The Lime
Tree Project

Safer Children,
Stronger Families,
Healthier Communities

Home/Child and Family Services/The Lime Tree Project

“The way that Lime Tree worked with me and my son helped a lot, I now have a better relationship with my son and the rest of my family and the house is a lot calmer”.

The work, time and effort that Lime Tree put in I will be eternally grateful for. Nothing was ever too much to do for myself and the kids. Family life has improved more than I can describe. There are still some issues but the main ones are sorted thanks to all the help and advice we got from the Lime Tree workers”.

“Thank you for all your help. At the start, being honest, I didn’t want ye there. But in the end you helped me and my family. We are all getting along a whole lot better. Life for me is really happy”.

1. Family Support

The Lime Tree family support service works with vulnerable families living in the community who need a diverse range of interventions to help maintain family unity. This service is a therapeutic family support service, which is child-focused in nature and operates at a protective level.

Lime Tree engages with families referred by South Lee Social Work Department and operates an outreach service over five days per week both within and outside normal working hours. This may include assessments, improved parenting strategies, therapeutic intervention, preparation of court reports, and support at social work meetings and child protection case conferences.

Engagement with the Lime Tree team can support families in a diverse range of areas such as parenting skills, relationship building and communication within families. In addition we utilize a variety of frameworks, such as; Parenting under Pressure (PuP), Signs of Safety, Non Violent resistance (NVR), life story work, shared parenting with separated or divorced parents, support to foster carers and supervised access.

A multi-disciplinary team including youth and community workers, social care staff, psychologists and social workers work together to create the best possible outcomes for families referred to our service. The majority of interaction with families’ takes place in the families’ own homes and a range of facilities at The Bessborough Centre are also available.

Support is offered for various lengths of time and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual families who have come to the attention of the social work department and require additional support and guidance to enhance and develop their family and home environment.

The Lime Tree Brochure:

For more information please do not hesitate to contact us for our Lime Tree information brochure

Who can refer?

The service is available to families involved with TUSLA in the South Lee Area and referrals are made directly to the Lime Tree Project by individual social workers.

Staff team

The multidisciplinary staff team are managed by Mr Jonathan Horgan who is a qualified Social Worker and overseen by Dr Calem De Burca, Clinical Director and Interim Chief Executive Officer.

learn more

2.Supervised Contact

When contact needs to be supervised, there is a perceived or potential risk to the child, either emotionally, physically or both. As this is a child focused centre the child’s best interests are paramount; thus balancing creating a positive experience for the child along with providing a safe space for all involved. Support is provided to both child and parent around the contact process with the aim to move families from a highly supervised environment to a semi or unsupervised structure within the community.

The Lime Tree Project Contact Service provides structured supports and interventions for children who are in the care of TUSLA to have contact with their parents, siblings and other family members.

Lime Tree Contact Service provides a specialist supervised service conducted by qualified Social Care and Social Work professionals in a neutral and pleasant environment. This service facilitates court directed supervised contact where a social services’ risk assessment indicates this is necessary to ensure the well-being and safety of a child while having contact with a parent or relative. Our team provides progress reports and assessments to Social Work Departments and Courts in order to progress contact between parents and children.

In addition the contact project also liaises with Social Workers at South Lee Social Work Department to provide contact rooms for families that are supervised directly by the social work department, this allows families to meet in a child friendly venue and have access to the gardens and grounds which creates a more natural environment for all involved.

  • Ensure the safety and welfare of children during contact.
  • Enable children to maintain relationships with their family through safe and professionally monitored contact visits.
  • To provide assessment reports on the quality and progression of contact visits when Court directed.
  • Support the Social Services in their statutory duty towards children while they are in the care of TUSLA and under Court direction.
  • Act therapeutically to promote and strengthen family relationships.
  • To progress the contact from supervised in the Centre to unsupervised in the community. To achieve this goal contact is reviewed regularly and progress reported to the referring social worker.

Children and parents are welcomed into safe, welcoming and neutral surroundings at the Bessborough family contact centre. The visits are very discreet and private while professionally directed supervision and observations are conducted and confidential reports provided.

Referrals to the programme are through TUSLA South Lee Social Workers.

Each adult participant must complete an intake interview and agree to follow the Centre policies and procedures before using the service.

Currently, the Bessborough Contact Programme provides three contact rooms equipped with toys and materials to support and encourage positive and meaningful interactions between children and their families. Observation rooms, whereby contact sessions are monitored through the use of a one-way mirror and microphone system, are also available along with an enclosed outdoor play area. If appropriate access may be supervised in other settings.

Staff Team

The Lime Tree Family Support Practitioners supervise all contact

Jonathan Horgan
Child and Family Services Manager
jhorgan@bessborough.ie