Play Therapist

Hours: 3 days a week (open to negotiation)

Salary: Dependent on experience

Location: The Bessborough Centre (will include travel within Co. Cork)

Responsible to: ChiPPs Clinical Lead (Senior Clinical Psychologist)

The Bessborough Centre, in collaboration with Springboard Project Cork, are seeking to recruit a play therapist for a new mental health, and early intervention, service, specifically for children in foster or residential care between the ages of 5 and 18.

The service, called ChiPPS (Children’s Intervention and Prevention Pathways), aims to provide a range of treatment and assessment approaches tailored to children who have experienced developmental and attachment trauma through a stepped-care prevention and intervention model. The service will have multidisciplinary focus and draw on a wide range of allied health disciplines, including Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Psychotherapy.

The successful candidate will maintain a caseload and work using a trauma-informed lens to achieve positive mental health outcomes for children and their families, build or restore placement stability or develop key relationships in the child’s family/support network.

The role will include offering specialist training and consultation to colleagues and the wider team/system around the child, such social workers, foster carers, and residential and support workers supporting children in care. We are committed to embedding an evidence-based culture of trauma-informed care and therapeutic practice and therefore keen to assess the effectiveness of our service. As such, service evaluation will be an integral part of the role.

The Bessborough Centre is trauma-informed and equal opportunity employer. We offer competitive salary package as well as benefits to include, enhanced maternity leave, pension contribution scheme, flexible working hours, internal and externally provided training opportunities and competitive annual leave entitlement.

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • To work as a member of the multi-disciplinary therapy team, providing a high-quality play therapy services to children and significant adults
  • To create awareness of the benefit and potential for play therapy within the team through consultation, supervision, formulation and training /education.
  • To be responsible for holding and managing a clinical caseload and to exercise autonomous professional responsibility for the planning and prioritising of own workload and the assessment, treatment and discharge of clients, within the bounds of the service’s operational policies
  • To compile comprehensive assessment and treatment reports and any other reports as required in connection to the children and their parents with whom they have been working.
  • To monitor assessment and treatment reports for quality assurance purposes and ensure they are disseminated on time.
  • Promote an effective team ethos.
  • Promote equality, diversity and rights, and treat others with dignity and respect ensuring services are developed, managed and delivered to meet specific needs linked to protected characteristics.
  • Promote equality, diversity and Human Rights in working practices by developing and maintaining positive working relationships, ensuring that colleagues are treated fairly and contributing to developing equality of opportunity and outcomes in working practices
  • Contribute to developing and maintaining equality of opportunity in working practices by complying with legislation and organisational policies. Advise colleagues about equality, diversity and human rights policies and procedures and ensure they are followed
  • To attend court, if required, as an expert witness.

Person Specification


  • Accredited qualification in play therapy


  • Experience of providing tailored therapeutic support to children who have experienced developmental trauma and their carers
  • Training in level 1 & 2 Theraplay is also essential

Essential Skills:

  • Excellent skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing clinically sensitive information to clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside the service.
  • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and non-professional group
  • Excellent time management skills and an ability to meet deadlines and prioritise workload.
  • Exceptional organisational skills, particularly in administration.


  • An understanding of developmental trauma, attachment, infant mental health, child development and neurodiversity, child and adolescent mental health issues
  • An understanding of working therapeutically with children who have experienced developmental trauma and their carers/adoptive parents.
  • An understanding of theory and research in the field of developmental trauma, attachment and therapeutic interventions with this population
  • An understanding of the use of the creative arts in a therapeutic setting.
  • An excellent understanding of safeguarding children issues as well as an understanding of care and control, notification procedures and equal opportunities, data protection and general good practice.

To Apply

To apply submit your CV and covering letter to Human Resources Department, Bessborough Centre, Blackrock, Cork or by email with the position you are applying for in the subject title to by 5pm on Wednesday 8th December 2021. Interviews will be held week beginning 13th December and can be accommodated virtually if necessary.