Tusla launches interactive resource to build social worker expertise

Tusla – Child and Family Agency today officially launches its new Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI) .

EPPI is a practical online resource pool and toolkit for Tusla social workers to help them incorporate expert knowledge into their practice.

The easily-navigated interactive resource carries literature reviews and reflections by staff  who took part in an Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme. It also has a toolkit, which clearly guides social workers through critical areas of practice including separation and loss, child abuse and attachment.

Real cases are used in the literature reviews. The social worker identifies the theory that underpins the case and reviews current research literature.

Among the emerging themes for social workers who have taken part in the programme are female genital mutilation, transgender issues and online child sexual exploitation.

The information they research on areas like these is then available to all other social workers who encounter similar, complex cases.

CEO Fred McBride said the development of the resource over three years was “core to the Agency’s goal of becoming a world leader in child protection and welfare services”.

“Since becoming CEO it has been my goal to ensure Tusla practitioners have the skills and capacity to deliver evidence-informed and outcomes-focused therapeutic interventions.”

He described the launch of the online resource today as “a pioneering move by the Agency to help practitioners meet the challenges posed by complex and challenging situations – from frontline work with families to presenting in Court”.

“It is intended the initiative will increase the confidence of practitioners and their capacity to make evidence- informed, confident decisions for the benefit of children and families.”

The initiative was developed by Tusla in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Services (CES) to increase Tusla practitioner expertise and improve their practice by applying evidence and knowledge to their day-to-day work.

Cormac Quinlan, Tusla’s Director of Transformation and Policy, said: “We want to make the Agency a great place to work where staff feel supported, yet challenged, in their day-to-day work.

“Through initiatives like this Tusla will create an environment where staff are encouraged to grow and develop through on-going learning so that children are made safer in their everyday lives.”

He said the Initiative complements and supports Signs of Safety, Tusla’s new national approach to  practice, by increasing the knowledge levels and skills of social workers and in turn improving outcomes for children and families.

“The Initiative stems from Tusla’s commitment to delivering a high quality service, provided by a highly educated, multi-skilled and competent workforce,” Mr Quinlan added.

The Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI) 

The Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI) was, in its first phase, a three-year project commissioned by Tusla – Child and Family Agency with support from the Centre for Effective Services (CES).

The Initiative is now entering its second phase where the components of EPPI will be implemented and embedded across the Agency. The entire initiative is being sponsored by the Tusla senior management team and is being led by project sponsors, Jim Gibson, Chief Operations Officer, and Cormac Quinlan, Director of Transformation and Policy.

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