Role Purpose/Description:

To provide support that improves the quality of life for families in state provided accommodation such as (but not limited to) IPAS accommodation centres, emergency accommodation centres, National Reception Centre, National Hub, Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROC), while promoting the personal, social, and educational development of children, young people and their parents always keeping the child at the forefront of the work. 

To work in partnership with Tusla services, community based statutory agencies and community and voluntary service providers, IPAS accommodation providers, local Child and Family Support Networks (CFSN) and Children and Young People Services Committees (CYPSC). To support the Meitheal early intervention practice model to coordinate a child centred approach to individual family needs led support and parenting support. 

Reporting To:

Designated Tulsa staff member and relevant SWMDC Team Leader

Key Responsibility Areas:

The Family Support Practitioner will perform their duties in line with Tusla’s professional standards. The Family Support Practitioner will: 

  • Assist in enabling parents/guardians/carers/families to sustain the safe care of their children in the home setting. 
  • Work with a caseload/workload assigned by their line manager. This may involve working closely with several families with varying support needs. 
  • The required work level will consider the varying complexity of families & travel requirements. 
  • Change and adapt to new programmes and models of service in line with evidence-based research & required training. 
  • Deliver agreed intervention programmes as required. 
  • Work in a flexible manner with the family in meeting their changing needs through the use of consultation, plans, reviews, and feedback. 
  • Work in partnership with families to increase their skills in such areas as childcare, budgeting, home management, nutrition, and health care, through individual or group work. 
  • Aim to enhance positive parenting skills. 
  • Liaise with the person on health/emotional/parenting issues and child abuse and report concerns as appropriate. 
  • Assist in linking families with local/appropriate services and agencies. Encourage their attendance at these services. 
  • Work within current legislation, relevant policies and procedures, guidelines and protocols within the designated team/service and the child and family agency-Tusla. 
  • Adhere to the supervision policy. 
  • Contribute to an area-based analysis of unmet needs. 
  • Share knowledge with other team members to maintain standards. 
  • Actively participate as a member of the designated team/service. 
  • Attend meetings as appropriate to their allocated work e.g. Meitheal meetings, Family Support planning meetings, Child Protection conferences, strategy meetings, children in care reviews. 
  • Seek the advice of relevant personnel when appropriate/as required. 
  • Promote a culture that values diversity and respect in the workplace. 
  • Participate as Lead practitioners and support workers in the Meitheal process. 
  • Be active members of the local Child & Family Support Networks & the Team Around the Child. 
  • Engage with line manager and ESF+ Project Officer regarding ESF+ reporting requirements and provide relevant information as required. 


  • Maintain accurate up to date records and files in accordance with national guidelines, procedures and Children First (2017) 
  • Maintain service user confidentiality. 
  • Contribute to ongoing evaluation of the service. 
  • Collaborate with line manager in developing the role of the Family Support Practitioner and the team.  

Education & Training 

  • Engage in personal development planning in collaboration with the line manager. 
  • Engage in in-service training and other relevant training opportunities (including attendance at mandatory programmes). 
  • Review and change work practices in line with training and service developments such as the National Service Delivery Framework. 
  • Engage in I.T. training relevant to their work. 

Health & Safety 

  • Comply with and contribute to the development of policies, procedures, guidelines, and safe professional practice and adhere to relevant legislation, regulations, and standards. 
  • Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the service for example National Standards for Child Protection and Care and comply with associated Tusla – Child and Family Agency protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role. 
  • To support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water, and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient health service. 
  • Important: The above job description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post, which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office 

Critical Competencies:

  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level 6 (or higher) major academic award in the areas of health promotion, social care, childcare, education, family support, education etc.


  • An equivalent nationally recognised qualification in the areas of health promotion, social care, childcare, education, family support, education etc. 


  • the requisite knowledge and ability (including a high standard of suitability and ability) for the proper discharge of the duties of office. 
  • A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient.   


  • Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character. 

