All TIGALA Guardians ad Litem have a minimum of 10 years’ experience working with children and families.
Our Guardians ad Litem
Our Trusted Experts
Dr. David Foley has a PhD in investigative psychology and is also a professionally qualified social worker with over 24 years’ experience working in social services.
In his early career, David worked in a number of services, contributing to the emotional and physiological wellbeing of children who were homeless, children with disabilities, and children with drug, alcohol, or behavioural difficulties. Following his Social Work career, David worked as a Child Welfare Consultant from 09,specialising in the area of clinical and investigative child protection interventions. David practiced in therapeutic and child protective services and roles; working directly with children; facilitating their right to a safe and cared-for passage through childhood. David provided comprehensive assessments and treatment to young people with complex presentations; developing risk management and reduction strategies for their careers and statutory agencies. David also has extensive experience of working with families, helping them understand and navigate child protection concerns in a way that priorities the needs of the child.
David has further contributed to child protection through his involvement on review and safeguarding Boards, child protection audits, advising on practice and policy development, and by providing training.
Through his experience and qualifications, David places emphasis on meaningful engagement with the child, while working collaboratively with others, to bring about positive outcomes. In his practice, he ensures the wishes and feelings of the child are considered and accurately represented; and placed at the heart of decision making.
David has been appointed as Guardian ad Litem in public and family law matters throughout Ireland, and has also assisted the District and High Court under mental health legislation, Special Care provision, and Wardship. David has up to date Garda vetting, insurance, and CORU registration.
2020 | PhD in Investigative Psychology
2008 | MSc in The Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Offenders
2005 | National Qualification in Social Work
2004 | BA in Social Science
2001 | NCEA Diploma in Applied Social Studies
1998 | NCI Diploma in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour
1998 | Higher National Diploma in Social Care
Further Education and Training
2020 | Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (University of Strathclyde)
2020 | Impact of Trauma on Mental Health (University of Glasgow)
2019 | Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture (University of Liverpool)
2019 | Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence (University of Sheffield)
2018 | Childhood Adversity: The Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on Mental Health (University College London)
2018 | Communicating Effectively with Vulnerable Children and Young People (University of Kent)
2017 | Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation (The Open University)
2014–Present | Monthly Professional and Training Sessions with TIGALA
2014–Present | Guardian ad Litem, TIGALA. Court appointed voice of the child in Court proceedings. Understanding the wishes and feelings of the child and assessing the best interests of the child. Completion of child focussed, comprehensive assessments to assist Court decision making.
2009–2015 | Child Welfare Consultant. Providing assessment, treatment, and consultation on child protection.
2013–2016 | National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. External reviewer of CSA cases. Advising on historical, current, and future responses to child protection within the Catholic Church.
2004–2009 | Social Work Team Leader HSE Social Worker (Duty and Intake) Child Protection and family intervention.
2004–2009 | Southside Interagency Treatment Team (SIATT) Group, individual and family therapy with adolescent boys who have sexually abused.
1999–2004 | Don Bosco House, Drumcondra. Residential intervention with teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 18.
1997–1999 | Parkview Residential Unit: Working with homeless children. Good Counsel Services. Working with children with disabilities. Candle Community Trust – Working with adolescents with behavioural difficulties. Cuan Mhuire – Working with adults with drug and alcohol dependency problems.
Areas of Special Interest
Extensive clinical skills and experience in the evaluation of the child’s needs.
Working with children who present with complex familial or social struggles.
Working collaboratively to place children at the heart of decision making.
Multidimensional assessment and intervention shills based on varied professional qualifications.
Working with children who have engaged in at-risk or harmful behaviour.
Utilising solution focused skills when working with parents for the best interests of their child.
David has provided academic supervision to Masters Students from Universities in Ireland, England, and Australia, in social work and investigative psychology practice.
David has presented at conferences on understanding and working with children displaying problematic behaviours.