Interim Area Manager Practice Assurance and Performance Systems

The initial vacancy is negotiable but regular attendance in Brunel Building, Heuston South Quarter, Dublin 8 will be required.
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Temporary/Contract/Project
Closing Date: 27/03/2023 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 09/03/2023


Job Summary

Details of the 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 Gender Based Violence (DSGBV)
  • Children’s Service Regulation
  • Counselling and Therapeutic Supports


About Tusla’s Quality and Regulation Directorate

Tusla’s Quality and Regulation Directorate is concerned with promoting continuous improvement and effective risk management in services for children and families. It delivers its functions though the following teams:


Practice Assurance and Performance Systems

Performance Reporting and Information

The Performance Reporting and Information team collates analyses and reports on quality and risk data relevant to the child and services. It identifies trends and performance data to support accountability and transparency, inform policy development and legislative reform, to demonstrate where standards and targets are being met, and identify risk and support decision-making at all levels of the organisation.


Quality Assurance and Monitoring

The team monitors and reports on service delivery against standards, regulations, and legislative requirements, and seeks to ensure that service improvement activity takes place in response to reviews. The post holder will have accountability and responsibility for the effective planning, design, implementation, and delivery of Tusla regulatory inspections and assessments. Tusla is the statutory regulator of the early year’s sector, child safeguarding statement compliance and alternative care and education settings.


Service Experience, Governance and Risk Systems

Service Experience and Feedback

Part 9 of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 governs complaints procedures and reviews, complainants’ rights, referral to the Ombudsman, and annual report requirements. “Tell Us” is Tusla’s policy governing feedback and complaints. The team is responsible for managing Tell Us, including training other Tusla staff nationwide, collecting metrics, channelling complaints and feedback, and dealing with individual complaints. The team is also involved in encouraging participation of children and listening to the voice of the child in Tusla and Tusla-funded services.


Risk and Incident Management

The team is responsible for the corporate risk register, and all aspects of risk and incident management systems within the Agency. The team aims to ensure Tusla is aware of the nature of its risks, their status and how they are being managed.


Children’s Services Regulation

Early Years’ Inspectorate

The Early Years’ Inspectorate is the independent statutory regulator of Early Years’ Services and is responsible for registering and inspecting pre-schools, playgroups, crèches, day care, school age care and similar services. Its role is to promote the quality, safety and appropriate care of children by robust regulation of the sector.


Alternative Education Assessment

Children who are educated at home or who attend a non-recognised school (i.e. a school that is not funded by the Department of Educational and Skills) must be registered with Tusla by their parents/guardians. The registration process requires that an assessment or assessments be carried out to determine whether the child is receiving a certain minimum education and therefore can be placed on the statutory register of children educated outside of a recognised school.  Children who are educated in an independent school setting can also be placed on the register where it is determined that the school is providing a minimum education to the pupils who are enrolled there.


Alternative Care Regulation

The team monitors and reports on alternative care settings for children who cannot live with their families The service is responsible currently for the registration and inspection of non-statutory residential care settings for young people, as well as the monitoring and audit of non-statutory foster care providers.


Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit (CSSCU)

The CSSCU has a national centralised function for the receipt and processing of referrals and notifications of failure to furnish Tusla with a copy of a relevant agency’s safeguarding statement made under Article 12(1) of the Children First Act 2015. The office is also responsible for appropriately supporting relevant agencies to achieve compliance under section 12 (1) – (5) of the legislation.


The Regulatory Practice & Development Team

The Regulatory Practice Development Team is responsible for a range of functions to provide support to Children’s Services Regulation. There are five distinct functions which are; management and analysis of data and business process design and re-design, implementation and maintenance of the Quality Management system across Children’s Services Regulation, co-ordination and delivery of Learning and Development, provision of expert advice and guidance on matters relating to children attending early years services and management of Children’s Services Regulation communications which includes the website and the publication of inspection reports.


