Tusla Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative

Status: Ongoing

Background

The Empowering Practitioners and Practice Initiative (EPPI) was developed through a collaboration between Tusla and CES to address the challenges that face the Agency and individual social workers within it.

It is internationally accepted that the job of social workers is more complex and diverse than at any time in its history and therefore more demanding of individual professionals and of the organisations that support their work. In Ireland, as elsewhere, social workers are dealing with very challenging workloads and balancing a variety of tasks – from administration to court proceedings and frontline work with children and families. 

Overview of CES work

The EPPI will reflect on the interventions currently used by Social Work and ensure social work practitioners in Tusla have the skills and capacity to deliver evidence informed and outcomes focused therapeutic interventions. The EPPI addresses many of the different challenges that social workers meet in their work, by helping them use evidence in a variety of critical situations – from frontline work with families to presenting in Court. It will increase the confidence of social workers and their capacity to make evidence informed, confident decisions for the benefit of children and families. The EPPI involves three elements: 

  • A Professional Development Plan which will act as a road map for social workers 
  • An evidence informed and outcomes focused practical therapeutic intervention toolkit for social workers
  • The Evidence Informed Practitioner Programme, which is being developed and delivered in partnership with Tusla Workforce Development.

The initiative will help social workers in Tusla use evidence in their daily work and the decisions that they have to make.

Project teams for the Professional Development Plan and the Therapeutic Intervention Toolkit include representatives from workforce development, policy and research as well as social work practitioners across the four regions. The initiative is being developed following an extensive consultation process with Tusla social work staff which included a survey and a series of discussion groups. 

Work on design and delivery of the EPPI commenced in August 2014. It will continue through to 2017 as the initiative is implemented across the agency.