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.

Carlow / Kilkenny / South Tipperary



Waterford / Wexford


Galway  / Roscommon


Mid West

Sligo / Leitrim / West Cavan

Cavan / Monaghan

Dublin North

Dublin North City

Louth Meath

Dublin South Central

Dublin South East / Wicklow

Dublin South West / Kildare / West Wicklow












Carlow / Kilkenny / South Tipperary




There are currently no Research and Information mentors assigned to these areas however please get in contact with angela.feeney1@tusla.ie for further assistance.

We currently have vacancies for mentoring in these areas.

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Marie Gibbons
Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 

Tusla Office, Ist floor, Loughrea Shopping Centre,
Athenry Rd, Loughrea Co Galway.

 086 0268120marie.gibbons@tusla.ie
Research Interests  

Research interests include: Participatory research methodologies; Practitioner led Research; Social Care and Family Support; Early Years; Young children’s participation in decision making and policy development; parental participation; outdoor play; trauma-informed practices.

 What I want to achieve in the role:

I hope that my experience as a frontline practitioner and also as a doctoral 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 CSR and the Early Year’s Inspectorate  who are hoping to develop, plan and conduct their own research and information seeking activities.

How I can help you:
  • I can support you with your research or information seeking activities and  signpost you to relevant contacts or resources that may be useful.
  • I can provide guidance on engaging with Tusla Research Ethics Committee and the Research Office.
  • I can advise you on searching data bases and other online resources.
Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Adoption Department, Glenbevan House,
Upper Mayorstone, Limerick.
061 464154 086 8187462


Research Interests  
  • Children’s rights including the ‘voice of the child’ in social work and social care fields,
  • The area of adoption particularly adoption from foster care,
  • Having a law degree I am also very interested in legislation and the impact of new legislative on social work practice,
  • Evidence informed decision- making. 
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

I hope to assist colleagues and tusla staff to explore, identify and undertake evidence based practice and research.

I hope to mentor and support social work colleagues and staff in tusla to conduct research relevant to their practice with the aim of evidence informed decision- making.

I hope to support and empower social workers and tusla staff to base assessments and report writing on evidenced based research.

I am presently completing a PhD in Social Work and have developed a range of research skills which I hope will be a useful resource to my colleagues in the Mid-West.  I would also like to be a support to Tusla staff who would like to develop and conduct their own research activities.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Glenbevan House,
Upper Mayorstone,
061 464366   caroline.roe@tusla.ie
Research 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.


There are currently no Research and Information mentors assigned to this area however please get in contact with angela.feeney1@tusla.ie for further assistance.

We currently have vacancies for mentoring in these areas.

                                                                                                                                                             (back to top)


Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Child and Family Agency, Ground Floor,
Brunel Building, Heuston South Quarter, Dublin 8
01 7718551 086 0471059


Research Interests  

I have a specific interest in the following areas of research:

  • Factors impacting on the participation, engagement and retention of children and young people in education
  • The experiences of children and families of statutory service providers, namely the Irish education system and Tusla, Child and Family Agency
  • Informal care giving within and between families
  • The Impact of drug and/alcohol use on the family
  • Drug related intimidation
  • The research, policy, practice interface
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

As a peer research and information mentor I hope to:

  • Provide helpful information to practitioners and/or teams undertaking research within Tusla
  • Signpost colleagues to relevant individuals, departments, committees and/or resources that can support their research
  • Strengthen my own and others capacity to access, analyse and disseminate relevant research
  • Support the research department to increase the value of research within the agency 
Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
2nd Floor, Nexus Building,
Blanchardstown Corporate Park,
Ballycoolin, Dublin 15.
01 8976841 087 3428336 jan.davis@tusla.ie
Research Interests  
  1. Research that tells us about the lives of children and young people.
  2. The legal implications of childcare law in child protection.
  3. How adults learn in 2022.
  4. The process of undertaking research.
 What I want to achieve in the role

To support managers and staff to gain access to relevant information /research that will assist them in their everyday practice.

To support staff who may be undertaking research as part of their professional development. (The mentoring relationship is key to my role in providing the best support.)

To support the Practice Teachers in their roles to support the students that come to work within Tusla: Child and Family Agency. I value the opportunities of working with the students and paving the way to learning all about research.

I try to keep Friday afternoons to take calls. If I am not available, it is best to leave an e mail on jan.davis@tusla.ie. I will always respond.

