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A portrait of Eugene Bigley, a TIGALA Director & Guardian ad Litem.

Eugene Bigley

Director & Guardian ad Litem


Eugene Bigley is a professionally qualified and Coru registered social worker. He has been a social worker, social work manager, service planner and policy developer with 35 years, experience in the field of working with children and families. He has a range of experiences directly working in the following areas - child protection, child welfare, children in care, adoption services and after care services.

Eugene has worked in the independent child and family care sector for 12 years initially in the areas of parenting capacity assessments and specialist residential services for children. For the last 8 years he has focused his career with skills and knowledge development as a Guardian ad Litem.

Eugene during this time has been appointed in the child care courts across Ireland in both public and private family law matters and across the various Court layers. He has been appointed under the mental health legislation to children who needed to be confined to hospital for mental health treatment. Eugene provides independent reports the Wardship office, High Court on children and adults who are subject to Warship.

Eugene founded The Independent Guardian ad Litem Agency in 2014. In 2015 he was joined by Claire Quinn Director to develop and grow the Agency and to ensure service standards and practice principals are in place for all Guardians ad Litem listed with the Agency.


1985 | B.A. (Hons) Social Policy. University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Co Antrim. 

1989 | Masters in Social Work with Certification of Qualification in Social work. Queens University, Belfast. 

1996 | Northern Ireland Social Work Practice Teachers Award.

2001 | Post Graduate Certificate in Management of Health and Social Care.

Further Education and Training

From 1985 onwards Eugene has attended training in a range of areas within child development and care. He has focused his learning and development in attachment, child development and childhood trauma. He has attended training on skills development and updating his toolbox of professional interventions with children and families who have been separated through state intervention.

Eugene with co-director in TIGALA have been active in developing a programme of shared learning nationally since 2014. This includes national conferences on:

Developing a framework for access for children in care with their families.

Looking after the needs of children in care from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Looking after the needs of children in care who have been sexually abused.

Looking after the needs of children in care who have been subject to neglect.

Looking after the needs of children in care who identify as belonging to LGBT community.

Employment History

2011–Present |  The Independent Guardian ad Litem Agency, Director and Guardian Ad Litem.

2018–Present | Director of Origins Foster Care Agency

2009 | Directorships of Bentley House Ltd and Foster Care Partners Ltd, Ireland. 

2007 | Child Care Manager, Child Protection and Alternative Care Services, Co Donegal Local Health Office Area. 

2004 | Regional Services Manager, Alternative Care, North Western Health Board. 

2003 | Principal Social Worker, Children’s Services Planning, Eastern Health and Social Services Board Area, Northern Ireland 

2001 | Assistant Principal Social Worker, Child Protection services, Down and Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust, N Ireland. 

1998 | Social Work Team Leader, Child Protection Services, Down and Lisburn Health and Social services Trust, N Ireland. 

1994 | Social Worker, Learning disability services, Armagh and Dungannon Health and Social Services Trust, N Ireland. 

1991 | Social worker, Child Protection services, Armagh and Dungannon Health and social Services Trust, N Ireland. 

1989 | Social Worker, Child Protection Services, Antrim and Ballymena Health and Social Services Trust, N Ireland 

1985 | Residential Childcare Worker, St Joseph’s Children’s Home, 516 Ravenhill Rd, Belfast. 

Creating a clear and full understanding of children who have experienced trauma.

Building comprehensive care plans to support children achieve their optimum growth and development. 

Extensive experience of working directly with children coming in to state care, in state care and those being reunified back to their families. 

Services to support clear assessment of children’s needs including residential parent and child assessment services. 

Building therapeutic care services for children in care.

Eugene Bigley

Director & Guardian ad Litem

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