AG EISTEACHT has appointed Dr Nicola O’Sullivan as an associate to support its training and organisational development work.
The charity advocates for positive relationships in practice and trains frontline practitioners in healthcare, social care and education to take a relationship-centred approach in their work.
Nicola has worked with children and families in residential and community settings for nineteen years. She established and managed two child protection family support services and managed a large residential unit and social care team, specialising in parent-infant mental health and early childhood development.
An independent consultant for teams and organisations, Nicola is also a clinical supervisor to individual practitioners and teams working with children and families. Part of her role with Ag Eisteacht is to provide reflective spaces to their small head office team and national network of licensed trainers.
Nicola holds a diploma and degree in Social Science in Youth & Community Work from University College Cork; a Masters in Child Protection and Welfare from Trinity College Trinity College Dublin and a Doctorate in Social Care and Emotional Wellbeing from the Tavistock and Portman Trust, London.
She lectures on parent-infant mental health, systems-psychodynamic theory, reflective practice and neglect in childhood on the Post Graduate Diploma in Child Protection and Welfare at Trinity College Dublin.
Nicola also teaches on the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community at University College Cork and the MA in Art Therapy in CIT. She is an associate lecturer at the Tavistock and Portman Trust, London and an external examiner of the Social Care Degree Programme at the Technological University, Dublin.
Dr Maeve Hurley, founder and CEO of Ag Eisteacht, said: “Nicola’s first-hand experience of working on the frontline with families means that she understands and values our vision and mission to place relationships at the heart of practice.
“Evidence shows that supportive relationships impact positively on health and wellbeing outcomes so relationships in practice are vital as they can make such a difference to a patient’s/client’s life. We welcome Nicola’s thoughtful insight and broad knowledge as we continue the development of our training programmes, our research, collaborations and advocacy work.”
Ag Eisteacht has trained more than 3,000 practitioners to date in Ireland, including health and social care workers, GPs and teachers to take a relationship-centred approach. Since the arrival of Covid19, the charity has developed several of its ABLE (Adopt a relational approach, Build, Listen & Empower) training programmes for virtual delivery.
Nicola said: “This endeavour with Ag Eisteacht offers me the opportunity to draw on my work and college experience in deep and broad ways, and that is something that excites me greatly. There are many synergies between us, and we have a shared ethos and interest in supporting quality relationships in practice -a vital aspect of frontline work.”