Psychologist Staff Grade - Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary

Kilkenny, Ireland
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 07/06/2022 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 12/05/2022


Job Summary

Details of Service

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

Purpose of Role:

The staff appointed to these roles will be assigned to a designated child in care social work team in a specified TUSLA area, working as part of multi-disciplinary team(s) delivering a co-ordinated service to children, young people and their families.

The purpose of the post is to participate as a member of a multi-disciplinary team within the Social Work Department to provide a psychology service to young people and their families who are in the care of Tusla.


The post holder will work collaboratively with a variety of services to assess and understand the therapeutic needs of young people and their families in the care of Tulsa and respond with interventions that are timely, proportionate, needs led, evidence based and in partnership with the young people and their families. Other key stakeholders could include An Gardai Siochana HSE primary care, Disability services, CAMHS, Schools, PHN’s, GP’s, Adult mental health, substance misuse services and other community and voluntary organisations.

The staff grade psychologist will be responsible for the delivery of the psychological interventions in line with Tusla policies and within established professional guidance, standards and policy.


The role of psychology in TUSLA is based on the scientific evidence of the impact of accumulated Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on emotional stability, mental health and daily self-care and living skills immediately, and for the rest of the children’s lives. Family disruption and break down, exposure to violence and subjection to abuse are major traumatic events meriting psychological assessments, supports and interventions. These are aimed to alleviate immediate suffering at family crisis points, (re-)stabilise positive developmental pathways in the re-settling periods and provide restorative therapy when an equilibrium has been re-established. The target group of TUSLA psychology services are children and young people whose safety in their family of origin was compromised to such an extent that alternative care had to be implemented. Training, consultation and support for current carers, guardians and support care staff are included as vital parts of the internal TUSLA psychology services. Internal TUSLA psychology services are specific to the issues directly linked to jeopardising a child’s place in his/her family (e.g. sexual abuse and offending, exposure to violence) and to the ramifications of in-care experiences (loyalty conflicts between family of origin and care family, being subject to court decisions, stigma of not living with one’s family etc.). In providing for a holistic, all-encompassing service and for provision and smooth transition into aftercare/adulthood, close co-operation with other health care providers in primary care, mental health and disability is of paramount importance. The TUSLA psychology service takes the role of an essential secondary service provider in the care pyramid with referral protocols up and down to specialised services of mental health/disability and generic services of primary care.

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities


Professional / Clinical

  • Be responsible for the delivery of professional psychology services appropriate to the post, in line with best practice
  • Carry a clinical caseload appropriate to the post
  • Provide psychological assessments of the children, young people and their families based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of data from a variety of sources including psychological tests, self-report measures, direct and indirect observation and interviews with clients, family members and/or carers in consultation with the professional network.
  • Provide psychological assessment, intervention and monitoring of progress and

outcome as required for children and young people in the care system in collaboration with their MDT colleagues.

  • Attending Child in Care reviews and contributing to the child/ young person’s statutory care planning as appropriate.
  • Provide professional reports as required in accordance with professional standards
  • Foster an understanding of the role and contribution of psychology by providing professional consultation, education, guidance and support in collaboration with other colleagues.
  • Communicate effectively and work in co-operation with other team members and others to ensure integrated service provision and collective risk management.
  • Contribute to and participate in inter-agency work practice and service delivery as required
  • Attending Child in care reviews, committees, case conferences, professional and network meetings and Signs of Safety meetings.
  • Work within limits of professional competence in line with principles of best practice, professional conduct and clinical governance.
  • Be aware of and refer the children, young people and their families to other services as necessary as part of the care planning.
  • Work in an ethical and professional manner at all times
  • Prepare professional reports and give evidence as required by the courts.
  • Keep the Principal Social Worker informed of any significant risk in line with relevant local and national protocols.
  • Promote a culture that values equality, diversity, respect and child centred practice.
  • Ensure that practice is in line with Tusla’s Child and Youth Participation Strategy.
  • Keep abreast of legislation as relevant to your role.


