Senior Social Work Practitioner – Donegal

 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 22/03/2021 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 25/02/2021


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 post holder will have responsibility for contributing to the development and maintenance of high standards of professional practice and implementation of national policies in conjunction with the Principal Social Worker and Social Work Team Leaders. The role will involve peer support, mentoring less experienced staff, assisting in the development and implementation of induction programmes and taking a lead role in the supervision of social work students.

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities


The Senior Social Work Practitioner will:

  • Primarily responsible for the direct provision of quality social work service to children and families. He/she will work as a member of a social work team under direction and will be responsible for the management of a caseload.
  • The Senior Practitioner remit will require enhanced responsibilities in relation to the case management process and/or involved in the discharge of statutory duties.
  • Such responsibilities will include the ability to demonstrate enhanced levels of practice, competence/skills in areas such as direct practice with children and families, multi-agency working, knowledge of organisational systems and processes and the wider social policy context.
  • The post holder will be expected to provide support and advice to other team members.


The Senior Social Work Practitioner will:

  • Engage in direct practice with children and families including, where appropriate co-working with other practitioners.
  • Undertake specific roles in discharging statutory responsibilities and implementing and implementing policies and procedures including a range of court related tasks.
  • Engage with service users to promote participation.
  • Provide support and advice to others in relation to their practice and professional development and may include mentoring staff.
  • Assist in the Induction process for new staff.
  • Access and participate in, as appropriate, research and other developmental activity relevant to improving standards of practice.
  • Participate in the development of evidence based practice.
  • Contribute to the learning and development of students and others as required.
  • Promote high standards of Social Work practice.
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of TUSLA’s governance framework, audit schedules and quality and service improvement agenda.
  • Contribute to reviews of TUSLA policies and procedures relating to service for children and families.
  • Contribute to needs assessment and service development.

Education & Training

The Senior Social Work Practitioner will:

  • Maintain standards of practice and levels of professional knowledge by participating in continuous professional development initiatives and attendance at courses as appropriate.
  • Engage in career and professional development planning in collaboration with the Social Work Team Leader / Principal Social Worker.
  • Keep up to date with advances in social work research, and ongoing review and evaluation of literature relevant to the assigned area.
  • Keep abreast of developments in national policies and strategies and international best practice.
  • Actively disseminate specialist knowledge to existing social work staff.
  • Develop links with the Schools of Social Work.
  • Provide placements for students with appropriate supervision.
  • Provide guidance and supervision to student social workers and relevant others.
  • In collaboration with the Social Worker Team Leader and Principal Social Worker, contribute to the development, provision and implementation of mentoring and individualised training programmes for social worker staff.
  • Act as a resource by participating in the induction, education and training of social work colleagues, other health professionals and service user groups as required.


The Senior Social Work Practitioner will:

  • Maintain a high standard of documentation, including service user files in accordance with local guidelines, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and the Data Protection Acts.
  • Maintain accurate up to date records and files, and submit activity data as required.
  • Write accurate, clear, concise and purposeful reports.
  • Contribute to service developments by monitoring and evaluating emerging needs and trends and in consultation with Social Work Team Leaders/Principal Social Worker and other staff, to propose appropriate service developments.
  • Conduct internal case reviews when required.
  • Collaborate with the Social Worker Team Leader/Principal Social Worker or designate in developing the role of the Senior Social Work Practitioner and the service e.g. through planning, audit, production of standards, continuing education, quality improvement initiatives and research.

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:

  • Candidates must be in direct employment with Tusla – Child and Family Agency and a member of the team within the Donegal Area.


  • 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 three 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.  Knowledge of legislation, policy, procedures and current issues in Children & Families service. Ability to work in a computer literate environment


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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