Principal Social Worker - ACTS

ACTS , St Loman’s, Palmerstwon, Dublin
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 16/12/2019 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 21/11/2019


Job Summary

The Child and Family Agency was established on 1st January 2014 and is responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of services for the development, welfare and protection of children and the support of families ever undertaken in Ireland. It is an ambitious move which brings together some 4,000 staff who were previously employed within Children and Family Services of the Health Service Executive, the National Educational Welfare Board and the Family Support Agency.

The Child and Family Agency has responsibility for the following range of services:

  • Child Welfare and Protection Services, including family support services
  • Family Resource Centres and associated national programmes
  • Early years (pre-school) Inspection Services
  • Educational Welfare responsibilities including School completion programmes and Home School Liaison
  • Domestic, sexual and gender based violence services
  • Services related to the psychological welfare of children

Further information is available on www.tusla.ie

Post Specific Service:

The Assessment, Consultation and Therapy Services (ACTS) is a Tusla Therapy Service which has been established to provide consultation, assessment and focused interventions to young people who have high risk behaviours associated with complex clinical needs. These therapeutic inputs will be provided in a timely and responsive manner with a focus on improving outcomes for young people and their families.

ACTS have four regional MDT teams with a fifth team based in Oberstown Youth Detention Centre.

ACTS is a specialised service which offers multidisciplinary assessment and time specific interventions. We also support other professionals in their on-going work with young people and their families. This includes:

  1. In Reach  therapeutic services to the national special care units and Oberstown Youth Detention Centre
  2. Assessment and focused intervention services in the community for children at risk of placement in special care or detention.


Scope and Purpose of the Post:

The purpose of the post is to lead a team of Senior Social Work Practitioners and Social Care Leaders within the TUSLA ACTS Service with a responsibility for clinical management of social work and social care interventions. The Principal Social Worker will work closely with the ACTS Clinical Team Managers in developing the social work and Social Care service.  This post has a clinical as well as a management remit.



Job Objectives

Professional / Clinical

The Principal Social Worker will:

  • Provide and oversee Social work and Social Care assessment and therapeutic interventions to young people within the service and to their families as may be required.
  • Provide and/or oversee assessment and therapeutic interventions as part of the multi-disciplinary team  to meet the identified needs of children and young people, working as appropriate, directly with young people and their families /or indirectly with care staff, unit management and  social work child protection and welfare services and others interfacing with the service, as appropriate.
  • Provide, as required, reports relating to the work activity of the social work and the social care team.
  • Oversee and participate in work with other disciplines providing a clinical service as part of the TUSLA Therapy Service, both directly and through liaison and consultation, promoting multi-disciplinary working and the provision of integrated services.
  • Provide, as required, reports regarding the service and professional advice to the National Manager for ACTS, to TUSLA and heads of other services as required and to con tribute to the planning and development of services in collaboration with the Clinical Team Managers.
  • Contribute to service development as a member of the Regional TUSLA Therapy Team and the National Management ACTS Team.
  • Attend meetings, case conferences, professionals meetings and reviews within the designated service and provide information to these meetings as appropriate.
  • Contribute to planning and policy development for social work and Social Care within ACTS and the wider Tusla Therapy Service
  • Provide clinical supervision to other social work and social care staff within ACTS and the wider Tusla Therapy service.
  • Implementation of clinical audit and quality initiatives and to evaluate the outcomes of service provision in conjunction with the Clinical Team Managers and other Heads of Discipline.
  • Be responsible within ACTS for ensuring social work and social care input into service planning, policy development, staff development and co-ordination of services, and to provide consultation around these to the wider TUSLA Services as required.
  • Ensure the implementation of current and future legislation, policies and procedures, guidelines and protocols.
  • Ensure anti-discriminatory practice and cultural competence at individual and service levels.
  • Provide as required, in relation to his/her designated area of responsibility, the ACTS National Manager with such information and professional advice and guidance it may require in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of services.
  • Encourage and initiate research and, where appropriate, to initiate and/or participate in multi-disciplinary research programmes.
  • Deputise for the ACTS National Manager or Clinical Team Managers as required.
  • Participate in the selection process for staff for TUSLA Social Work and social care Services, ACTS and other services as required.
  • Be responsible for the overall management and performance for social work and social care activity within the ACTS Regional Teams in consultation with the Clinical Team Managers.
  • Be responsible for ensuring the capacity of the social work and social care teams in meeting the demands presented by community referrals, Special Care referrals and Oberstown referrals.
  • To take a lead role in the organisation and delivery of national, regional and bespoke social work and Social Care campaigns.
  • To work alongside area social work teams in relation to service improvement plans for ACTS
  • Ensuring good professional practice and subject to agreed policy directives and priorities;
  • Provide Leadership, guidance, and training on the assessment and delivery of therapeutic interventions to children and young people.
  •  Develop good working relationships with local Social Work Teams, Residential Care teams, foster carers, and appropriate HSE services such as CAMHS, Primary Care and Addiction.
  • Be knowledgeable and experienced in the area of working with young people who have experienced significant trauma.
  • Facilitate clear channels of communication to relevant management structures in relation to the activity of the Social Work Team
  • Be responsible for the identification of the training needs of the social work and social care team
  • Provide professional leadership at meetings, committees, and/or other as required
  • Ensure the provision of appropriate clinical supervision to Social Work and Social Care Staff.
  • Avail of appropriate supervision to ensure own ongoing competency to supervise other staff;
  • Provide monthly reports to the National Manager  or designate as required
  • To develop communication strategy in relation to the work of RAFT including preparation of monthly reports.  
  • Preparation of an annual business plan for the ACTS Social Work and Social Care service.

