Project Workers x 3 Dublin South Central

Barnardos Initial Assessment & Family Support Service, Dublin South Central

General Information

Name of the Project: Initial Assessment & Family Support Service, Dublin South Central

Address/Location:     Barnardos, Christchurch Square, Dublin 8

Contact details:          01-4530355

Barnardos Initial Assessment and Family Support Service, Dublin South Central is a new service that has been established in partnership with Tusla. The staffing team will be located in Barnardos Christchurch Square offices, working with families all over the Dublin South Central Tusla area. The team will comprise of 3 full time project workers, 1 team administrator and 1 project leader.

The service will conduct Initial Child Protection Assessments on behalf of our funders Tusla, whilst also doing some family support work and interventions with families who have been through the Initial Assessment process.

Project Workers undertake Initial Family Assessments identified as low to medium in terms of risk level. Project workers do this in partnership with Tusla, using the Signs of Safety Approach. Signs of Safety is the national child centered approach adopted by Tusla for child protection and welfare practice. It is grounded in partnership and collaboration with children, families and their wider networks of support.

Following the assessment, the Project Worker, in consultation with their manager will make a recommendation to Tusla regarding risk and safety for the children and family. The worker will recommend whether the case should remain open to Tusla, whether the family would benefit from engaging with a support service or whether the case can be closed.

Project workers will also offer a variety of family support interventions where identified as required for a family following an Initial Assessment

These interventions can include;

  • Partnership with Parents, an intensive Barnardos home based one-to-one parenting support programme for parents with multiple and complex needs. The programme focuses on parenting skills and child/parent relationships in order make positive changes in the home.
  • Individual Work with Children (This is Me), which is a Barnardos evidence-based, tailored intervention working with children in conjunction with the important people in their lives. This work has a therapeutic focus and is based on the individual child's assessed needs. Its purpose is to build resilience and help children to understand and express their feelings and manage their own behaviour.
  • Practical Family Support for parents who are in need of this level of pragmatic, practical and on the ground support. It could include support with household management, budgeting, nutrition, organizing, coordinating appointments and commitments, etc.
  • Inclusion of principles of the evidenced based approach to Sensory Attachment Intervention and emotional regulation techniques in the work with vulnerable children and families.
  • Some group work programmes such as seasons for growth, circle of security or parenting when separated amongst others
  • Inter-agency and collaborative working, with Tusla, including participation in the delivery of Meitheal, schools and community organisations.

A full driving licence and the use of a suitably insured car are essential for this role.

Why work at Barnardos?

The benefits of working with Barnardos are designed to promote continual professional development and a work-life balance for the most rewarding working experience.

  • Barnardos offers a competitive salary – recognising the experience you bring to the role
  • Generous annual leave entitlements plus discretionary company days
  • Positive working environment with family friendly ethos and work - life balance policy
  • 37 hour working week
  • Employee pension scheme with employer contribution
  • Paid Company sick leave policy

Jobs and Careers at Barnardos

Please note: Applicants must complete our application form below and submit it through our website before the closing date.

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

Job Description

Post: Project Worker
Location: Barnardos Initial Assessment & Family Support Service, Dublin South Central
Responsible to: Project Leader
Works with: Children, parents, families, Barnardos staff, TUSLA social work staff and other TUSLA personnel, other statutory, voluntary and community partners


Job Purpose

As part of the national service, delivery framework the primary purpose of this post is to conduct Initial Assessments (IAs) on low –medium risk referrals received from Tusla social work department using the Signs of Safety approach to child protection and welfare concerns.

The post holder, as part of the family support team will also implement programmes that respond to the needs of children and families referred to the service following the IA, working in partnership with families and other organisations, community, voluntary bodies and statutory bodies as appropriate.

In IA work; to make an assess risk, determine the safety needs of the children and the protective capacity of the parents and wider family / social network, and in consultation with the Project Leader, make a recommendation to Tusla regarding the family.

In post IA, Family Support Work; to work collaboratively with families, parents, children and other agencies to enhance parents insight into and capacity to meet their children’s social, emotional, physical, developmental and educational needs whilst supporting the development of children’s emotional literacy, coping strategies, emotional regulation, development, relationships and overall wellbeing.