Tusla National Research Office

Under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, Tusla is required to commission or undertake research into matters related to its functions. Tusla’s National Research Office has been established to meet the requirement and seeks to generate new knowledge for the purposes of informing practice development, service improvement and decision making. In addition, the purpose of the National Research Office is to achieve the most effective and efficient arrangements for the development of a research function and the promotion of a research culture across the organisation in support of corporate strategy. The National Research Office has responsibility for managing and coordinating all research activity across Tusla, contributing to the development of Tusla services (including commissioned services) so that they are informed by robust evidence, information, data and policy.


Tusla Health and Safety Department

The Health and Safety Department is required to provide expert advice, guidance and assistance to management and staff on all matters relating to health and safety within the region assigned, ensuring that Tusla meets its statutory obligations and achieves high standards of health and safety.


Further information is available on www.tusla.ie


Purpose of the role


The Head of Practice Assurance and Performance Systems will:

  • Plan strategically for the effective operation of the function.
  • Develop reform and implement national policy, procedures, and guidance relevant to the functional area.
  • Lead an intelligence driven and proactive quality assurance function with a focus on quality improvement and risk reduction.
  • Develop and implement a practice audit framework including an annual audit plan for the Agency.
  • Develop and implement systems to support learning arising from information collected in the function.
  • Ensure the provision of high quality and timely reports for the National Director, Senior Management Team, Tusla Board and sub committees on monthly, quarterly basis and as when required.
  • Ensure targets in relation to audits and quality reviews are met.
  • Ensure safe and effective systems are in place in the functional area and between other functions in the Directorate to identify potential risks throughout the Agency.
  • Continue and drive the effective and complete implementation of the Agency’s Quality Improvement Framework in all services and functions in Tusla.
  • Expand the Quality framework to encompass a full Quality Management System.
  • Lead and manage the development of high-quality improvement tools, methodologies, resources, education programmes and guidance to support Directorate and wider Agency staff in making improvements to service delivery and practices using national and international evidence-based practice and best practice in stakeholder engagement and consultation.
  • Develop and implement a service outcomes framework for the Agency.  Ensure the development and implementation of the Agency’s outcomes framework.
  • Ensure performance information informs the audit programme and the risk framework.
  • Support all services in the analysis and utilisation of performance information to drive service improvement and planning.
  • Develop an agency wide Business Analytics capability enabling effective use and insights of all data that can inform business decisions.

Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities



  • Establish and maintain a function committed to delivering services in accordance with Financial and Legal standards and regulations, and which operates with due regard for organisation policies and procedures.
  • Be ever vigilant in the protection of high standards in all aspects of practice and services delivered to children and families, the working environment and the wider organisation.
  • Establish staffing and decision-making structures and practices in line with the practice of good governance, for example, clarity regarding decision-making protocols / authorities.
  • Ensure staff are supported to understand the importance of governance. Assist staff to develop attitudes and practices supportive of good governance so that it becomes hallmark of the function e.g. accurate and comprehensive record keeping.
  • Adopt an organisation-wide approach to highlighting and challenging examples of poor governance, where the principles of Openness, Integrity and Accountability are compromised.
  • Be focussed in always seeking opportunities to continuously improve the services provided to children and families.


Staff Management & Leadership

  • Manage the designated staff resources, ensuring that staff levels and skill mix are appropriate and within agreed resources allocation.
  • Participate in the recruitment, selection and appointment of staff in conjunction with the appropriate personnel and procedures.
  • Be responsible for identifying training and development needs of staff and ensure the implementation of appropriate training in conjunction with the national training office.
  • Lead staff by example, holding oneself accountable to the highest standards of excellence in service delivery, expected by Tusla’s clients.
  • Support staff to deliver to the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of their work, providing support to staff when required and challenging underperformance in a manner that is fair to all.
  • Establish and maintain a working environment and ethos in accordance with Tusla’s Values & Behaviours (Tusla Corporate Plan 2018-2020). Recognise the demonstration of these Values & Behaviours and challenge those acting contrary to the Agency’s Values and Behaviours.
  • Lead by example in the development and maintenance of an organisation culture characterised by creativity, innovation, collaboration and candour.
  • Provide leadership in promoting values and standards of professional practice, including relevant National Standards, and provide a clear statement of expectation of social workers.


