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. Niall Reynolds is a social care consultant, systemic family psychotherapist and university lecturer. Dr. Reynolds has 18 years’ experience working in child protection, welfare, and therapy services which included 6 years working in a special care unit for children with complex social and clinical profiles.
For 10 years Dr. Reynolds worked as part of the Tusla NIAPP team which is an assessment and treatment service for children and their families who have engaged in harmful sexual behavior toward another. In his private practice Dr. Reynolds works mainly with family law cases as a systemic psychotherapist that are subject to High Court proceedings.
In his previous Tusla role as social care manager Dr. Reynolds set up a therapy and social care service which was dedicated to working within inner city communities in Dublin targeting disadvantaged families. During his time working in the social work department he developed a systemic practice outreach service that was designed to meet the needs of the children with challenging behaviors and who were difficult to engage in any services. In 2011 Dr. Reynolds was seconded from his role to assist in the development of a single occupancy residential unit for a young person leaving secure care. This secondment lasted two years during which a model of service provision was developed to respond to challenging behavior. Dr. Reynolds published a chapter regarding the success of the unit and the innovative and creative responses implemented.
A graduate of the Tavistock and Portman clinic London Dr. Reynolds completed his doctoral training with a special interest in parental experiences of having a child who has sexually harmed another in an Irish context. He is currently appointed for a three-year term to the Tusla research ethics committee as an independent member.
His skill set has evolved over many years with experience working in several challenging practice, management and teaching roles. Dr. Reynolds has worked across the whole continuum of child protection and welfare services from special care to community settings. His approach to practice and advocacy has been greatly influenced by his continued training in systemic approaches. This approach places an emphasis on the centrality of relationships within complex systems, wider networks and seeks to implement restorative practices to fairness, justice and the promotion of the voice of the child in often multifaceted sets of challenging relationships.
2022 – 2024 | Professional training in Systemic Supervision. Clanwilliam Institute Dublin (currently studying)
2023 | Post Graduate Certificate in Trauma informed Practice. University College Cork
2017 – 2023 | Professional Doctorate: Advanced Practice and Research Systemic Family Psychotherapy. Tavistock and Portman Clinic, London UK –. Accredited through the University of Essex.
2011 – 2015 | Master Medical Science: Systemic Family Psychotherapy. University College Dublin & Mater Misericordia Hospital,
2007 – 2011 | Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree: Social Care Practice. DublinInstitute of Technology (DIT)
2004 | Diploma in Child Psychology. Dublin Business School (Short Course)
2001 – 2002 | Diploma & One Year Certificate in Management and Employee Relations. National College of Ireland.
Dr. Reynolds is accredited to conduct AIM 3 assessments with adolescents who display harmful sexual behaviour. This assesses concerns, risks and strengths of the adolescent across four domains 1. Sexual and non-sexual behaviours 2. Development 3. Family 4. Environment considering both static and dynamic factors.
Further Education and Training
Dr. Reynolds has attended all the Tusla mandated training such as Children’s first, fundamentals of GDPR and signs of safety. He has extensive training throughout his career – please see below significant trainings that inform his practice.
2023 – Present | Monthly Professional and Training Sessions with TIGALA
2023 | AIM 3 assessment and management of harmful sexual behavior in children
2023 | Level 9 Post Grad Certificate in Trauma informed practice - UCC
2023 | Narrative and creative approaches to trauma informed practice – Clanwilliam
2022 | Professional training in systemic supervision Clanwilliam institute
2022 | The role of behavioral tools to support clients in family therapy
2022 | Doctoral researchers symposium – Tavistock London
2020 | PPRR a map for creating reflexive practice – John Burnham
2020 | Long term systemic therapy – Prof Jim Sheehan
2016 | Understanding and working with self-harm – Dr Jean Morrisey Social Care Irl
2015 | Assessment and Treatment of Adolescent Sex Offenders National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers. Dr. Kevin Creedon.
2023 – Present | Guardian ad Litem – The Independent Guardian Ad Litem Agency
2020 – Present | Faculty of Systemic Family Therapy – School of Medicine - UCD
2014 – Present | Private Practice - Child, Couple and Family Consultancy
2012 – 2023 | National Inter – Agency Prevention Programme (NIAPP) – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
2017 – 2023 | Social Care Manager – Community – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
2011 – 2017 | Social Work Department – Dublin South Central
2005 – 2011 | Special/Secure Care services – Health Service Executive (HSE)
Areas of Special Interest
· Dr Reynolds has an interest and extensive experience in directly working with children and their families where the child has sexually harmed another. This includes both assessment and therapy work.
· Dr Reynolds continues an interest in and has wide-ranging experience directly working with children in special care
· Dr Reynolds has a keen interest in working with children who present with challenging behaviors and who may be difficult to engage with.
· Dr Reynolds has published and has direct experience working in the area of single occupancy residential responses to assist children who for various reasons struggle in groups settings.
· Dr Reynolds has published and has direct experience and interest in aftercare.
· Dr Reynolds has a keen interest in developing creative methods for children’s advocacy ensuring that children’s voices remain central to all decision-making processes that effect their lives.
Social Care Ireland
Family Therapy Association of Ireland
· Reynolds, N& Mc Carthy J. (2023). Harmful Sexual Behavior and Children: Voiced and Visible - Creating Conversations of Difference. (Eds) Marie Murray. Mind Yourself Series MYS. Cork University Press. (In-Press)
· Reynolds, N(2021). Crossing the paradigm of 'Including the "Self”: Toward an understanding of comprehensive reflexivity and a systemic epistemology as useful concepts for social care professionals. Scottish Journal of Residential. Vol 19 (2).
· Reynolds, N. (2016). The Experiences of Care Leavers: From a child in care to out on their own. Considerations for Systemic Psychotherapists. Feedback-The Irish Journal of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.
· Reynolds, N(2014). In Social Care “Learning from Practice”. A House for One: Single Occupancy Residential Units. Further Isolation or a Progressive response to Challenging Behavior. Gill and McMillan: Dublin.
· Professional Doctoral Research – Tavistock and Portman Clinic Advanced Research: Systemic Psychotherapy. Thesis title: Suffering in Silence. A Foucauldian Discourse analysis examining the experiences of Parents who have a child who has sexually harmed another child in an Irish context.