Research & Evaluation

  • Utilise evidence-based literature and research to support effective practice
  • Undertake project management including audit and service evaluation with colleagues within the service to help develop service provision.
  • Participate in evaluation of all clinical activity within the post and provide such information as required by the Principal Social Worker for the purpose of service monitoring and evaluation.
  • Undertake appropriate research and provide research advice as appropriate
  • Publish research outcomes in professionally recognised journals and share information on outcomes at professional conferences where appropriate.
  • Represent a professional viewpoint in relation to nationally accepted good practice      and to ensure a high level of ethical standards and professional conduct.
  • Contribute to developments and innovative practice in psychology within Tusla.
  • Conduct all research activity under the guidance of Tusla’s national research office.

    Education & Training

  • Attend mandatory training programmes
  • Be informed of advances in professional knowledge and practice
  • Keep abreast of best practice as outlined by the Psychological Society of Ireland
  • Participate in continuous professional development initiatives and ensure compliance with statutory registration requirements when required.
  • In collaboration with the Senior / Principal Psychologist and Principal Social Worker  attend training courses as informed by service requirements and career and personal development planning
  • Attend and engage in clinical and line management supervision effectively and in a reflective capacity.
  • Support the education of those in post graduate professional psychology training
  • Participate in the learning and practice education of students on placement from the MDT team.
  • Provide trainings as warranted.


  • Maintain appropriate records, databases and statistics in accordance with Tusla requirements and local guidelines, Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Acts GDPR and other relevant legislation.
  • Maintain professional standards with regard to records of children, young people and their families and maintain data confidentiality
  • Actively participate in development and continuing improvement initiatives of psychological services in liaison with the Senior / Principal Psychologist and relevant others including your MDT colleagues.
  • Contribute to policy development, performance monitoring, business proposals, service planning and budgetary control in conjunction with the Senior / Principal Psychologist and Principal Social Worker.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of information sharing protocols, audit systems, referral pathways and integrated care arrangements.
  • Assist in ensuring that the psychology service makes the most efficient and effective use of developments in Information and Communications Technology
  • Keep up to date with organisational developments within the Tusla and the wider public sector.
  • Staff will work within the values and principles as outlined in the national framework of Signs of Safety.
  • Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the role for example, Standards for Healthcare, National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections, Hygiene Standards, regulations regarding foster care and residential care etc and comply with associated Tusla protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role.
  • As a mandated person under the Children First Act 2015 you will have a legal obligation to report child protection concerns at or above a defined threshold to TUSLA Child Protection teams. 

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:

  • Applicants must have a recognised university degree or diploma (Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) level 8 equivalent) obtained with 1st or 2nd class honours in which Psychology was taken as a major subject and honours obtained in that subject AND a recognised professional post-graduate qualification in clinical, counselling or educational psychology or an equivalent qualification validated by the Department of Health.


  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have completed a training placement within the area of child, adolescent, and family psychological practice such that the placement fulfils the placement standards set out in the relevant Psychological Society of Ireland accreditation for clinical, counselling, or educational psychology, as appropriate.  Supervision during this placement experience must have been fully in line with supervision requirements as outlined within the relevant Psychological Society of Ireland accreditation criteria, subject to any supervision derogations put in place by the professional society during the time the placement was completed.


  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient supervised post-qualification experience in the area of child, adolescent, and family psychological practice, such that would fulfil the standards set out in relevant Psychological Society of Ireland accreditation criteria, provided that all required accreditation standards that were in place at the time the qualification was completed were fully achieved. Supervision provided during that experience must have been in line with Psychological Society of Ireland standards For applicants who have qualified outside of the Republic of Ireland, and who have their qualifications validated by the Department of Health, it must also be demonstrated that they have completed supervised experience in child, adolescent, and family psychological practice that is in line with Psychological Society of Ireland standards


Candidates must possess the requisite knowledge and ability, (including a high standard of suitability 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 character

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