Senior Psychologist ACTS, Palmerstown, Dublin 20 *** Extended Closing Date ***

Palmerstown, Dublin 20 Ireland
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 15/08/2022 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 21/07/2022


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

The Assessment, Consultation and Therapy Services (ACTS) is a Tusla Therapy Service which has been established to provide consultation, assessment and focused interventions to young people who have high risk behaviours associated with complex clinical needs. These therapeutic inputs will be provided in a timely and responsive manner with a focus on improving outcomes for young people and their families.

ACTS is a specialised service which offers multidisciplinary assessment and time specific interventions. We also support other professionals in their on-going work with young people and their families. This includes

  • On-site therapeutic services to the national special care units and the children detention schools
  • Assessment and focused intervention services in the community for children at risk of placement in high support, special care or detention.

The purpose of the post is to provide a Psychology Service to adolescents in Special Care, detention or young people living in the community at risk of special care or detention as part of the multi-disciplinary ACTS team structure.

The Senior Psychologist on each team is responsible for the organisation and delivery of the Psychology service to the young people and their families in line with Tusla policies and within established professional standards, guidelines and policy

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Professional / Clinical

The Senior Grade Psychologist will:

• Develop the psychology service in line with best practice and evidence based practice

• Be responsible for the delivery of professional psychology assessment, intervention and consultation appropriate to the post in line with best practice

• Carry a clinical caseload appropriate to the post

• Provide psychological assessments for the client group 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 and the wider professional system.

• Formulate and implement plans for psychological therapeutic intervention or management in consultation with the MDT team based on an appropriate conceptual framework, working in home and clinical settings as appropriate

• Communicate results of assessments and recommendations to the service user and relevant others as appropriate.

• Document all assessments, diagnoses, treatment / intervention plans, clinical notes, relevant contacts and summaries in accordance with department and professional standards.

• Make it possible for service users to advocate for their own needs, or where appropriate advocate on behalf of service users and ensure that all interventions are in line with Tusla’s Child Participation Policy.

• Attend court, tribunals etc as required.

• Work within current legislation, relevant policies and procedures, guidelines and protocols within TUSLA.

• Take direction from the Principal Psychology Manager, Clinical Team Manager or the ACTS National Manager.

• Keep the Principal Psychology Manager and the Clinical Team Manager fully informed and up-to-date on all significant matters.

• Actively engage in performance management.

• In conjunction with the Principal Psychology Manager, Clinical Team Manager and MDT contribute to the development and implementation of procedures, policies and guidelines while adhering to existing standards and protocols.

• Maintain professional standards in relation to confidentiality, ethics and legislation.

• Carry out other duties as assigned by the Principal Psychology Manager or Clinical Team Manager

• Provide clinical supervision to other Psychology/Psychotherapy staff members and trainees as appropriate.

• Provide, as required, reports regarding the service and professional advice to the Clinical Team Manager, ACTS National Manager and heads of other services as required and to contribute to the planning and development of services

• Exercise professional responsibility for the assessment, treatment, monitoring, follow-up and discharge of clients whose problems are managed using psychologically based care plans

• Contribute a psychological perspective to case planning and multi-agency case working and review and call multi-professional meetings when appropriate

• Provide professional reports as required in accordance with professional standards

• Communicate effectively and work in co-operation with team members and others to ensure integrated service provision

• Develop and maintain close liaison with key stakeholders • Ensure co-ordinated interdisciplinary and inter-agency service delivery

• Participate in meetings, committees and/or conferences as required

• Work within limits of professional competence in line with principles of best practice, professional conduct and clinical governance

• Represent and advocate for the psychological needs of service users

• Work in and promote an ethical and professional manner at all times

• Be aware of and refer the service user to other services as necessary

• Initiate and participate in needs assessment and health promotion as appropriate

• Deputise for the Principal Psychologist and Clinical Team Manager as appropriate / required

• Promote a culture that values equality, diversity and respect in the workplace

• Demonstrate significant experience in engaging in therapeutic work with young people (12-18), their families and carers.

• Understanding of the role of TUSLA and knowledge of child protection and welfare services.

