Suzanne Connolly, CEO, Barnardos
Suzanne was formerly the Director of Children’s Services for Barnardos, a role which she has held for the past 17 years. Suzanne led the transformation of Barnardos’ children’s services to become needs led and outcome focused with a clear organisational commitment to evaluation of our work.
Suzanne is a qualified Social Worker. She has an immense amount of experience of working with children who have experienced singular or multiple traumas and how this often intersects with chronic disadvantage. She has a particular expertise on child protection services and family support services for diverse communities.
Barnardos mission is to help transform children’s lives through our services, support parents; and challenge society where it fails our children. Barnardos provides practical and emotional supports to children and parents in its 40 centres, in families’ own homes, through the school environment and within their communities.
Suzanne’s vision is that Barnardos be a trauma-informed organisation working to deliver crucial services for children in Ireland. This will involve a whole organisation approach rooted in the understanding and awareness of how exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can cause toxic stress for a child. Toxic stress shapes the architecture of a child’s brain and influences their emotional, social, cognitive and physical development.