Barnardos Staff

Barnardos is the people who work in it. We have 450 employees working in 40 centres across Ireland delivering essential services to children and families. The majority of our employees are working directly with children and families. 

Staff Profile - Meet Olivia Speight

We spoke to our Project Coordinator for Barnardos Early Intervention Service in Mulhuddart, North Dublin, about her role in Barnardos.

Area of Work

Our Early Years’ Service which provides a daily programme to children aged 2 - 5 years and ongoing support to parents on child development and parenting.

Olivia’s Team

I coordinate a team of 12 people in the delivery of the Early Years’ Service in Mulhuddart.

Barnardos Family

I’ve been part of the Barnardos family for almost 18 years now. I began working in Barnardos as a Child and Family Development Worker.

Olivia’s Background

I was part of the first graduating class to earn a degree in Early Childhood Care and Education in Ireland in the early 2000s.

Seeing the progress of children and families throughout their time with us is phenomenal.

What are the Current Challenges facing children & families?

  • The housing crisis - Rent has skyrocketed in this area of Dublin over the last few years. An area that was once affordable for families, is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet within. 
  • Homelessness - 25% of the children enrolled in the Early Years’ Service are now homeless and living in temporary accommodation or overcrowded situations with extended family.
  • Extensive waiting lists - Recessionary cutbacks to public services remain. Waiting lists for assessments and treatment for speech and language, disability diagnosis and mental health services for children are now dangerously long. Barnardos staff see evidence of this every day.
    • There are now 20,000 children waiting for speech and language assessment in Ireland.
    • The average wait for children accessing mental health services is now 11 months.

Recent Achievement

The service recently received the highest accreditation for the Síolta Quality Framework for Early Childhood Educators. The Service achieved a level 4 in all 16 practice areas. This accreditation took 2 years of collaborative work from all of the Early Years’ Team and is a fantastic achievement.

Favourite part of your work

Greeting the children as they arrive in the morning off the Barnardos bus or with their parents is a big highlight for me. Also seeing the progress of children and families throughout their time with us is phenomenal.

Barnardos Values & Code of Conduct

1. We’re for children
hope (candle)
2. We always see hope
justice (hands in air)
3. We believe in children's rights
value (hands clapping)
4. We value and respect each other
transparent (magnifying glass)
5. We are efficient and transparent in our work
partnership (hands shaking)
6. We believe in effective partnership

These values are underpinned by a set of principles and expected behaviours for all who work in Barnardos.