• Interest in working from a trauma informed and attachment perspective and learning about Special Care and Juvenile Detention Services


Research & Evaluation

The Senior Grade Psychologist will:

  • 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 Clinical Team Manager and /or Principal Psychology Manager for the purpose of service monitoring and evaluation
  • Conduct, encourage and support service related 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 view point in relation to nationally accepted good practice and to ensure a high level of ethical standards and professional conduct
  • Lead and contribute to developments and innovative practice

Education & Training

The Senior Grade Psychologist will:

• Engage in specialised training appropriate to the post

• Receive regular clinical professional supervision

• Provide post-graduate teaching and training to professional postgraduates including Doctoral Psychology trainees

• Provide support to the work of non-psychologists in delivery of psychological interventions as appropriate

• Provide psychological training, advice and consultation to staff from Tusla and other agencies in areas relevant to direct clinical work and to psychology service provision

• Provide professional and clinical supervision of trainee psychologists

• Provide advice, consultation and training to staff working with the client group across a range of agencies and settings where appropriate

• Attend mandatory training programmes

• Be informed of advances in professional knowledge and practice

• Be informed of and distribute developments in national policies, strategies and legislation and provide feedback on impact on practice

• Take responsibility for continuous professional development and ensure compliance with statutory registration requirements

• In collaboration with the Clinical Team Manager and Principal Psychology Manager attend training courses as informed by service requirements and career & personal development planning

• Be responsible for the induction of new staff as appropriate • Engage in planning and performance reviews, as required by the Psychology Manager and/or Clinical Team Manager.



The Senior Grade Psychologist will:

  • Provide line management supervision to assigned staff as appropriate
  • Manage and co-ordinate service delivery in their area of responsibility
  • Assign duties and responsibilities as appropriate to ensure effective service delivery
  • Ensure the maintenance of a high standard of appropriate service user records and statistics in accordance with Tusla requirements and local guidelines, Freedom of Information Acts, Data Protection Acts, GDPR and other relevant legislation
  • Act as a person mandated under Schedule 2 of the Children First Act 2015.
  • Provide service reports / data as required by the Clinical Team Manager or the Principal Psychology Manager
  • 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 in consultation with team members, Clinical Team Manager and the Principal Psychology Manager.
  • Collaborate with the Principal Psychology Manager and Clinical Team Manager in developing the role of the Senior Grade Psychologist and the service e.g. through planning, audit, production of standards, continuing education, quality improvement initiatives and research.
  • Be responsible for the co-ordination and delivery of service in designated area(s).
  • Ensure good working practice and adherence to standards of best practice.
  • Promote quality by reviewing and evaluating the Psychology service, identifying changing needs and opportunities to improve services.
  • Represent the department / profession / team at meetings and conferences as appropriate.
  • Deputise for the Principal Psychology Manager and Clinical Team Manager as required.
  • Participate in the control and ordering of clinical equipment.
  • Engage in technological developments as they apply to the service user and service administration.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of information sharing protocols, audit systems, referral pathways and integrated care arrangements
  • Contribute to policy development, performance monitoring, business / service planning and budgetary control in conjunction with Clinical Team Manager, Psychology Manager and relevant others
  • Keep abreast of developments in national policies and strategies and international best practice.
  • Maintain an awareness of HR policies and procedures / engage in recruitment processes and other HR functions as required
  • Assist in ensuring that the psychological service makes the most efficient and effective use of developments in IT
  • Maintain professional standards with regard to service user and data confidentiality
  • Keep up to date with organisational developments within Tusla
  • Have a strong working knowledge of current legislation, policies and procedures pertaining to working with children and their families.
  • Support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient clinical 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:

· A recognised University QQI Level 8 degree (or equivalent) obtained with first or second class honours in which psychology was taken as a major subject and honours obtained in that subject.


· A recognised postgraduate professional psychological qualification in Clinical, Counselling or Educational Psychology, as appropriate to the area of professional psychology in which the position is designated and accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland.


· Qualification(s) from another jurisdiction confirmed by the Department of Health to be equivalent to the above.


· Have at least five years satisfactory post graduate clinical experience, inclusive of any time spent in pursuing a course leading to the postgraduate qualification and including at least two years full-time satisfactory experience as a staff grade psychologist (or at a more senior grade with a psychologist title) in the area of professional psychology in which the position is designated.

And ·

Possess the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability and management 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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