Culture & Vision

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of relevant professional values and professional ethics.
  • Promote and model the Agency’s values to staff.
  • Advocate for the most vulnerable in the community.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deal with complex ethical and professional issues.
  • Anticipate and prepare for the future, dealing with complex issues, sometimes in the absence of complete data.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of the national context of Tusla services.
  • Collaborate effectively with partners towards a shared vision, focussed on the needs of children and families.
  • Ensure that a culture is created that allows staff and people who use services to take risks appropriately.
  • Demonstrate confidence and self-belief in respect of the vision.


Change Management

  • Actively support the implementation of Change Programmes ensuring all actions required to introduce, embed, and then and maintain, the change are taken by relevant staff.
  • Retain a focus on people who use services and their carers during the change process.


Risk Management

  • Demonstrate a clear knowledge of the legislative framework within which risk is managed.
  • Support the development of a culture which manages risk wisely and proportionately, involving the Agency’s partners, and children, families and communities as appropriate. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to deal with complex ethical issues and make informed judgements.
  • Support the development and maintenance of a risk register.



  • Clearly articulate and communicate the Agency’s vision in a range of contexts.
  • Ensure that awareness of the Agency’s vision is promoted both within the relevant function and with partner organisations.
  • Demonstrate leadership in building support for the vision.
  • Personally maintain, and require designated staff to act in accordance with, the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency, and accuracy in all communications, internally and externally.


Resource Management

  • Be responsible for the use of resources, including staff, to achieve the best outcomes for children and families, in line with the Agency’s Corporate and Business plans.
  • Demonstrate the effective use of influencing skills in respect of resources not directly controlled.
  • Support all relevant internal processes related to the provision of resources within the Area e.g., Recruitment.



  • Demonstrate the ability to uphold personal and professional ethics and values.
  • Demonstrate the upholding of social work values, the respecting and promotion of equality and diversity.
  • Demonstrate an appropriate use of authority.
  • Demonstrate the courage and ability to take appropriate action if ethics and values are compromised.


Continuing Professional Development

  • Pursue / access CPD opportunities relevant to the role and ongoing development.
  • Support staff to pursue / access relevant CPD opportunities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply learning into practice.


Developing networks / partnerships

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify opportunities for collaboration and co-operation across organisational and functional boundaries.
  • Demonstrate a clear sense of role within partnership arrangements.
  • Promote self-determination and autonomy for people who use services, and for their carers.


Building Capacity

  • Take responsibility for the provision of encouragement and opportunity for people who use services, carers, and communities to engage in partnerships.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create a culture of collaboration and co-operation.


Financial Management

  • Hold budgetary responsibility and be accountable for ensuring the function operates within the agreed budgetary level in the Directorate.
  • Ensure that expenditure is controlled within agreed limits and in compliance with approved procedures within the Child and Family Agency.
  • Ensure that appropriate financial information is provided to the relevant management team.
  • Maintain such financial records as required by the Child and Family Agency.
  • Implement Service Level Agreements where required within the agreed national framework.
  • Assume management responsibility for the distribution, utilisation, monitoring and control of resources so as to deliver efficient and cost-effective Child and Family Agency services.


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. 


Please refer to the Candidate Information pack attached to this campaign for full and further detail.

Skills Required

Applicants must by the closing date of application have the following:

  • 3rd level qualification in Quality Management or relevant professional qualification.
  • Have a minimum of 3 years’ experience at senior management level.
  • Have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in managing a care service practice audit function.
  • Have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in relation to service performance systems.



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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