many organizational problems, but these family members need individual, local social work support - somebody who is available for them during the crisis situation, who answers their questions, helps them immediately with everything they need while staying with their relatives.

In Bucharest, the Association Pro Social Work - ASproAS has set up a team of social workers to support the relatives in the hospitals and outside. The Romanian association has contacted the member IFSW associations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Israel and asked that they make sure that local, medical social workers are helping those family members who are in a strange country and probably don't speak the language.  Our Romanian colleagues are then able to provide updates to the family members in Romania. 

ASproAS still needs contact persons in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Norway to help care for the families of the victims hospitalized there. It is preferable for medical social workers to be the contact person or, at least, to be able to identify the appropriate social workers in the hospitals that have accepted the Romanian fire victims. 

IFSW Europe calls to our member organizations and national associations of social workers from these countries to connect directly with ASproAS (asproas2013@gmail.com) in order to provide the best support to the patients and their families.

IFSW Europe Executive Committee, 14th November 2015

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