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Fri 24 Nov

ONLINE BOOKING CLOSED Protecting and Connecting: Restoring Social Work in Child Protection

9.15 Registration, Tea & Coffee, 10am - 4.30pm Conference

Carmelite Community Centre, 56 Aungier Street, Dublin 2

€30 IASW members/€100 non-members

Booking for this event has closed with some places remaining. The option of cash payment on the day of the event will be available.


This full day conference has been organised by the Children & Families Special Interest Group. 

The conference has a reflective tone and our hope is to support participants to reflect on what they can learn from the complex challenges both the families and organisation they work with find themselves in as well as the impact of the work on social workers themselves. We wish to provide participants with the  opportunity to  reconnect with their commitment to children’s rights and to leave the conference with real and tangible tools to support themselves and their colleagues in a complex and often crisis driven service.

Conference fee includes light lunch and refreshments.  

If you have any dietary requirements, please email with details before Tuesday 21st November.


Speaker Biographies

Rich Devine is a Consultant Social Worker, with over 13 years of experience working with children and families in a child protection context. He has a Masters in Attachment Studies from Roehampton University, London (2018) and is currently a Visiting Researcher at Cambridge University. He writes one of the UK’s most popular social work blogs, exploring topics such as direct work with children, assessment and relationship-based practice. He is also a member of Relational Activism, and has co-facilitated a series of webinars on co-design and co-production with one of the leading experts in this area, Tim Fisher.

Tara Keogh is a Guardian ad Litem and Therapeutic Social Worker with over 15 years' experience working with children and families across a range of services with eight of these as a Social Worker in a child protection / care context. Tara is currently completing a Masters in Attachment Studies with Roehampton University and also has training in Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Therapy. She provides training to professionals and Social Work students across a range of topics including reflective practice, working with trauma and relational practice.

Clara O'Shea-Collins is a professionally qualified social worker with experience in child protection, children in care, fostering recruitment, assessment and training. Clara openly shares her professional experience as well as her personal experience of growing up in care, and being a sister to other fostered children, to give a distinct insight into the importance of relationship building, reflective practice and change making within the social work sphere. Clara has dedicated time over the past decade,  working alongside EPIC (empowering people in care) and government departments, to drive change within the Irish care system with an emphasis on relationship based practice and positive outcomes for young people. Clara's workshop aims to share her unique insights as well as practical tools, approaches and solutions that practitioners can draw from in order to influence their own restorative and reflective practice.




  9.15am             Registration, Tea/Coffee & Pastries

10.00am             Welcome from Aoife Bairead, Chair, Children & Families SIG

10.10am             Opening Address, Senator Lynn Ruane

10.45am             Richard Devine (Consultant Social Worker)

11.30am             Tea/Coffee

11.45am             Tara Keogh (Guardian ad Litem and Therapeutic Social Worker) 

12.15pm             Clara O'Shea-Collins (Social Worker and Care Experienced)

12.45pm             Q&A

1.00pm               Lunch

2.15pm               Workshops

3.30pm               Feedback and Discussion

4.30pm               Conference Closes