Senior Addiction Counsellor ACTS

 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 08/03/2021 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 11/02/2021


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
  • Adoption & Alternative Care


Further information is available on www.tusla.ie

The National ACTS (Assessment Consultation and Therapy Services) is a specialised service which oversees the provision of:

  • Multi-disciplinary high quality assessment and therapeutic services to children/young people and their families in high support/special care and youth detention
  • A specialist multidisciplinary assessment and intervention service to young people and their families in community residential/foster care at risk of placement in high support/special care/children detention school
  • Expert assessment and therapeutic intervention directly in the centres working with the staff team to maximise the benefit of the placement for the child/young person

The service currently has a base in Dublin with sub teams in three centres, Oberstown, Lusk, Co Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

The Senior Addiction Counsellor is part of a regional multi-disciplinary team who holds a clinical caseload under the line management of a Clinical Team Manager.

The post holder will provide a professional counselling, therapy, education and information service in the area of addiction and substance misuse to young people who have been referred to the ACTS service. The post holder will provide and manage substance misuse interventions to young people and their families alongside a multi-disciplinary team within Tusla Therapy.

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Counseling, Case Management and Treatment Services

  • Lead the development of appropriate evidence-based assessments and interventions for young people where substance misuse is contributing to their overall difficulties.
  • Provide consultation for interventions being undertaken by other ACTS disciplines where the focus of the intervention is substance misuse.
  • Provide training and guidance to the MDT ACTS team regarding substance misuse problems.
  • Develop close links on behalf of the ACTS MDT with addiction services being run by the HSE and voluntary sector to ensure interagency collaboration and care-planning for young people transitioning in and out of care placements and transitioning into adulthood.
  • As part of a multi-disciplinary team, to participate in the assessment of young people and their families and concerned persons where relevant.
  • Participation in multidisciplinary intervention and treatment processes.
  • Lead the implementation and facilitation of appropriate treatment strategies, both individual and group.


  • Participation in clinical supervision arrangements.
  • Participate in Addiction Service Development and Clinical Governance
  • To offer harm reduction information and education to young people, their families, social work teams, social care staff and other relevant stakeholders as appropriate.
  • Liaison with social work departments, CAMHS, residential care staff, schools, general practitioners, primary health care staff, statutory/ voluntary groups and other appropriate personnel.
  • Referral to appropriate treatment facilities, detoxification facilities, rehabilitation etc.
  • Ensure anti-discriminatory practice and cultural competence at individual and service levels.
  • Ensure practice is in line with the Tusla Participation Strategy.

Education & Training

  • Take a lead role in the development of continuous training in the assessment and treatment of substance misuse amongst multi-disciplinary colleagues.
  • Ensure that there is quality dissemination of information on addiction and substance misuse to young people, relatives, and other key stakeholders as required.
  • To lead the development of close collaborative working relationships with addiction services in the community.
  • To act as a resource person and catalyst to enable other staff in ACTS and Tusla Therapy to work effectively with addiction and substance misuse related issues.
  • Ensure that there is an effective system to monitor and evaluate intervention outcomes.
  • Attend mandatory Tusla training programmes.
  • Be informed of advances in professional knowledge and practice and ensure their dissemination to the team.
  • Build and communicate an understanding of the role and contribution of addiction counselling within TUSLA Services.

Multi-disciplinary team working

  • Participate in service planning and change management initiatives in the ACTS service.
  •  Contribute to the development and implementation of information sharing protocols, audit systems, referral pathways, and individual care plans.
  • Hold a clinical caseload within multi-disciplinary team
  • Develop and maintain close liaison with team members, and specialist services to ensure an integrated service for clients.
  • To provide support, guidance, evaluation, and management of assessments and interventions aimed at reducing substance misuse difficulties.

Development and evaluation of service

  •   Ensure that the addiction/substance misuse service being offered within ACTS and the   wider Tulsa Therapy is supported by    evidence based best practice.
  • Provide yearly audits, service reports and statistics as required.
  • Develop systems for ongoing monitoring,  audit  and evaluation.

Professional Development and performance management

  •  To provide supervision to staff grade Addiction Counsellors within ACTS or wider TUSLA service if required. To provide guidance to other staff in ACTS engaging in addiction related interventions with young people and their families.
  • To engage in regular supervision as agreed with the Principal Psychology Manager or designated officer.
  • To engage in one-to-one line management with Clinical Team Manager
  • To develop and provide in-service training as required.
  • To ensure cooperation of staff with aspects pertaining to the operation of new technology and new systems.
  • To ensure that staff receive suitable performance management in accordance with Tusla policies and procedures.

Research & Service Delivery

  • To develop and conduct relevant research within the service and the evaluation of such research in order to improve treatment and therapeutic standards.
  • To take a leadership role in initiatives to improve the quality of all aspects of the ACTS service and in particular substance misuse interventions.
  • To ensure the co-operation with staff policy and review procedures.


  • To ensure that you are compliant with professional record keeping and standards in respect of confidentiality and security of same.
  • To report to the Principal Psychology Manager or designated officer on matters affecting the administration of the service.

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.


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. 

Skills Required

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

  1. Possess a 3rd level qualification at level 7 or higher on the NQAI framework in medicine, relevant health & social professionals (e.g. Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy or be registered or eligible for registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.



(ii) Possess a relevant post graduate qualification


 (iii) Be accredited as a counsellor with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP); or the Irish Association of Alcohol & Addiction Counsellors (IAAAC); or a relevant body within the Irish Council for Psychotherapy or entitled to be so accredited.


  1.  Must have a minimum of 5 years full time experience* of working in a Counselling setting working with adults and young people where addiction issues were part of this work.

* The five years’ experience must comprise of no more than 3 years full time post graduate experience and no less than two full years’ experience as an accredited counsellor. Years in excess of the permitted three years for completion of the post graduate training or time not worked cannot be taken into consideration when assessing the 5 years’ experience requirement.


Have 5 years’ experience and be currently employed as an addiction/psychotherapy or subsistence misuse counsellor in the public funded Irish health sector.


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.

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