Deputy Director – Coovagh House, Limerick

Limerick, Ireland
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 07/02/2022 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 13/01/2022


Job Summary

The Child and Family Agency was established on 1st January 2014 and is responsible for a range of statutory functions including provision of child protection, alternative care, specified regulatory services and a range of family support services.  The Agency has commenced a major improvement programme with significant focus on Practice, Culture and Structure.


The Agency currently has responsibility for a budget in excess of €800m and delivers its services through circa 5,000 people in 350 locations across the Country.


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

  • Child Protection and Welfare
  • Family Support
  • Alternative Care
  • Adoption
  • Tusla Education Support Services (TESS)
  • Domestic Sexual and General Based Violence (DSGBV)
  • Children’s Service Regulation
  • Counselling and Therapeutic Supports


Further information is available on www.tusla.ie

Special Care

The policy of the Child and Family Agency to enable children to live with their own families wherever possible and to support parents where necessary in fulfilling that role.  In circumstances where this is not possible, Residential Care incl. Special Care remains a valuable option for children who cannot be cared for at home.

  • There are currently three Special Care Units in Ireland, which are buildings designed to allow young people to be detained when the Tusla’s National Special Care Committee and the High Court consider a young person needs Special Care and Protection that cannot be otherwise provided.  

    Special Care is a welfare-based Social Care intervention though placements are intensively supported with on-site education, vocational training, therapeutic supports and detailed Programmes of Care aimed at supporting resident young people’s timely return to the Agency’s community-based Centres, Foster Care or home as soon as this can be achieved.   

    Tusla’s policy on the use of Special Care is as a short-term, stabilising intervention that delivers safe therapeutic care in a secure environment and that the restriction of a young person’s liberty will always be limited to the shortest possible time. 



The Deputy Director shall implement the care practices, operational policies and procedures required to put in place by the registered provider under paragraph (2) and shall in so doing, promote and protect the life, health, safety, development and welfare of each child who is detained in the special care unit.  The Deputy Director may be required to take on the role of the Person in Charge as outlined in The Health Act 2007 – (Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Person (Children and Adults).


All Tusla employees are designated officers with explicit responsibilities in responding to Child Protection and Welfare under the protection for Persons reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998.


The Deputy Director is also a mandated person under Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.



Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • To lead the care management team, ensuring that it meets regularly in order to address, in a holistic and integrated manner the needs of the young people.
  • To ensure the young people are listened to and if they have complaints these are handled effectively and efficiently.
  • To ensure the rights of the young people who are resident in Special Care are respected and promoted.
  • To ensure that all care staff in the Special Care Unit is provided with effective leadership.
  • To provide professional supervision to unit managers.
  • To work with management to establish priorities and that the service maintains this focus.
  • To represent the Special Care Services at National, regional and local levels, including the courts.
  • To ensure effective relationships with Tusla human resources and industrial relations so that staff are treated appropriately.
  • To take the lead in developing the Special Care Services annual report.
  • To review all action plans (Governance, HIQA, Monitor, Self Audit) and provide monthly updates to the Director indicating progress / risk in all actions.
  • To ensure that the Special Care Service budget is managed in line with Tusla’s Financial Regulations.
  • To respond to emergencies as necessary, in line with the overall responsibilities of the post and also to participate in the on call system.
  • To attend meetings and training courses from time to time in line with professional registration and as required by Tusla.
  • To manage the care service so that it continues to offer value for money.
  • To ensure that care standards are of the highest quality to ensure continued registration under the 2007 Health Act.
  • To facilitate the work of the monitoring officer and to follow their recommendations.
  • To ensure that the Special Care Program is appropriate to meet the individual young person’s needs.
  • Any other duties assigned by the Director that may be required from time to time.
  • To deputise for the Director of the Special Care Centre as appropriate.
  • To ensure that the maintenance, upkeep, hygiene and cleanliness of the centre, its furniture, vehicles and equipment.
  • To adhere to Fire Safety Requirements as specified by the local fire safety authority and the Child and Family Agency Fire Safety Officer.
  • To ensure compliance in the unit with the provisions of the Health. Safety and Welfare at Work Act, (1989) and other relevant legislation.
  • To provide line Management oversight and support for any transitional units that are developed as part of the continuum of special care Services in the Limerick area.

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. Ordinary Bachelor's Degree in Childcare awarded by a recognised body (Level 7 on the   National Framework of Qualifications) or the National Diploma in Childcare awarded by HETAC / DIT.




  1. Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Care Studies awarded by a recognised body (Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or the National Diploma in Applied Social Care Studies awarded by HETAC / DIT.




  1. Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree in Social Care awarded by a recognised body (Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or the Diploma in Social Care awarded by HETAC / DIT.




  1. Diploma in Applied Social Studies / Social Care from DIT.




  1. Ordinary Bachelor's Degree in Social Care Practice awarded by a recognised body (Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications).




  1. Ordinary Bachelor's Degree in Applied Social Studies (Disabilities) awarded by a recognised body (Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or the National Diploma in Applied Social Studies (Disabilities), The Open Training College (HETAC Accredited).




  1. an equivalent social care qualification from another jurisdiction.



  • a suitable standard of professional attainments.





  • A minimum of 5 years’ post qualification experience working in a Children’s Residential Centre and / or Special Care Unit.



  • 3 years’ experience managing in a Social Care or Special Care Centre.


  • Proven experience in managing groups of staff in a challenging environment.


  • Proven experience in managing multidisciplinary teams at a senior level.


  • The requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard and 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


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