All TIGALA Guardians ad Litem have a minimum of 10 years’ experience working with children and families.
Our Guardians ad Litem
Our Trusted Experts
Morag has over 36 years’ experience in the area of Child Protection in Social Work, Consultancy, Management and Guardian Ad Litem roles, nationally and internationally.
Morag has strong international experience in Child Protection and was the lead Child Protection Consultant in a DFID (UK) funded project in Nigeria, ‘Justice for All’, working to improve the experience of vulnerable persons/victims of crime. Formulating and introducing a strategy for responding to and investigating sexual and gender based violence and child abuse. In addition Morag had oversight for the training of selected officers in Nigerian Police Force, creating linkages with external civil society organizations and engaging with other Government Departments, integral to the success of the project. Morag also specialised in the management of sexual violence services, and has led on development of Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Nigeria.
Morag specialises in the area of safeguarding children/child sexual abuse, and offers wide experience of direct work – assessment of risk, protection and care planning, investigation and post trauma treatment, as well as significant managerial and international consultancy experience supporting the development of services to protect children and vulnerable adults.
Morag offers expertise and experience in preparation and delivery of Court directed assessment/reporting, and demonstrates commitment to child centred practice throughout her employment positions held, current and past.
Morag’s experience includes influencing strategic development, shaping policies, setting practice standards, introducing governance and accountability systems, and review of performance. Morag is experienced in provision of independent reports and case management reviews.
Morag has expertise in service delivery and training/mentoring in the following; Assessment of need managing complex and competing demands. Risk assessment. Communication with children. Interview skills. Expert witness reporting. Post trauma interventions. Signs and symptoms of child abuse. Child protection. Social work methods. Multi-disciplinary safeguarding practice. Achieving Best Evidence/specialist interview skills.
1984 | BA hons Social Work CQSW, University of Ulster
1998 | Post Qualifying Social Work Award
Further Education and Training
2015–Present | Monthly Professional and Training Sessions with TIGALA
2011 | Leadership Development, Coaching Methods
2008 | Research Methods in Social Work UUJ
2000 | Ad. Dip. Management of Psychological Trauma. Nottingham Trent University
1997 | Secondment 6 months – Child Care Centre for investigation/treatment sexual abuse
1995 | Practice Teaching Award
1993–1994 | Joint Investigation (police/social services) – Achieving Best Evidence
1984–1986 | Residential Social Worker in children’s home for 4 – 18 years
1986–1997 | Social Worker posts held within for child protection, family support and children in care, Health Trust, N.I.
1997–2000 | Senior Social Work Practitioner, specialist role of investigation and treatment of child sexual abuse, Child Care Centre, Belfast
2000–2002 | Social Worker, Investigation and treatment of child sexual abuse, training and mentoring, consultation, court work, Child Care Centre, Belfast
2002–2008 | Team Leader of child protection team, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
2008–2010 | Principal Social Work Practitioner for child protection, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
2010–2013 | Area Manager for Safeguarding Children Services, Initial assessment Team, child protection and family support teams, early year’s services, with managerial responsibility for approximately 110 staff members, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
2013–2015 | International Consultant in Nigeria, Lead Role, Justice Project, British Council of Justice
2014–2015 | Mentoring and professional development role within, The Independent Guardian Ad Litem, Ireland
2015–Present | Guardian ad Litem, The Independent Guardian Ad Litem, Ireland. 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. Completing reports ordered by the Court in relation to family law proceedings, within District, Circuit and High Court proceedings
Areas of Special Interest
Morag has extensive experience of clinical work with children, and specialized in the investigation and treatment of sexual abuse. She has extensive experience of assessment of risk, pertaining to sexual harm.
Morag has provided a mentoring and consultation service to social work and other professional grade staff, in role of Principal Social Work Practitioner, promoting best practice in family support and child protection, and offering expert witness evidence to Courts.
Morag has experience in application of LEAN methodology, to develop and improve services.
Since January 2014 Morag has provided independent consultancy on professional standards and service development to the Independent Guardian ad Litem Agency, Republic of Ireland.
Morag is currently commissioned to undertake specialist assessment reporting in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, for HSE.