EVENT CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations made up to five working days before the event are refundable. Cancellations made after this, are non-refundable. Substitutions may be made without charge at any time, please contact cpd@socialcareireland.ie to arrange the substitution.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY: If you experience difficulties of a technical nature while placing a booking please contact tech@socialcareireland.ie.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Social Care Ireland’s Annual Conference 2019 – Caring for Social Care Professionals

March 27 @ 9:30 am - March 28 @ 5:00 pm

€40 – €180


Tickets are not available as this event has passed.

Please book your accommodation directly with the Radisson Blu Hotel, see rates below  

Social Care Ireland’s Annual Conference 2019

Caring for Social Care Professionals 

Date: 27th and 28th March 2019

Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Limerick

Presentations: Wednesday 27th March 2019


Keynote: Deirdre Fay, “Compassionately Embodying & Healing Attachment Wounds”

Workshop 1: Carmel Halton, “Putting Reflective Practice into Practice in Child Care”

Workshop 2: Joanna Fortune, “Therapeutic techniques for repair and recovery of attachment”

Workshop 3: Derek McDonald, “Focusing through interactive pausing”

Policy/Practice presentations 1:

David Power, “Don’t look back in anger”- A journey of empathy and resilience, a social care worker’s story”

Susan Flynn, “Social Care & Self Care”

Charlotte Burke,  “CPD Update”

Lilly Byrne,  “CORU update”

Presentations: 28th March 2019

Workshop 5: Andrew Kennedy & Tara Moloney, “Fostering self-care using reflective practice”

Research presentations 1

Deidre Mullins & Dr. Chris McCusker, “The cost of caring – what predicts psychological distress in support staff who work
with adults with an intellectual disability”
Sarah McDonagh, Pinky McInerney & Pauline Clarke Orohoe, “Traveller parenting values, attitudes and practice: A case study”

Keynote speaker: Dr Nicola O Sullivan, “Bearing unbearable circumstances in social care; creating a space to think and to feel”

Policy/practice presentations 2

– Deidre Connolly & Victoria O’Dwyer (HIQA),  “Translating standards into practice: working together with social care professionals by developing resources to support understanding and implementation of National Standards”

Workshop 8: Trisha McDonald & Caitriona Clarke, “Bringing it all back Home – supporting staff in focusing on their own
wellbeing, while providing high quality care to young people”

Policy/practice presentations 3
Aoife Johnson & Deborah Long,  “Approaches to self-care in a third level social care programme to establish and maintain well-being”
– Cara Driscoll, “Working well- supporting employees in the care of young people”

Research presentations post-graduate;
– Valerie Noonan Delaney,  “An exploration of organisational culture and the impact of unfounded allegations
on staff working with vulnerable adults in social care settings”

David Dowling, “An exploration of the Housing First approach from practitioner perspectives”


There is no doubt that social care is a rewarding, but challenging profession. One-to-one work with vulnerable and marginalised service users, advocacy, challenging behaviour and expanding regulatory requirements can be physically, mentally and emotional demanding. With this in mind, the theme of this year’s conference – Caring for Social Care Professionals, seeks to explore research, policy and practice around supporting caring for social care professionals.


Key Note Speakers:

Dr. Eddie Murphy is Ireland’s most trusted Psychologist. He is the psychologist on RTE’s Operation Transformation where his practical, respectful and hope orientated approach has a strong solution focus. He is passionate about promoting well-being for children, adults, families, and school communities.His passion and enthusiasm about well-being is anchored in evidenced based psychology. He is an author of the best seller ‘Becoming Your Real Self – A Practical Toolkit To Manage Everyday Problems- Penguin Ireland.

Presentation title: Resilience & Self-care; A Practical toolkit will deeply focus on enhancing social care workers resilience and self-care capacities.

Dr. Nicola O’Sullivan has worked with children and families in community and residential settings in Ireland for seventeen years. Her work has included overseeing the provision of residential and community based services to children and families involved with child protection social work services. Nicola spent four years as clinical manager of a parent and infant assessment and treatment service in Southern Ireland. She has developed a sophisticated capacity to work sensitively with complex and emotionally demanding practice situations involving children at risk, and their parents and carers. Through her experiences both personal and professional Nicola has a broad and deep understanding and appreciation of mental health difficulties in adults and parents. Over a five year period Nicola studied at the Tavistock and Portman Trust NHS, London. There she completed a Professional Doctorate in Social Care and Emotional Wellbeing.  Nicola works with a newly established Irish service engaging with children, families and practitioners, Caidreamh, based in Cork.

