Project Leader - Early Years and Family Support Service, Loughlinstown

Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

General Information

Name of the Project: Barnardos Early Years and Family Support Service

Address/Location: Loughlinstown Drive, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

What does our Project do?

The project seeks provide a trauma informed response to the needs of children and their parents referred to our service .We assess the individual needs of each child providing a planned response to support them to increase their resilience, enhance their emotional wellbeing and maximise their potential, whilst also working with their families/carers helping them to better understand and meet their children’s needs.

We does this by offering a bundle of integrated evidence based interventions across all stages of child development which includes prevention, early intervention and targeted services, and the majority of families attending receive more than one service, based on the assessment of their needs at referral.  Services offered can include the following

Early Years (2-3 years) The overall outcome for the Early Years Programme is that the children attending will have increased capacity to learn and develop, and improved emotional well-being.

Tús Maith (3-5 years) is an evidence-based early year’s targeted service which seeks to provide an enriching environment to support children’s learning and development and increase their readiness for school. Tús Maith integrates two internationally-proven programmes, High Scope and PATHS/REDI, in order to maximize the developmental outcomes for children.

Parent & Toddler is a universal service for parents and children from birth–5 years that is child-centered. It focuses on providing developmentally-appropriate play experiences for children, fostering positive parent-child interactions and providing parents with information on how to support their children’s development.

Parents Group This is an informal support network available weekly for all parents with children attending services. Parents meet in a relaxed and supported environment for social interaction. A nutritious breakfast is provided. It is followed by a weekly group programme focussing on issues of interest to the parents combining health, wellbeing and parenting.

Partnership with Parents (PwP) is an intensive home-based service for individual parents. This evidence-informed service supports parents in key areas of parent-child communication; parental understanding of their child’s behaviour, social and physical development; introduction of consistent routines; and increasing parental involvement in their child’s education.

Birth to 2 Years Partnership with Parents is an individual home-based parenting service designed to strengthen the parent-child attachment. The service supports parents to gain the essential parenting knowledge and skills to be able to support their baby’s healthy development.

Crisis Management provides parents experiencing a crisis with support, to minimise the impact on the family and develop problem solving skills, and afterwards providing the opportunity to reflect and learn in order to strengthen coping skills.

Practical Support given to parents to support them to develop home management skills in particular areas of need (e.g. household repairs or maintenance, supporting routines; planning and preparing meals; budgeting).

This Is Me (6 - 12 years) Barnardos one-to-one programme for children who have experienced trauma and are experiencing difficulties coping with everyday life. The overall aim of This Is Me is to promote resilience, wellbeing and capacity to grow and develop in the context of living with adverse events.

Family Work is with the whole family to improve how family members communicate with and relate to each other. This can be through family meetings, or supporting parents to spend quality time with their children and modelling positive interactions and problem-solving strategies.

The Just Right State Program (A Sensory Attachment Intervention) Sensory Attachment Intervention is an integrative approach to responding to children and adults who have suffered trauma. This approach not only takes into consideration Children’s attachment and sensory needs but also Parents/Carers and promotes co-regulation and self- regulation. Parents and children will be introduced to ways of coping with big feelings and be able to practice what works for individually for parents and their children when situations arise. The aim of the programme is to support a regulating environment in the family home where the parent can find their ‘calm’ in their heart, body and mind and are in the best position  to be attuned to and support their child to find theirs.

Information, Advice and Advocacy supporting parents to access appropriate services, supports and entitlements relevant to their family’s needs e.g.  Homelessness

Who do we work with?

Specific attention is given to those families where child protection or welfare concerns exist, working with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families specifically focussing on parenting skills and child/parent relationships in order to reduce subsequent difficulties for children.many of the families that our service comes into contact with present with multiple challenges including, but not limited to,  low income;  lack of access to education; mental health difficulties; domestic violence; housing difficulties; anti-social behavior and engagement with the criminal justice system . These multiple adversities can sometimes make it difficult for families to function and meet their children’s needs.  

