By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
An arrow pointing to the right which will open a link to the selected item
Back to All Guardians
Margaret McArdle - Guardian ad Litem

Margaret McArdle

Guardian ad Litem


Margaret is a qualified Social Worker with over 35 years of professional experience. She has a Masters in Art Therapy. She has extensive experience of working with vulnerable children and families, both from a social work and a community development perspective.

Margaret worked in TUSLA for 9 years as a social work team leader and a social worker. Attendance at court and evidence giving was a key part of her work. Also, as designated chairperson for care planning, Margaret has many years of experience of promoting children’s voices in their individual care planning process.

Margaret worked in Barnardos for 10 years and gained experience in Family Welfare Conference and Family Support, providing her with valuable skills in advocacy and working in a child-centered way.

Margaret has completed many fostering and adoption assessments as a sessional social worker and has excellent report writing skills.

Having had experience of managing a Community Development Project in inner city Dublin, Margaret went on to provide Consultancy Services (e.g. training, evaluation, staff support, organisational development) for over 15 years to community/voluntary groups in many parts of Ireland.

Throughout her working life, Margaret has worked with a variety of stakeholders and in a collaborative manner. Margaret adheres to high professional standards and has excellent communication skills.


2018 - 2021 | Masters in Art Therapy – First Class Honours – Crawford College/Munster Technical University

1979 - 1983 | Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW) – Trinity College Dublin

1978 - 1983 | Honours Degree in Social Studies – Trinity College Dublin

Further Education and Training

In recent years within Tusla Margaret has attended ongoing training such as Signs of Safety, Permanence planning for children in care and Youth mental health. Margaret is committed to her professional development and has had extensive training throughout her career – please see sample below:

2023 – Present | Monthly professional and training sessions with TIGALA

2023 | Understanding juveniles exhibiting sexually harmful behaviours – TUSLA

2022 | Children’s First Training – TUSLA

2021 | Great Behaviour Breakdown Training –TUSLA

2020 | LGBT+ Awareness and Inclusion – TUSLA

2019 | Transgender Awareness – TENI

2018 |Trauma-informed Practice –TUSLA

2017 | Youth Participation Training –TUSLA

2016 | Attachment Training – TAP Project, Western Health & Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland

2015 | Core Court Skills – TUSLA

2014 | Assessing Parenting Capacity – BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering)

2013 | Making Good Fostering Assessments – BAAF

2012 | Chronic Child Neglect – BAAF

2011 | ASSIST Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training – Health Service Executive

2009 | Certificate in Mediation Skills– Mediation Institute of Ireland / Maynooth

2008 | Family Welfare Conference Training – Barnardos

2006 | Domestic Violence: risk factors and safety interventions with women & children – Barnardos

Employment History

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

2016 – 2023 | Designated Chairperson for Care Plans/Reviews for Children in Care – TUSLA

2014 – 2016 | Social Work Team Leader – TUSLA

2017 – 2023 | Sessional Social Worker – PACT, CPL Healthcare and Origins Foster Care (various locations)

2003 – 2014 | Family Welfare Conference, Family Support and Fostering Assessments – Barnardos

1995 – 2012 | Community Development Consultancy Work – Community Consultants Ltd.

1992 – 1995 | Project Manager – North Wall Women’s Centre, Sheriff Street, Dublin

1983 – 1992 | Various Social Work and Childcare (residential) roles

Margaret has a keen interest in trauma-informed practice. Her training as an Art Therapist provides her with a set of key skills in engaging with children and young people who have had trauma experiences and exhibit pain-based behaviours.

Margaret is committed to working in a respectful and empowering way with families. From her experience in community development, she has an understanding of the many systemic contributors to child protection in terms of poverty, disadvantage and intergenerational familial challenges.

Professional Membership 

Margaret is registered with CORU

Member of IACAT (Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists)

Member of NAGALRO Professional Association for Social Work Practitioners who work in the children and families field and represent children in public and private court proceedings.

Margaret McArdle

Guardian ad Litem

A phone symbol
A phone symbol