Presentation TitleBearing unbearable circumstances in social care; creating a space to think and to feel

Deirdre Fay, USA has decades of experience exploring the intersection of trauma, attachment, yoga and meditation. Having meditated since the 70’s and lived in a yoga ashram for six years in the 80’s and 90s Deirdre brings a unique perspective to being in the body. In the 90’s Deirdre was asked to teach yoga and meditation to those on the dissociative unit at McLean Hospital. Having amassed skill sets in trauma treatment (as a supervisor under the guidance of Bessel van der Kolk at the Trauma Center), attachment theory (13 years of training with Daniel Brown), body therapy (as a trainer in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy) Deirdre now teaches an integrative approach which Chris Germer calls “a radically positive approach to healing trauma.” Deirdre founded the Becoming Safely Embodied skills groups and is the author of Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery (W.W. Norton, 2017), Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Manual (2007), and co-author of Attachment Disturbances for Adults (W.W. Norton, 2016) as well as the co-author of chapters in Neurobiological Treatments of Traumatic Dissociation.
A former supervisor at The Trauma Center, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute trainer from 2000–2008, certified in Internal Family Therapy, qualified trainer in Mindful Self-Compassion, Self-Awakening Yoga and LifeForce Yoga practitioner Deirdre is a respected international teacher and mentor for working safely with the body.

Presentation title: Compassionately Embodying & Healing Attachment Wounds

Selected Workshops:

Joanne Fortune  is an accredited psychotherapist and author. She founded the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic in Dublin in 2010 (www.solamh.com) where she works with families around a variety of issues, specialising in attachment therapy. She is a recognised supervisor, trainer and conference speaker in her field. In 2017 she delivered a TEDx Talk on the topic “Social media – the ultimate shame game?”. Having previously written a parenting column for the Sunday Times (Ireland Edition) she continues to write and contribute to articles on child development and parenting in various other print publications. She is also a regular media contributor to a variety of Irish radio and TV shows including regular appearances on Ireland AM and RTE’s Today Show amongst others. She is the consultant on the weekly parenting slot on Newstalk FM’s Sean Moncrieff Show. She has contributed to a number of books and publications and her first solo written book for parents, published by Gill Books, called 15 minute parenting, is available now in bookshops and online.

Workshop title: Therapeutic techniques for repair and recovery of attachment”

Dr Carmel Halton is Director of the Master of Social Work programme and the MA in Practice Teaching and Supervision in the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC. Her research and publications span a broad range of educational and professional interests: professional and post qualifying social work education; social work practice and practice teaching; reflective inquiry and reflective practice; professional peer supervision, portfolio assessment and development; deviance/offending and probation. She has presented on her research and teaching interests at numerous national and international conferences and workshops. She has just completed a term as the elected educational representative on the CORU Social Work Registration Board. She has received two UCC presidential awards for her contribution to teaching and research. She is on the Editorial Board and a reviewer for a few Social Work journals. She is actively engaged with social work staff in external agencies to progress partnership agendas in research and education between the University and professional agencies.

Workshop title: “Reflective Practice”

Tricia McDonnell is a psychotherapist and trainer. She is accredited with the Irish Council of Psychotherapy and the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy. Tricia has also trained in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Having qualified as a Social Care Worker in 1977 she worked for 12 years in a variety of social care settings in Ireland and England. Following this she worked at middle and senior management levels in a large voluntary organisation for over 10 years. Since 1992 Tricia has worked with a number of voluntary and statutory agencies as a consultant, trainer and facilitator.  She has a particular interest in supporting staff groups to provide high quality care to young people while also prioritising their own well being. This workshop will be co-facilitated by Caitriona Clarke, she has been working as a social care worker and then manager in Don Bosco Care for 20 years with young people in both residential and aftercare settings.  She completed her initial Degree in Social Care in DIT in 1998 and went on to complete her Masters in Therapeutic Child Care in Carlow College in 2008.  Caitriona also spent three years working, one day a week as part of a multi-disciplinary team in SIATT which provided group, individual and family therapy with adolescent boys who sexually abuse.

Workshop title: Bringing it all back Home – supporting staff in focusing on their their own well being, while providing high quality care to young people”

Gavin Brown completed a Health Promotion and Physical Activity Course at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Having set up a PT and Bootcamp business since 2013 achieving amazing results Gavin decided in order to reach more people a larger facility was needed to cater for the growing numbers of people seeking his expertise and so The Fitness Academy was established. In Gavin’s opinion, everyone has endless potential. It’s what we do with that potential that defines us. We all have factors which have stopped us achieving our goals in the past.
Fear is the number one reason in my opinion why people don’t get to where they want to be. Fear is universal, it affects everyone. The hardest part is the getting started.
Fear and procrastination run side by side. Fear causes procrastination and procrastination cause more fear. The time will never be just right. Action and consistency will obliterate fear and end putting things on the long finger. ‘Action’ is the first step. Without action, nothing will ever change. If someone has done what you want to do, IT CAN BE DONE.



Accommodation should be booked directly via The Radisson Blu Reservations Office (061) 456 200

The following rates will be available to attendees who may require accommodation while attending the event –
€ 120.00 B&B Single occupancy per room per night
€ 130.00 B&B Twin/Double occupancy per room per night
€140.00 B&B Triple room per room per night
€150.00 B&B Family room per room per night

Student Award and Outstanding Contribution Award, nominations sent in are now being reviewed the winners will be contacted directly.

Best of Luck!

Conference Committee


March 27 @ 9:30 am
March 28 @ 5:00 pm
€40 – €180
Event Category:


Radisson Blu Limerick
Ennis Rd
Burtonhill, Limerick, Co. Clare V94 YA2R Ireland
(061) 456 200


Charlotte Burke