The level of risk involved in some of the families requires a tight Active Case Management process and submission of Child Protection and Welfare Report Form to the Child and Family Agency. Effective interagency working is key to us being able to respond to the children and families referred to our service in Loughlinstown.

Referrals are accepted from Tusla, the HSE, schools, and other agencies and individuals as appropriate, including other Barnardos services and parents/carers themselves. All referrals will be responded to and following Barnardos assessment, services will be offered in line with presenting needs, criteria and service capacity.

The Team

The Project Leader currently manages a team of 3 Child and Family Development Workers and 2 Programme Assistants, all of whom work in the preschool service delivering with 21 children aged from 2 to 5 years .The project also has one full time Project Worker, who works directly with parents and children (6 years plus) The team also includes a part time administrator, cook and cleaner.

The service works intensively with at least 40 families at any one time. The suitable candidate must have an understanding of how trauma can impact parenting, children and overall family functioning and child development. 

Working for Barnardos can offer you the following:

An opportunity to help improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families by working in a trauma informed way

Access to regular trauma informed support and supervision

Ongoing support and access to training and professional development opportunities

An opportunity to be part of a supportive team

Regular Breath, Body and mind sessions to support staff well-being

Job Description


Project Leader 


Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

Responsible to: Assistant Director of Children’s Services for Dublin South and South West region. 
Works with: National & Regional Offices, other Managers in Region, children and parents, staff and other agencies.  


Job Purpose

To ensure the development, management, delivery and review of Barnardos services within your area of responsibility, within the strategic direction of Barnardos and to participate in the overall development of the region and organisation.

Core Job Requirements

  • Responsible for the delivery, management, development and review of Barnardos work with children and families within your area of responsibility.
  • To propose a budget for the service, participate in budget planning and manage an approved budget(s) for your area of responsibility in line with Barnardos financial procedures.
  • To pursue funding opportunities to support the work and to prepare and submit funding proposals in consultation with the Assistant Director.
  • To undertake the duties of Designated Person for the project under the Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
  • To ensure that the protection and welfare of children is a primary concern of all staff and that, when child protection issues arise, Barnardos policies and procedures are fully adhered to.
  • To prepare reports on the work as required and to maintain effective working relationships with funders as appropriate.
  • To ensure all case, financial and administrative records and files are maintained to a high standard and case records are accessible to service users, seeking permission from third parties as appropriate.
  • To ensure an up to date health and safety statement is accessible and available and is adhered to and any health and safety concerns are dealt with effectively and efficiently.
  • To ensure the information for the database is gathered and inputed within the required time scale.
  • To develop and facilitate a culture of service users consultation and involvement in all aspects of the work.
Staff and Supervision
  • To ensure all staff, students and volunteers receive regular and professional supervision and appraisals.
  • To ensure training needs are identified and addressed to ensure learning is promoted within your area of responsibility.
  • To manage the recruitment process for staff to the service.
Delivery of Services
  • To ensure effective referral, assessment, planning and review processes are in place to meet the needs of children and families participating in the service.
  • To ensure quality and best standards are adhered to in all aspects of the work.
  • To maintain appropriate relationships with external agencies in order to ensure that the needs of children and families are met in an integrated and co-ordinated manner.
  • To ensure that legislation and statutory guidelines, organisational policy and the corporate plan are fully implemented within your area of responsibility.
  • To ensure programmes are planned, delivered and evaluated in response to the needs of children and families attending the service.
  • Identify the needs of children and families attending the service that are not being met and to advocate at an individual, service and organisational level for them to be met.
  • To ensure that regular contact is maintained with referrers and other relevant agencies to ensure an integrated response to the needs of children and families.
  • To ensure the service participates in case conferences and other meetings in relation to the welfare of children and families.
  • To undertake direct practice as appropriate.
Development of the Service
  • To develop appropriate relationships with external agencies in order to ensure that the needs of children and families are met in an integrated and co-ordinated manner.
  • To pro-actively pursue the development of services to meet the needs of children and families within the catchments area of your responsibility through appropriate participation in community and interagency structures.
  • Identify recruitment needs for the service, review and propose job descriptions and person specifications.
  • To participate in the overall development of good practice models within the organisation.
Organisational Role
  • To participate in the development of organisational policy and plans to ensure they are implemented within the work of the project.
  • To ensure that the service operates in a cohesive way within the region and organisation and to participate in service development for a within the organisation.
  • To participate at regional management level and other appropriate groups to contribute to the development of strategies and policies within the organisation.
  • To represent Barnardos as appropriate at local / regional or national level, which may involve media and advocacy work.
  • To undertake specific regional / organisational tasks in agreement with the line manager.