How I can help you:
  • To provide an overview of all the resources we hold within the Tusla: Child and Family Research Centre and other resources I am aware of.   
  • To share key information/research/training information that will assist staff in their roles.
  • To provide guidance to staff to secure the information/research information they may require.
  • To support staff who may be finding it difficult to secure the research information that they require.
  • To support research appreciation events, both locally and nationally.

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Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 

International Social Services Ireland,
Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital,
Grand Canal Street Lower,
Dublin, D02 P667

01 6477012  / 

01 6477000

087 6333544iss@tusla.ie
Research Interests  
  • Outcomes for children in care,
  • Young people’s experiences of the care system
  • Adoption of children in care
  • Childhood trauma and impact on mental health
  • Supports for young people in aftercare with complex needs
  • Ethnicity and children in care
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

I would like to share the skills and experience which I have developed in my studies in the areas of social work research, to enable colleagues to develop an interest in research and to create a culture of research empowerment within the organisation. I hope to develop practitioners’ confidence in using the various research tools and resources available to them in Tusla in informing their practice and in evidencing their decision-making.

I am interested in promoting good quality research and sharing research knowledge and information with colleagues. I would like to champion research within the Agency and promote a culture of research and of evidence-informed decision-making. 

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 

Clonree, Green Road, The Curragh Co. Kildare

045 442338087 7733458Karen.condron@tusla.ie
Research Interests  
  • The experience of young people in and leaving the care system.
  • Addiction
  • Attachment and trauma
  • Paternal mental health and impact on children
  • Outcomes of Young people leaving care
  • Behaviour management
  • Resilience in young people
  • Youth mental health
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

I have worked in Children residential services for the past 13 years. 

I hope to develop my own learning and professional development. Through the research and information mentor role I hope to assist and empower staff to move towards a research minded approach to their work. To help facilitate staff to enhance their own work practice through best practice, research and evidence based practice.

I hope that my role will help to further build the research culture within the organisation and help improve service delivery and outcomes for the families and children that we work with.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Ground Floor, Brunel Building,
Heuston South Quarter,
Dublin 1
01 7718817 086 0404205 michelle.reade@tusla.ie
Research Interests  
  • Child Protection and Welfare Issues.
  • Children’s rights.
  • Evidence informed practice.                                                         -
  • Policy implementation.
  • Training, development and implementation
  • Impact of attachment on neglected and abused children and young people.
 What do I hope to achieve as a Research & Information Mentor:

In my role as research and information mentor I hope that I can promote a culture of research throughout the organisation. I will assist and support frontline staff in actively engaging with good quality research relevant to their roles and areas of interest. I believe that through embracing a research culture this will  build staff capacity,  ultimately resulting in evidence informed decision making, service delivery and better outcomes for children and families.

Workplace Address Phone  Mobile  E-mail 
Top Floor, PCU,
St Loman's Campus,
Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
044 9395510 086 8157030 charney.weitzman@tusla.ie
Research 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.

Patricia Doherty

Workplace AddressPhone Mobile E-mail 

Chamber House,
Chamber Square,
Tallaght, Dublin 24

01 4686329

087 9274128


Research Interests  
  • Attachment, Attunement and Mentalization
  • Neuroscience and infant development
  • Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy and Social Work
  • Children in Care and Fostering
 What I want to achieve in the role
  • Promote the use of research in evidence based practice and decision
  • making in the best interest of the child;
  • Facilitate consultations for Social Workers and SCWs with a Psychotherapist and to create a space for Tusla staff to consistently engage in reflective practice; 
  • Support an environment where people do their best thinking about their work with young children, birth and foster families;
  • Promote research to reflect Tusla’s identity as a ‘learning organisation’;
How I can help you:
  • Briefings to Teams, attend meetings to explain and promote the role of research mentor;
  • Introduction to the vast range of resources available in the research centre and provide some knowledge and expertise in the use of these;
  • Work with colleagues to identify research & information needs and enable and empower everyone to access and promote good quality research and information;
  • One to one mentoring on subject searching;
  • Assistance with exploring & identifying possible research questions;
  • Facilitating the DSW/KWW Journal Club group, running since May 2020, develop small shared learning groups & provide ‘taster’ articles relevant to practice;
  • The development of Reflective Practice;
  • Increase evidence of analysis & decision making in court reports and support evidence informed policy and practice;

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