All TIGALA Guardians ad Litem have a minimum of 10 years’ experience working with children and families.
Our Guardians ad Litem
Our Trusted Experts
Colin started his social work career in residential work with children and young people before qualifying as a social worker in 1984. He has 30 years’ experience as a social work practitioner and manager working with young offenders, children in care, child protection, and disability and fostering.
Colin worked in many areas of the UK including London, the South east and the South west of England.
He has done extensive Court work in the UK and Ireland and has good report writing skills as well as good interpersonal skills.
Colin feels that it’s important to have worked as a social worker before becoming a Guardian ad Litem 6 years ago. He knows what its like to be on sides of the fence so he is realistic about the services for children and the waiting lists for assessments. At the same time he will advocate for children and young people if they require a particular service.
Colin enjoys working in partnership with the CFA, parents and other professionals to help achieve good outcomes for children. Being a Guardian is very much a hands on role at the coal face and he enjoys working with children and young people. One needs to be balanced and non- judgemental and willing to listen and respect the views of others.
Colin believes in collaboration especially during the Family Court Proceedings. Adversarial styles do not really work in the family court and the Judiciary prefer the different parties to come to some sort of consensus and agreement on the way forward.
The Child should be at the centre and their welfare is paramount so he always keeps this in mind when he is working alongside families. There are painful decisions to be made so he always asks himself what’s in their best interests in the long term?
In recent years he has also taken on a number of Section 25 cases where young people are detained in hospital.
This has been really interesting, totally different and a real learning curve for Colin.
When he does have some spare time his passion is watching football and he flies to the UK on a regular basis with his family to watch Sunderland. This confirms that he does have a good sense of humour.
1984 | CQSW and diploma in social work (UK)
1982–1984 | Bristol Polytechnic, Social work course
Registered with the Social Work Council in Ireland and UK.
Further Education and Training
2015 | Child Protection and Decision Making, Facilitated by Child and Family Training UK
2014 | The Role of the Guardian ad Litem ( Rosemary Gantly, Solicitor).
The Voice of the Child in Care BASPCAN, Judge Rosemary Horgan, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Lucy Tynan, Dr. Stephanie Holt.
‘In My Shoes’ A computer assisted interview for communicating with children and Vulnerable Adults, University of Liverpool.
Mind Brain & Parental Mental Health, Amanda Jones, The Bessborough Centre, Cork.
2013 | Listening to children’s wishes and feelings.
Looking after young sexual perpetrators.
Solution focused brief therapy with children.
Attachment Theory & Practice, safe caring & child protection and leadership skills Supervision skills.
Dealing with child abuse and witchcraft.
GAL Induction Training Child and Family Solutions National Assessment & GAL Service Ltd.
Court Report Writing, Rosemary Gantly, Solicitor.
Research, Dr. Helen Buckley, T.C.D. Dublin.
Legal Considerations for Guardians, Gerard O’Brien, Solicitor.
Multiple Attachment, Dr. Helen Gogarty.
Access : Positive and Negative factors in decision making, Dr. Helen Gogarty.
The Neuroscience of Trauma, Dr. Cathal McAuliffe, Clinical Psychologist.
Messages for Practice and Policy from National Review Panel, Dr. Helen Buckley, T.C.D.
Review of Guardian Role, Orla Ryan/Ceili O’Callaghan.
2012 | Developments in Safeguarding and child care practice. Equality and diversity. Leadership and management training.
2013 | Appointed as Guardian Ad Litem with Child and Family Solutions. Relocated to Ireland September 2013
2012–2013 | Families for Children Fostering Agency, Worthing Operational Development Consultant
2010–2012 | Mosaic Foster Care, Registered Fostering Manager
2007–2010 | HSE Dublin North Central Fostering Team, Team Manager
2005–2007 | Cornwall County Council, Social worker / Fostering
2001–2005 | Families for Children Independent Fostering Agency, Battle Operation
1979-1997 | Similar roles as Social Worker in the South of England