All TIGALA Guardians ad Litem have a minimum of 10 years’ experience working with children and families.
Our Guardians ad Litem
Our Trusted Experts
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
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
Areas of Special Interest
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.
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.