Core Job Requirements

  • To conduct initial assessments on behalf of Tusla and to provide intensive family support to vulnerable families in the Dublin South Central Area.
  • To work with children/young people/carers/families in a variety of ways, including IA’s, Family Support and group work, individual work and family work, centre based and outreach work.
  • To plan, implement and review programmes for children/young people/carers/families based on an assessment of their individual and group needs.
  • To be vigilant for signs of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and any concerns regarding the welfare of children. To record concerns promptly and accurately as a mandated person. To consult with the Designated Person and take appropriate action in accordance with Barnardos Child Protection policy.
  • To key work individual children/young people/carers/families in order to meet their needs and to advocate on their behalf.
  • To liaise effectively with families and other statutory, community and voluntary bodies and to attend and contribute to reviews and case conferences as required.
  • To work in partnership with other Barnardos services to best meet the needs of children and families by collaborating resources with planned interventions targeting groups/families of shared need.
  • To keep updated electronic records in relation to all aspects of work and prepare reports as required to a very high standard
  • To gather information statistics and prepare reports as required, including administration of databases as appropriate to the role, using the electronic record system designed for Barnardos.
  • To identify and document to the line manager any unmet needs of children/young people/carers/families within the service and to participate in the advocacy work of the agency.

Requirements specific to the post

  • To undertake initial family assessments using the signs of safety framework on child welfare and protection referrals made to TUSLA social work department.
  • Following Initial Assessment assessments, to provide short-term interventions to families where appropriate to the families’ needs.
  • To implement Signs of Safety framework in Initial Assessments and to attend regular Signs of Safety Group Supervision as required.
  • To participate in interagency group consultation meetings on complex family referrals and assessments.
  • To assess the safety and overall needs of the children and the families engaging with the project.
  • To assess parental protective capacity to protect their children from identified risk or harm.
  • To assess and support the development of parental insight into and capacity to meet their children’s social, emotional, physical and developmental needs.
  • To provide comprehensive assessment reports, complete TUSLA business processes and input all records electronically.
  • To provide recommendations to Tusla regarding whether the case should remain open to Tusla, referred to an agency or closed.
  • To attend and participate in Case Conferences, interagency meetings or Tusla meetings as required.
  • To demonstrate high quality standards of practice, report writing, analysis and decision making across all cases; IA’s and family support.
  • To participate in any briefing and training relevant to the role e.g. Signs of Safety, and Barnardos specific training regarding interventions for families.
  • To provide family support services (group and individual supports) to children in the age range of 0-18 years of age and their families.
  • To support the effective establishment and set up of this new service, working with colleagues, management and Tusla to assist in the effective and efficient implementation of this service.

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

  • Commitment to the delivery of quality services to children, young people, families and carers.
  • Ability to act on own initiative and consult where appropriate.
  • Ability to work under pressure, make decisions in consultation with the line manager when appropriate.
  • To be committed to adhering to best practice in the work and be innovative and open to change.
  • Flexibility and adaptability are essential for this post.
  • Ability to form objective relationships with children, young people, families/carers, colleagues and other agencies.


  • A minimum of 2 years’ post-qualification experience of working with vulnerable children and families.
  • Experience of working in partnership with families and carers.
  • Experience of assessing children’s and families’ needs.
  • Experience of planning, implementing and reviewing programmes with children and/or families.
  • Experience of interagency working.
  • Experience of preparing comprehensive needs led reports on children and families

Desirable Knowledge

  • Up to date with evidenced informed thinking with regard to interventions for children and families on an individual and group level.
  • Use of Signs of Safety as a tool for screening and assessing risk.
  • Experience of Meitheal processes.
  • Maintaining electronic records.
  • Experience of assessing and managing risk and safety needs for children and families.
  • Experience working with highly vulnerable families.


A recognised third level practice qualification (minimum Level 7 on the NFQ, Course content should include relevant student placements) in one of the following:

  • Social Care     
  • Social Work
  • Youth Work
  • Or related discipline (Nursing, Psychology, Early Years’ Education).

A full driving licence and access to the use of a suitably insured car is essential.

The post- holder is initially assigned to work in the Dublin South Central service but may be required in the future to work in other project(s) in the Dublin area in line with organisational needs and funding allocations.

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.