Professional Knowledge 

  • Awareness of children and young people’s participatory practice  
  • Sufficient professional knowledge to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the role. 
  • Knowledge of Tusla’s Prevention, Partnership and Family Support; Child Protection and Welfare; and Alternative Care Strategies. 
  • An understanding of child protection risk and harm and Tusla social work business processes. 
  • An understanding of a community development approach to child protection and family support. 
  • An understanding of the impact of poverty and disadvantage on communities and especially its impact on parenting. 
  • An understanding of children’s holistic developmental needs within the context of their family and community. 
  • An understanding of children’s rights. 
  • An understanding of evidenced informed; human rights based; outcomes focused; integrated; and preventative child and family services. 
  • Demonstrate an awareness of children and young people’s participatory practice.  
  • A willingness to develop IT skills relevant to the role. 
  • A commitment to continuing professional development. 

Planning, using Judgement and Delivering a Quality Service 

  • Demonstrate a commitment to delivering a quality service that is child-centred, safe, and well led in line with Tusla’s Quality Assurance Framework. 
  • Display awareness and appreciation of the service user and the ability to empathise with and treat others with dignity and respect. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to make effective decisions and solve problems especially with regard to service user care. 
  • The capacity to plan and manage resources in an effective and resourceful manner. 
  • The ability to manage self in a busy working environment including the ability to prioritise workloads. 
  • Flexibility and openness to change. 
  • A commitment to assuring high standards and strive for a user centred service. 
  • The ability to evaluate information and make effective decisions in a timely manner. 


  • Effective team skills. 
  • The ability to resolve conflict and empower people with sometimes quite divergent points of view. 
  • Initiative and innovation in identifying areas for service improvement. 
  • Promote a culture that values diversity and respect in the workplace. 
  • Demonstrate effective team skills. 
  • Demonstrate flexibility and openness to change. 
  • Demonstrate ability to utilise supervision effectively. 


Communication and Interpersonal Skills 

  • Effective interpersonal and communication (verbal and written) skills. 
  • The ability to empathise with and treat others with dignity and respect. 
  • Display effective communication and interpersonal skills including the ability to collaborate with colleagues, families, etc. 
  • Demonstrate a willingness to develop IT skills relevant to the role. 
  • Demonstrate commitment to continuing professional development. 
  • Contribute to other activities as required. 


  • Relevant level 8 qualification, e.g., Sociology, Rural Development,
    Social Studies, or other relevant qualification for the post.
  • A postgraduate degree in a relevant field is desirable.

Other Relevant Information:

The successful candidate will need: 

  1. A full current category B driving licence without any endorsements and access to own transport. 

Terms & Conditions of Employment:


The salary scale for this position will be no less than €36,195, with increments applying as budget allows. 

Duration of Contract 

The contract is for a full-time position for an initial fixed term period of one year, subject to satisfactory performance. This may be reviewed with the intention to extend to 2028, subject to satisfactory performance and continued Tusla funding. 


Minimum probation period of six months will apply. 

Working Hours 

9am – 5pm (35 hours per week) 

Annual Leave 

For new staff appointments, annual leave will be 25 days per annum, increasing by one day per two years served, to a maximum of 30 days per annum. 

Travel & Subsistence 

Travel and subsistence will be paid at public sector rates. 

Location of the position 

SWMDC Offices, IPI Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. 

Garda Vetting 

The successful candidate will be required to be Garda vetted.

Selection Process:

Selection will involve short listing of applicants for interview based on the criteria for the position as outlined in this job description and person specification. There may be a panel created for future similar opportunities that may arise in the future.

How to apply:

Please submit your Curriculum Vitae and cover letter by email to quoting FamilySupportPractitionerApplication_YOURNAME in the subject line.

Please save your CV as YOURNAME_CV and your cover letter as YOURNAME_CoverLetter. Late applications will not be accepted.

The closing date for applications for this role is 5pm on Wednesday, 13 March 2024.


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