Family Development Practitioner (Lime Tree Project Family Support and Assessment Service)

Full time – Maternity Post

Responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting the care of children where their living arrangements are at high risk of breakdown.
  • Working directly with children in need and their families in the community in order to assess and develop the potential of parents and children to remain safely united and prevent children coming into care.
  • Supporting the reunification of children with their family in the community.
  • Assessing and promoting the parenting skills of parents and children’s development and identifying areas of concern which need to be addressed.
  • Implementing both an intensive service to families in crisis and planned interventions as part of agreed plans for children and their carers.
  • Delivering compassionate and flexible service in line with Bessborough Centre mission and ethos that meets the needs of families in crisis.

Key Accountabilities of Family Development Practitioner:

  • Work in a variety of settings and within the Bessborough Centre planning and participating in programmes of work with parents/carers and children, both individually and in-groups.
  • Working in a multidisciplinary manner, assess and promote positive parenting skills and parents capacity to change.
  • Assist in the assessment and promotion of children’s development.
  • Ensure service users are as fully involved as possible in decisions which affect them individually.
  • Promote an atmosphere in which parents/carers are encouraged to take responsibility for meeting needs of their children.
  • Work closely with Family Support Team and the Bessborough Centre staff as part of agreed plans for children.
  • Liaise, where appropriate, with colleagues within Tusla and HSE and other professionals in external agencies.
  • Deliver a needs based service and encourage the innovative use of services and resources in direct work with children and families.
  • Conduct family and parenting assessments and ensure detailed and accurate record-keeping is maintained.
  • Provide court and professional reports on the assessment of families and the parents’ capacity to change.
  • Be responsible for handling designated amounts of petty cash, receipting monies as appropriate and conducting such transactions in accordance with financial regulations.
  • Attend and participate, as required, in Case Conferences, Court hearings, team planning and review meetings.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • To take part in any standby and out of hour’s arrangements as required.
  • Contribute to service development.

Other duties

  • Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job, participate in appropriate training activities.
  • Undertake health and safety duties commensurate with the post and/or as detailed in the Health and Safety Policy.
  • Undertake travel to clients & work unsociable hours where appropriate and reasonable.


This job description indicates the main functions and responsibilities of the post and is subject to review and amendment in the light of service developments and changing circumstances and may include other duties and responsibilities as may be determined from time to time by Bessborough Centre Management.

The above position is subject to the availability of funds and will be subject to a satisfactory performance assessment. A 6 month probationary period will apply.

The duties described in this job description must be carried out in a manner in line with the mission and ethos of Bessborough Centre which promotes equality of opportunity, dignity and due respect for all service users and employees.
Please see Person Specification attached below.

To apply please post two copies of your CV and a brief cover letter to: HR Dept, The Bessborough Centre, Blackrock, Cork City or email:, subject title ‘Lime Tree’ by 5pm, 15th July 2020

Person Requirement:

The successful candidate will be a compassionate, empathetic individual with an appreciation of self-care and team-working. Qualification in social care, nursing, social science, psychotherapy, childcare or equivalent is required as is a clean full driving licence.

Please submit a CV and cover letter to HR Department, The Bessborough Centre, Blackrock by 5pm on 29th June 2020.