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A portrait of Tim Noonan, a TIGALA Guardian ad Litem

Tim Noonan

Guardian ad Litem


Tim is a professionally qualified and Coru-registered social worker since 2009. During that time, he has worked consistently in the area of child protection and family welfare gaining a wealth of experience in statutory frontline child protection services. Tim’s main roles have been in duty and intake, child welfare and protection, and children in care teams with the HSE/Tusla. Tim completed both student practice placements in child protection, one in the HSE and the other in South Africa. Prior to working in Tusla, he worked for eight years in a social care context both with children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities who displayed challenging behaviors and communication disorders, both in residential and in community settings. He has also worked directly with children as a residential care worker in special care and high-support units.

Tim’s child protection experience included conducting parenting capacity assessments, pre-birth and child and family social work assessments, compiling comprehensive reports for presentation at child protection and family welfare case conferences, and to the courts, internal committees, and other professional fora. He has managed a high, varied, and mixed caseload of children in care, children at risk in the community, and residential care, including special care, high support, and therapeutic placements, conducting investigations into allegations of child abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. He has also acted as a manager for the out-of-hours child protection service in Cork.

Tim worked for six years both at practitioner and Team Leader level in the area of adult disclosures of retrospective child sexual abuse allegations, carrying out assessments to determine current and ongoing risks to children. This skilled area also included responding to reports of adults of concern who are under investigation for online offending/child sexual abuse material and the future safety planning of children as well as assessing the capacity of the non-offending parent to protect their child (ren).

He is an experienced social work practice teacher that appreciates the value of bringing reflective learning to his practice as well as ongoing training and upskilling to enhance his professional development and to that of others. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Fieldwork Practice Teaching and Supervision in Social Work. One of his greatest strengths is his effective communication, collaborative working, and positive approach as well as his strong interpersonal skills in working with children, families, and professionals. Throughout the assessment process, he strives to consistently ensure the child’s wishes and views are ascertained and considered at all times and given due weight in arriving at professional decisions.

Tim is experienced at district, circuit, and high court levels and produced detailed accurate evidenced-informed reports.

Tim is a committee member for NOTA Ireland and is on the advisory council for Stop it Now Ireland which is run by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the only UK-wide charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse.

Tim holds an LLM Masters’ in Children’s Rights and Family Law where his knowledge and skills in the areas of child care law, family law, juvenile justice, international children’s rights, comparative family property law, and refugee and forced displacement law have been greatly enriched. He completed a Socio-legal research dissertation on Separated Children in Ireland by analyzing the state’s compliance with Article 12 of the U.N Convention on the Rights of the Child.


2021 – 2022 | University College Cork – Master of Laws (LLM) Children’s Rights and Family Law- Awarded Honours: 2:1

2017 – 2018 | University College Cork – Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Fieldwork Practice and Supervision (Social Work) – Awarded First Class Honours

2005 –2009 | University College Cork – B.A (Hons) Social Work (B.S.W) –Awarded First Class Honours

2001 – 2004 | Central School of Counselling and Therapy (AQA) – Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling P/T – Counselling & Psychotherapy

Further Education and Training

2022 | Attachment and Mentalization - Online training conference with Tigala and Dr. Tom Casey

2022 | Children as Data Subjects - Online training conference with Tigala and Clare Daly, Comyn Kelleher Tobin

2021 | CASP-R – Capacity and Abilityto Protect – Leonard McGibbon

2020 | Sharing Personal Data Safety: Making Good Decisions About Sharing Personal Data

2020 | Legal Training for Child Protection Practitioners (TCD)

2019 | Understanding the Impact of Relational and Developmental Trauma – Karen Treisman

2019 | Assessing the Protective Skills of Mothers, Partners, and Adult Carers in Intrafamilial CSA – Lucy Faithfull Foundation

2019 | Children who have been sexually harmed: Considerations and Safety Planning – Tusla

2018 |Certificate in Attachment-Based Practice with Adults – Clark Baim, Birmingham

2018 | Signs of Safety Practitioner Training – Tusla

2016 | Certificate in SORAM – multi-agency approach on the release of sex offenders from Irish prisons – National SORAM Office  

2016| Specialist Training in Sexual Offending - Mentor Professional Development Award

2016 | The Mentor Interview Technique- Mentor Forensics-Manchester

2016 | Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Management of Sex Offenders in the Community – Mentor Forensics- Manchester

2016 | Just looking Evaluating Risk in Online Behaviour - Mentor Forensics- Manchester

2016 | Working with Partners and Families- Mentor Forensics- Manchester

2016 | Young People experiencing and exhibiting Problematic Sexual Behaviour - Mentor Forensics Manchester

2016 | The Voice of the Child in Social Work Assessments

2016 | Good Lives and Intervention Planning with young people who sexually harm – G-MAP

2016 | Assessment, Intervention and Moving on – Children that have been sexually harmed – AIM2 – NIAPP

2016 | Understanding the Dynamics of Childhood Sexual Abuse – Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

2015 |  Understanding Sex Offenders: A Foundation Course in Behavioural Analysis- Mentor Forensics

2014 | Multi-Agency Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM) – identifying risks to children and young people from domestic violence – Barnardo’s

2014 | Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Training (FASD) – University of Limerick

Employment History

2022 – Present | Guardian ad Litem – The Independent Guardian Ad Litem Agency     

2015 – 2021 | Social Worker and Social Work Team Leader – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA), Specialist Inquiry Team, Wilton Road, Co. Cork

2013 –2015 | Social Worker – Child and Family Agency (TUSLA), North Cork Child Care & Protection Service, 134 Blank Place, Mallow, Co. Cork

2011 –2013 | Social Worker – HSE, Dublin SE Social Work Department, Churchtown, Co. Dublin

2010 –2011 | Duty Social Worker – HSE, Nenagh Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Co. Tipperary

2010 | Childcare Worker – Agency Placements-Gleann Allain, Glanmire, Co. Cork; Fresh Start Residential Services, Cork; Coovagh House, Special Care Unit, Limerick City

2002 –2010 | Residential Care Worker – The Manse, Brothers of Charity, Lota, Glanmire, Co. Cork

2005 | Programme Instructor – Caisleán Day Service, Brothers of Charity, Lota, Glanmire, Co. Cork

2002 | Special Needs Assistant – St Gabriel’s Special School, Bishopstown, Co. Cork

Areas of Special Interest

·        Child sexual abuse: assessing historical child sexual abuse allegations and the assessment of current and ongoing risk, safety planning, and assessing the capacity of the non-abusing parent to protect their child (ren)

·        Assessing adults of concern in the context of online child sexual abuse exploitation material.

·        Adolescents that display sexually harmful and problematic sexualised behaviours

·        Developmental and attachment difficulties as a result of adverse experiences, cumulative harm, neglect, and complex trauma.

·        Care planning for children in foster care and residential care, reunification planning

·        Preparing children for aftercare

·        Working with separated children/unaccompanied minors

·        Child and adolescent mental health and children with disabilities

·        Working with parents with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities

·        Ongoing socio-legal research, particularly in the area of children’s rights

Professional Membership

Tim Noonan is registered with CORU

Member of the Irish Association of Social Workers

Committee Member with NOTA Ireland

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

Tim Noonan

Guardian ad Litem

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