Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Research and Information Mentors

The Research and Information Mentor Strategy is part of the overall approach by the National Research Office for the Agency to build its research capacity, embed a research culture and create the conditions where good research evidence supports practice and new research supports Tusla in building its own knowledge base.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
St Brigid's Hospital,
Kells Rd, Ardee,
Co Louth
041 6860785 087 2240214 marian.durand@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Reflective practice and need to develop this within social work and social care fields.
  • Scope and identify further research areas within reflective practice. Together with a Snr Social Work Practitioner I presented at the 2017 Biennial Child Protection and Welfare Conference UCC on thematic analysis within a social work reflective practice group that I facilitate.
  • Impact of child protection work on social workers.
  • How to alleviate stress and the impact of trauma and vicarious trauma for child protection social workers.
  • To support, affirm and empower staff and enhance retention, particularly in social work.
  • Mentoring and supporting staff to conduct research relevant to their caseloads/teams.
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

Through exploratory questions I hope to assist staff to explore and identify areas of research. I hope to provide practical guidance on what  could be researched in the realm of  themes and specific issues within actual cases that staff, particularly social work staff,  are working on

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Glenbevan House,
Upper Mayorstone,
Limerick
061 464366 N/A caroline.roe@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Profiling of children in care
  • Development & evaluation of programmes to improve the outcomes of children in care
  • Development of clinical audit tools for social work
  • Development of standardised operating procedures for social work practices
  • Development of standardised reporting templates, data management systems and practice instruments
  • Inter-agency research
  • Consultation on research and audit design with staff group
  • Educational needs & outcomes of children in care
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

With the recent inception of Tusla, a considerable opportunity exists to develop and build a research culture that will hopefully, in time, become inherent and valued within the Agency, not only amongst the management but also amongst frontline staff.

For over 10 years, I have worked to promote and facilitate research, continuous quality improvement and evidence based decision making across Alternative Care, Child Protection & Welfare and Family & Community Support Services in the Mid-West Area. The Research & Information Mentor programme will provide a unique and important structure and focus to develop and build further the research culture within the organisation and for real improvements in service delivery and outcomes for children in care to be realised. In addition, the programme will support the further development of the existing research capacity of multi-disciplinary staff working in the Mid-West Area, facilitate research utilisation and promote a shift towards a more evidence based and informed practice.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
50 Ballygall Parade,
Fingals,
Dublin 11.
01 8140512 087 9120391 caitriona.kearns1@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Children’s rights
  • Children’s rights and the constitution
  • Resilience in young people
  • Aftercare
  • Young people in care and education
  • Young people in care and self harm
  • Family support/early intervention
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

During this time I want to improve my own ability to source relevant and well researched information and disseminate data in an efficient manner and assist and empower others to learn this skill.  I also want to learn more up to date trusted online research sites. 

I also hope to be make use of this position to empower residential care staff to source relevant research and information and adapt this to their current skills to care for the young people in our services.  I hope to empower staff to feel confident at sourcing information to provide evidence based care for the young people we care for.  I am conscious that the majority of our teams have been out of college for a considerable length of time and I hope that going forward this role will help in empowering our staff to re-engage with these skills.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Top Floor, PCU,
St Loman's Campus,
Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
044 9395510 086 8157030 charney.weitzman@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Child protection and welfare issues,
  • policy development,
  • policy implementation,
  • organisational governance,
  • training development and evaluation,
  • evidence informed practice,
  • human resource management,
  • evidence informed decision making.
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

I am a strong believer in the importance of evidence informed practice. In my 17 years in post working with many internal and external departments and agencies I have seen the importance of linking decision making to an understanding of the wider context and an awareness of what has come before. I enjoy teasing out and understanding problems and helping to develop solutions. I have been involved in research, education and training and find satisfaction in being able to share learning with others.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
2nd Floor, Nexus Building,
Blanchardstown Corporate Park,
Ballycoolin, Dublin 15.
01 8976864 087 9522024 maria.place@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  

Systems Research/Development

Organisational Development, Service Capacity to Meet the Needs of Service Users, Change, Needs Analysis, Profiling, Impact of Service Change/Development/Management Systems on Service Users, Data Systems, Structural Analysis, Benefits of Multi-Stakeholder Involvement for the Organisation and the Service User, Agency Narrative/Dialogue Internal and External, Communicating Intent, Envisioning, Planning, Evaluating etc.

Social Research Interest

The Lifeworld of the Service User, particularly how we communicate with each other; how the service user derives meaning from this engagement; and the kind of impact this might have on decisions and behaviour in trying to live in this world.