Education & Training

The Principal Social Worker will:

  • Attend mandatory training programmes and ensure that all reporting staff do so
  • Be informed of advances in professional knowledge and practice and ensure their dissemination
  • Maintain standards of practice and levels of professional knowledge by participating in continuous professional development initiatives and attendance at courses as appropriate, and ensure compliance with statutory registration requirements for themselves and for reporting staff.
  • Engage in career and professional development planning.
  • Act as a resource by participating in the education and training of MDT colleagues and other allied professionals as required.
  • Manage and provide supervised training placements appropriate to the client group to those in professional Social Work and Social Care training as required.
  • Build and communicate an understanding of the role and contribution of Social Work within TUSLA Therapy Services.
  • Ensure that social workers and social care leaders makes the most efficient and effective use of developments in IT.

Health & Safety

  • Comply with and contribute to the development of policies, procedures, guidelines and safe professional practice and adhere to relevant legislation, regulations and standards.
  • Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the service for example National Standards for Child Protection and Care and comply with associated Tusla – Child and Family Agency protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role.
  • To support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient health service. 
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of information sharing protocols, audit systems, referral pathways and integrated care arrangements
  • Actively participate in the development and continuing improvement initiatives of Social Work and Social Care services.
  • Ensure the maintenance of a high standard of service user records and statistics in accordance with TUSLA requirements and local guidelines, Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Acts and other relevant legislation
  • Maintain professional standards with regard to service user and data confidentiality

The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office. 

Please refer to the Candidate Information pack attached to this campaign for full and further detail.


Skills Required

Applicants must by the closing date of application have the following:

  • Must be registered in the Social Workers Register maintained by the Social Workers Registration Board at CORU.


  • Maintain live annual registration on the Social Workers Register
    maintained by the Social Workers Registration Board at CORU.


  • Have 5 years relevant post-qualification experience.


  • Must have the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability, professional and managerial ability) for the proper discharge of the duties of the office.


A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.


Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character


Age restrictions shall only apply to a candidate where he/she is not classified as a new entrant within the meaning of the Public Services Superannuation Act, 2004). A candidate who is not classified as a new entrant must be under 65 years of age.

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