All TIGALA Guardians ad Litem have a minimum of 10 years’ experience working with children and families.
Our Guardians ad Litem
Our Trusted Experts
Mieke has been working as an Independent Guardian ad Litem since September 2013. Since this time she has been appointed nationwide to cases in both the District and High Court, and has worked with both children and adults in this role. She is a registered Social Work Practitioner with CORU, is fully Garda Vetted and is a member of The Independent Guardian ad Litem Agency panel. Mieke has a Master’s Degree in Child Art Psychotherapy from UCD. This training has provided her with significant experience in the area of attachment and Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
2013–2015 | Masters in Child Art Psychotherapy, UCD, Mater Hospital
2003–2005 | Masters of Social Work, National Qualification in Social Work, Trinity College Dublin
2001 | Bachelor of Social Science, University College, Dublin
Further Education and Training
2013–Present | Monthly Professional and Training Sessions with TIGALA
2019 | Polyvagal Theory, Dr. Stephen Porges, Cork. Level 1 Theraplay and Marschak Intervention Method, Joanna Fortune, The Theraplay Institute.
2018 | DDP Level 1. Ms. Susan Drake, Clinical Psychologist, Kildare.
2017 | Developmental Trauma, Dr. Dan Siegel, Cork.
2016 | Mentalisation Based Treatment for Foster Carers, Bessborough Centre, Cork. Working with children who have made disclosures of Sexual Abuse, TIGALA Conference. Perinatal Mental Health training, Dr. Amanda Jones, Bessborough Centre, Cork.
2015 | Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA) in Miami, Florida, USA.
2014 | The Mindbrain and Parental Mental Health, Dr. Amanda Jones, Bessborough Centre, Cork. In My Shoes Training, Child and Family Training, Liverpool. Attachment and Psychopathology Training, Dr. Patricia Crittenden, Bessborough Centre, Cork.
2013 | Child and Family Solutions Training: The Neuroscience of Trauma with Dr. Cathal McAuliffe, Clinical Psychologist.
2012 | Week training course in Multicultural Issues in Social Work Practice ,Uniendo Caminos Training Centre, Barracas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2009 | Training with Ray Wyre and Associates in risk assessment of alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse and assessment of the non-offending partner. 3 day training in the AIM 2 Framework for assessing adolescents with sexually harmful behaviours.
2013–Present | Guardian Ad Litem with Independent Guardian Ad Litem Agency, Dublin. Guardian ad Litem for children involved in child care proceedings, representing children’s wishes and views and advocating for their best interests to be met.
2013–Present | Child Art Psychotherapy, Dublin. Mieke completed a twenty-month placement as a trainee Child Art Psychotherapist in Dublin North City and County CAMHS from November 2013 to August 2015. She has been working as a Child Art Psychotherapist in Willowtree Child and Family Centre, Dublin 3 since October 2015. She is registered with the Association of Child Art Psychotherapists (ACAP).
2018–Present | Director of Origins Foster Care, Dublin. Mieke is a director of Origins Foster Care, Independent Fostering Service, which she established with co-director Eugene Bigley in 2018. The main business of Origins Foster Care is to recruit, assess, train and support Foster Carers who can offer high quality placements for children referred by Tusla to the agency. Origins Foster Care places children from age 0-18 in foster care placements, many of whom have suffered abuse and trauma and therefore have particular safeguarding needs.
2016–2019 | Member of Board of Management, EPIC
Jan–Sept 2013 | Social Work Team Leader, Children in Care Team, Social Work Dept, Dublin North West, Dublin 7.
2011–2012 | Acting Social Work Team Leader, Social Work Department, Children and Family Services, HSE, Dublin South CIty, Dublin 2.
2010–June 2011 | Duty Social Worker/ Senior Practitioner, Duty Team, Social Work Department, HSE, Dublin South, Dublin 2.
2009–2010 | Acting Duty Social Work Team leader, Children and Family Services, HSE Dublin South City, Dublin 2.
2008–2009 | Duty Social Worker/ Senior Practitioner, Duty Team, Social Work Department, HSE, Dublin South,Dublin 2.
2005–2008 | Social Worker, Long term team, Social Work Department, HSE Dublin South City, Dublin 2.
Youth Social Worker in Argentina
Jan–Dec 2012 | Youth Education Social Worker. NGO Uniendo Caminos, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2002–2005 | Family Support Worker, Children and Family Services, HSE Dublin South City, 78b Church House, Donore Avenue, Dublin 8.
Social Work Student Placements
Jan–May 2004 | Child protection and Welfare Placement, Social Work Team, Dublin South West, Old County Road Health Centre, D12.
2004–2005 | Social Work Placement working with children and adults with an Intellectual Disability, St. Michael's House, Coolock.
Areas of Special Interest
Attachment and developmental trauma
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Long term care planning for children in foster and residential care
Access and reunification planning for children in alternative care
Working with children in secure care of the state
Working with children who present with difficulties communicating or engaging with professionals
Care planning with children from different cultures
Custody and access assessments and representing the voice of the child in private family law matters