 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

I am a strong believer in the importance of evidence informed practice. In my 17 years in post working with many internal and external departments and agencies I have seen the importance of linking decision making to an understanding of the wider context and an awareness of what has come before. I enjoy teasing out and understanding problems and helping to develop solutions. I have been involved in research, education and training and find satisfaction in being able to share learning with others.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Tusla Offices, Cemetery Cross,
Bohermore,
Galway
  086 0268120 marie.gibbons@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  

Broad interest in social research generally. More specific research interests include: Qualitative and Participatory research methodologies; Practitioner Research; Interagency working practices; Social Care, Child Protection and Family Support; Early Years; Child and parental participation in decision making and policy development.

 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

My background is in Social Care and I worked as a Social Care Leader in a Social Work team in Galway until 2015. Currently I am working as a Researcher for Tusla, attached to Galway and Roscommon CYPSCs and have completed several evaluation reports and research studies in my current role. I have a Masters in Family Support Studies from NUIGalway and am also a PhD student in NUIG.

I hope that my experience as a practitioner and also as a researcher will be useful in this role.

I have a range of research skills and I hope I will be an accessible and helpful resource to my Tusla colleagues in Galway and Roscommon. Specifically I would like to be a source of support and advice to Tusla staff who are hoping to develop, plan and conduct their own research activities. 

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Child Wellbeing Centre, Bree,
Castlebalyney,
Co Monaghan.
042 9795623 087 6447243 noelle.keaney@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Attachment
  • Trauma
  • Psychology
  • Child behaviour
  • Parenting
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

To  encourage,  support and empower and research throughout the Cavan/Monaghan area

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
St Vincent's Health Centre
Station Road, Tipperary Town
Co Tipperary.
  087 2120465 stuart.moloney@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Children Missing Education
  • Alternative Educational possibilities for students
  • Educational Provision and Residential Care
  • Alternatives to Home Tuition

On a personal level, I have a keen interest in research on training in individual and team sports, specifically on the mental components relating to each. 

 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

Research is an area I believe Tusla is fully committed to.  From a practice perspective, there is a deficit in current research undertaken and how that is made relevant and applicable for practitioners within Tusla.  As Tusla starts to embrace a culture of research and seeks to embed this culture into the organisation, I feel it is an exciting time to be at the forefront of research in the agency.  Research can influence practice, and acting as a research mentor is an opportunity to be at the cutting edge of practice development.   

It is my aim as a research mentor to assist and inspire individuals and groups within the organisation to undertake research.  Research activity should be at the forefront of the organisation in order to develop more coherent and applicable recommendations that can be ‘brought to life’ by daily practitioners within the organisation.  It is my core aim to support individuals in this area, and also to embed a culture of research in the organisation. 

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Ground Floor, Brunel Building,
Heuston South Quarter,
Dublin 1
01 7718817 086 0404205 michelle.reade1@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  
  • Risk factors in offending behaviour
  • Lone parents and early school leaving
  • Gender roles in education                                                                       -
  • Transition points in education
  • Special needs in education
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

In my role as mentor it is my overall goal to support and empower colleagues  to  be  curious  and explore areas of  research interest.

I hope to  have a comprehensive understanding of a range of research methodologies in order to enable colleagues to develop their own research questions. I also hope be more equipped in order to assist colleagues with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage in critical thinking and analysis.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
2nd Floor, Nexus Building,
Blanchardstown Corporate Park,
Ballycoolin, Dublin 15.
01 8976841 086 7810683 jan.davis@tusla.ie
Reasearch Interests  

I am interested in all aspects of research especially as it relates to working with children and their families. I am really interested in the rights and hearing the voice of the child in all aspects of our work. I am really delighted that more so than ever this is actually happening in 2018 especially with the “ Signs of Safety “ approach to working with the children and the families.

For years, I have held a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of the children and their families. Having worked in child protection field for many years, I feel it is so important that practice and how we function as practitioners must reflect best practice. Having recently gained my LLB (Irish) Law), I am really interested in how the courts are embracing the rights of children and their families.

Another part of me is very interested in supporting staff in their roles. I feel it is so important. Education and research is the way forward. Having trained in the area of management/ leadership/coaching I really enjoy supporting staff in their roles. It will be great to be able to compile various documents for example pertaining to “team working”, as I have done this month.   

 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

The key aspect of my role as a Research & Information Mentor is to support staff in their roles and to promote the importance of the “Tusla: Child and Family Agency: Research Strategy (2014). I have already began the journey and I can see the benefit of having the time to really focus and use my research skills which I feel have not really been used fully. I know that I can and do promote training but I now need to promote the importance of research.

Over the years, I had really not considered how much work I was putting into research and the development of courses. It will be good to be able to document this, now. I actually put a lot of work into getting the best research and even contacting the person who created the work.  I will always try to help staff to the best of my ability. It is great to have the backing of Marian, Angela, Bernard and indeed Danny who saw I love research and finding new information.

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