Requirements Specific to this Post

  • To oversee the implementation of High Scope and Tus Maith Early years curriculum
  • To ensure that the service  meets all regulatory requirements specific to the early years sector
  • To ensure that the service continues to maintain its current level of quality as awarded under SIOLTA and to engage in quality assurance tools as developed and implemented by the DCEDIY or any other relevant structure .
  • To represent the project and or the organisation in local relevant networks, committees and subgroups
  • To participate in the overall development of Barnardos Early Years services by attending both regional and national management groups as relevant

Requirements of all Barnardos staff

  • Commitment to the purpose of Barnardos and to work within the values, policies and procedures of the organisation and in the context of current legislation and regulations.
  • To participate in regular supervision with your line manager.
  • To actively participate in team and staff meetings and service reviews/ evaluations and to contribute to the development of policy and practice with your area of work and within Barnardos as a whole.
  • To report any area of concern to your line manager in a timely manner.
  • To show reasonable flexibility in relation to hours of attendance to meet the needs of the work. Work during unsocial hours may be required.
  • Have a flexible approach to the work in response to organisational change, development and review of best practice.
  • Participate in and engage with a performance management programme.
  • Identify training needs with your line manager and participate in training opportunities appropriate to the role.
  • To be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of your line manager or local Health and Safety Officer.
  • To be vigilant to any concerns regarding the protection and welfare of children and to bring them to the attention of the Barnardos Designated Person in a timely manner, in keeping with the Barnardos Child Protection policies.
  • To participate in the efficient flow of information within the organisation by sharing and seeking information as appropriate.
  • To undertake other duties as may be requested by the line manager from time to time.
  • To undertake your work in a manner that is friendly, flexible and informal.


    Note: this Job Description will be reviewed and updated in line with the needs of the work

Person Specification

Personal attributes

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to manage in a dynamic and busy environment
  • Teamwork required and the ability to work in collaboration with others
  • Ability to lead and manage the staff team
  • Ability to prioritise competing demand.
  • Ability to work autonomously but see advice as appropriate.
  • Ability to manage complexity and diversity.
  • Ability to develop, manage and maintain complex internal and external relationships with a range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to assess needs and identify appropriate service responses.
  • Ability to work to standards and work within policy framework and legislation.
  • Ability to demonstrate high level dynamic skills of responsiveness, flexibility, creativity and problem solving.
  • Ability to be analytical and critical.
  • Flexibility and adaptability is essential for this post.


A minimum of five years’ post qualification experience and demonstrate competencies in terms of management ability essential. Prior management experience highly desirable. Knowledge of the developmental needs of young children essential and experience of early years setting highly desirable .Knowledge of child welfare or protection essential.


Relevant professional 3rd level qualification essential, for example:  Social Work, Social Care, Early Child Care and Education, Youth and Community Work, Psychology or equivalent.  Management training highly desirable.

Full driving licence and access to the use of a suitably insured car essential.

The postholder is initially assigned to work in our Loughlinstown Family Support centre, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin but may be required in the future to work in other locations in the Dublin area in line with organisational needs.

Application Procedure

Applicants must complete this application form and submit it through our website before the closing date.

Applicants may also attach a CV or other supplementary information in respect of our application.

Attaching a CV alone will result in the applicant not being considered for shortlisting. 

Shortlisting will apply

Candidates who are moved to the 2nd stage of our Recruitment process are required to complete a medical questionnaire and the E-Vetting process. References will be taken up at this stage.