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Guardian ad Litem: Lorraine Gaughan

Lorraine Gaughan

Guardian ad Litem


Lorraine has worked with Children and Families since 2001. Lorraine has comprehensive knowledge of working with Unaccompanied Minors, Fostering Services, Child Protection Services, Children in Care and After Care Services. Lorraine has worked with Unaccompanied Minors team. Fostering First Ireland, and has worked with the Child and Family Agency, Tusla since 2013 in the role of Children in care social worker, Child protection social worker, Children in Care social work team leader, After Care, social work team leader and Child Protection social work team leader. Lorraine has worked as a social work team leader since 2015 and has 13 years’ court experience, working with children and families in the District, Circuit and High Court. Lorraine has extensive experience in working in collaboration with professionals In Court and in Multidisciplinary settings and she is committed to the promotion of human rights and social justice when advocating for children and families.

Lorraine has effective communication and interpersonal skills. Lorraine works with a strength based perspective approach when working with children and families. Lorraine has worked with a wide range of complex cases as a social work practitioner and social work team leader. Lorraine is committed to her own professional development and has supervised students as a practice teacher. Lorraine’s emphasis is working in collaboration with children, families and all stakeholders to achieve the most successful outcome for children. Lorraine’s emphasis is on the’ voice’ and the ‘rights of the child’, as underpinned by the UN Convention of the rights if the child (1989), and the National Policy Framework for Children & young people 2014-2020.

Lorraine has extensive experience in direct work with children, comprehensive assessments, risk assessments, pre- birth assessments, investigative interviewing, fostering and adoption assessments and care planning of children in the care system. Lorraine’s emphasis is on safeguarding children in the care system with a focus on understanding and supporting children who have experienced childhood trauma and adverse life experiences.

Lorraine has experience of working with children who have experienced sexual abuse, children with disabilities, children from ethnic backgrounds, unaccompanied Minors seeking Asylum and, children who have experienced domestic violence. Lorraine has worked with complex neglect cases, and fostering to adoption assessments as a social work practitioner and social work team leader. Lorraine has experience of working with children in High Secure Care.


2006 – 2008 | National University of Ireland Galway - Masters Honours Degree in Social Work (NSWOB) Thesis- Portrayal or Betrayal: Print Media Reports on the Image of Social Work In the Republic of Ireland

2002 – 2006 | University College Dublin - BA Honours Modular Social Science Degree - Degree subjects: Social Policy and Sociology.

Further Education and Training

2023 – Present | Monthly Professional and Training Sessions with TIGALA

2023 | National Vetting Bureau (NVB4) Briefing

2023 | Trauma Informed Practice

2022 | Introduction to Children First – TUSLA

2022 | Children First in Action: TUSLA’s response to a Child Protection and Welfare Concern

2022 | Implementing Children First in TUSLA

2022 | Child Abuse Substantiation Procedure

2021 | Child Sexual Exploitation Training

2021 | Vol Consent for Care: Policy and Practice Guidelines, Research Findings

2020 | Complaints Handling: Understanding Complaint Investigation

2020 | Sharing Personal Dada Safely: Making Good Decisions.

2019 | The RIGHT Play Therapy Techniques

2017 | Signs of Safety, Tulsa’s National Approach to Practice; Practice Lead Training

2017 | Inspirational Every Day Leadership Programme

2017 | Motivational Interviewing Training

2016 | First Time Managers Programme

2016 | Supervision Skills Training

2016 | Effective Practice in Long Term Neglect Cases

2016 | The Challenges of Working with Involuntary and Resistant Parents

2015 | Tusla in conjunction with the Centre for Effective Services: Empowering Practitioners Practice Initiative Programme.

2015 | Applying the Marte Meo Method to Attachment & Relationship Issues

2013 | Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence: Awareness & Response Programme

2013 | Attachment Training

2012 | Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – Level 1 & 2

2012 | Investigative Interview Training

2011 | Court Room Skills and Report Writing training

2009 | Contemporary Perspectives in Social Work Practice – Trinity College Dublin.

2009 | Social Work Practice Teaching Training – University College Cork

Employment History

2023 – Present | Guardian ad Litem – The Independent Guardian Ad Litem Agency

2020 – 2023 | Social Work Team Leader – Long Term Child Protection Team in Ballina – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2017 – 2020 | Social Work Team Leader for Children in Care and Mayo After Care Service – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2016 – 2017 | Child Protection Social Worker – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2016 | A/Social Worker Team leader – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2013 – 2016 | Child Protection Social Worker – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2013 – 2015 | Member of Mayo Foster Care Committee.

2010 – 2013 | Children In Care Social Worker-Fostering Link Social Worker – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

2008 – 2010 | Fostering Link Social Worker & Senior Fostering Link Social Worker – Fostering First Ireland

2007 | Palliative Care Student Social Worker – Health Service Executive (HSE)

2007 | Fostering & Child Protection – Health Service Executive (HSE)

2002 – 2006 | Project Worker – Social Work Team for Separated Children – Dublin

• Children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences;

• Children from ethnic minority backgrounds;

• Children who have been sexually abused;

• Children with physical and intellectual disabilities;

• Care planning for children in care, including assessment of access and reunification planning;

• Childhood neglect Cases.

Professional Membership

Lorraine Gaughan is registered with CORU

Member of NAGALRO Professional Association for Children’s Guardians, Family Advisers and Independent Social Workers


“The most twisted and unaccountable force in the state’? Newspaper accounts of social work in the Republic of Ireland in troubled times” (Garrett, P. & Gaughan, L., 2008)

2015, Tusla Empowering Practitioners Practice Initiative. Research- “Parental trauma for asylum seeker and refugees and how this experience impacts on the parent- child attachment relationship.’’

Lorraine Gaughan

Guardian ad Litem

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