General Manager Office of Chief Social Worker

Heuston South Quarter, Saint John's Road West, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 26/04/2021 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 01/04/2021


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


Purpose of this role: 

To coordinate and ensure national implementation and sustainability of the Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI). EPPI will develop evidence using and evidenced informed practitioners at multiple levels through increasing the knowledge levels and confidence of social workers and other frontline staff and improve the consistency and quality of practice across the Agency.   To develop this project in line with practice changes with particular focus on student and early years of practice to aid retention.

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

To implement four components of EPPI:

•             EPPI Toolkit

•             Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme

•             Mentoring

•             Third Level liaison


National Manager to have direct reports including:

•             Implementation Officer with role in research contributing to the implementation of EPPI. Support from Principal Social Workers (posts to be sourced from existing posts in the service) contributing to the implementation of EPPI.

•             Provide leadership and support for these staff in supporting social workers and other frontline practitioners across the 17 Areas.

•             Develop responses to the critical need to support the clinical work in the development of competent and confident social workers and other frontline practitioners in the workforce who have the capacity to deliver effective and essential services to the most vulnerable children in Irish society.

•             Develop responses to the critical need for recruitment and retention of staff, particularly social workers, through national co- ordination of student practice placements, developing and promoting practice teaching and ensuring consistent, standardised, quality placements.

•             Manage and co-ordinate increased collaboration with third level institutions providing social work training through joint shared learning forums, curriculum input to meet practice requirements in child protection and welfare services in Tusla and reciprocal CPD with academic and practice staff.

•             This General Manager grade will work in liaison with directorates, Operations, Transformation and Policy (Research), Quality, ICT, Corporate Services (WLD) and HR to ensure co- ordinated and coherent development and delivery of the four components of EPPI


Capacity building

•             Deliver the Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme annually in the four regions to a minimum of 100 staff.

•             Design and deliver a targeted child protection interagency Programme to HSE PHNs and Tusla social workers annually drawn from PHNs and social workers nationally

•             Develop supports to improve critical thinking and analysis in practice

•             Develop tools to increase the understanding and knowledge levels of social workers and other frontline practitioners in critical areas of practice

•             Ensure the Programme is embedded in the Agency and sustainable by developing and building co-facilitator capacity from practice and workforce learning and development staff and assessing for delivery competence

•             Develop and write an EIPP facilitator’s guide

•             Maintain a robust and rigorous quality assurance process for literature reviews conducted as part of the Programme and upload literature reviews onto the Tusla Hub as appropriate.

•             Co-produce evidence reviews/practice briefs, papers using research with staff



•             Maintain existing and recruit new mentors to support staff on the Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme

•             Support mentoring in the Agency by providing opportunities for reflective practice and sharing of learning

•             Ensure the mentoring process creates leadership opportunities and develops leaders and champions in the Agency

•             Establish and develop a mentor programme for new social work staff to the Agency which can be delivered to all teams in all regions

•             Develop a mentoring programme for all staff across all disciplines in the Agency

•             Establish a mentor learning community to share learning and inform best practice in the Agency


Learning and improvement culture

•             Promote a learning and improvement culture underpinned by the core vision, mission and values of the Agency

•             Create a learning space and pathways through which practitioners can engage in continuous professional development, share their learning and enhance their practice.

•             In collaboration with WLD, communications and practice staff hold EPPI learning events regionally and nationally which provide opportunities for practitioners to showcase their work and learning


Developing networks/partnerships

Support engagement with third level institutions as part of the Workforce Strategy


Student placements

•             Develop and implement an action plan for co-ordinated student practice placements

•             Co-ordinate the development of practice teacher training course within Tusla in collaboration with 3rd level Institutions providing social work training

•             Establish practice teacher/educator learning community


Recruitment and retention

•             Develop protocol for Tusla staff presenting/delivering workshops in 3rd levels

•             Conduct joint visits with HR to 3rd level social work training institutions in Ireland, Northern Ireland and beyond as needed.

•             Conduct workshops/lectures in social work institutions

•             Develop a post qualifying framework in Tusla

o             Develop and introduce a post qualifying awards system

o             Develop an assessed and supported first year post qualification–competency based and matching the practice requirements of the Agency

o             Develop co-ordinated system for Tusla endorsed post qualifying courses (CPD) mandated at national level, for example, practice teaching, Post Graduate/MSc. in Child Protection and Welfare in TCD, Family Therapy, Marte Meo etc.


•             Increase international profile of Tusla and EPPI within it through publication and subsequent presentations/workshops/seminars at international conferences, e.g., ISPCAN, AoCPP

•             Engage and inform key stakeholders of developments with EPPI e.g. DCYA, HIQA, CORU



•             Ensure EPPI is delivered using an Implementation Science approach

•             Chair a cross directorate EPPI Implementation Team

•             Develop and continuously review the EPPI Implementation Plan

•             Ensure that all aspects of EPPI are evidence informed and outcomes focused

•             Work closely with other Directorates and Tusla Senior Managers to secure buy in and support for effective implementation of EPPI nationally

•             Align EPPI with existing and newly developed Tusla policies and procedures

•             Identify, source, translate and use relevant data and other evidence from a range of existing data sources within and beyond EPPI to inform decision-making, practice improvement and continuous implementation efforts

•             Set up and deliver quality assurance mechanisms for data


Measuring Impact

•             Contribute to and support continuing implementation and outcomes evaluations of EPPI

•             Conduct a repeat scoping survey of the baseline scoping survey disseminated in 2015 and analyse and report on the findings

•             Interpret and analyse data necessary for monitoring and making improvements related to the implementation of the EIPP Programme, e.g. pre and post Programme measures

•             Design, develop and disseminate a short questionnaire quarterly to measure the use, extent of use of the Toolkit and its impact on practice.

•             Measure the impact of mentoring within the Agency e.g. mentor and mentee questionnaires


Quality Assurance and service improvement

•             Through the Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme, the EPPI Toolkit and mentoring development improve the consistency and quality of practice across the Agency.

•             Develop quality assurance processes for each component of EPPI

•             Maintain and service the existing EPPI Expert Advisory Group drawn from government and academia to advise on the strategic direction of the Initiative, the quality of products arising from the EIPP and Toolkit and the quality and efficiency of implementation across the Agency


Finance & Human Resources

•             Monitor EPPI budget and expenditure in compliance with all financial regulations and procedures in the Agency

•             Develop and support business cases for new resources etc.

•             Manage and supervise project team members


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

  • Be registered in the Social Work Register maintained by the Social Work Registration Board maintained at CORU (or have entitlement to be registered and obtain registration prior to appointment).


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


  • Have five years’ relevant post qualification experience working within the child protection and welfare services including:
    • Significant knowledge of child and family services, current and upcoming legislation, Tusla policy and procedures.
    • High level of knowledge of evidence and research in child protection and welfare systems and services nationally and internationally.
    • Significant experience in the design, management and delivery of large scale projects in child and family services
    • Significant experience of practice teaching and supervision or other capacity building initiatives.


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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