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CAREERS > Director of Services

Director of Services at Barnardos

Director of Services
Expiry Date
09 Apr 2024
Posted by
Paula Grogan
Posted on
21 Mar 2024

Established in 1962, Barnardos is Ireland's leading children's charity. Barnardos provides services for over 20,000 vulnerable children and families across Ireland annually.

As Director of Services you will drive and implement Barnardos strategic plan, which is currently in progress for delivery of Trauma Informed quality services. Key to our success is that people working at Barnardos are engaged, effective and reflective of Ireland's growing and diverse society.

What do Barnardos do?

Barnardos mission is to transform the lives of vulnerable children and those affected by adverse childhood experiences.

Barnardos work is delivered by 500 staff and supported by 200 volunteers. Our 56 community services are spread across the country, with work also conducted in family homes, Barnardos centres, and in schools. A

Barnardos trauma informed approach underpins Barnardos' service provision. This means understanding that the impact of adverse experiences in childhood can last a lifetime, appropriate supports and services being put in place are key to mitigating against this.

Barnardos is committed to being cutting-edge and innovative, with capacity to identify and respond to new and emerging needs. Our service provision is informed by the latest research and evidence. we had 4employees (45% full-time, 55%

Barnardos is committed to highlighting and representing the needs of vulnerable children and families in the media and political space. We always comment from the viewpoint of having direct experience of working with vulnerable families. This continues to be a key focus of Barnardos strategy.

Barnardos has a mixed funding model with includes statutory and fundraising income streams.

Further information on the services we deliver can be found here

Strategic Plan (2022- 2027)

The following 5 'i' Key Strategic priorities have been identified and are being implemented.

Impact – Delivering services that transform the lives of children; targeting, extending, and maintaining the quality and reach of services

Invest – in people to build future sustainability, attracting, and retaining quality people and supporting their wellbeing; diversifying our revenue base to secure financial sustainability

Innovate – using technology and evidence to be innovative with effective working practices and services that meet increasing needs and support staff

Inform – creating, applying, and sharing knowledge by analysing our data, measuring, and evaluating our services to improve quality and effectiveness

Influence – raising public awareness about the needs of children; shaping policy and practice, to become a recognised leader in trauma informed approach.

Barnardos has a growth mind-set. We place a high value on learning and development to continuously improve what we do. We know our people are key to delivering on our strategic objectives. We are committed to making Barnardos a great place to work or volunteer by continuing to offer meaningful roles, fulfilling career pathways, excellent training and development opportunities, and flexible and attractive working conditions.

As Director of Services you will play a critical role in the senior management team shaping and building our capacity to realise our strategic goals. We are seeking a person who aligns with and supports Barnardos values and the associated behaviours.

Values & Behaviours 

Child First

Listening, championing, protecting, being there


Confronting, being brave, determination, tenacity


Integrity, building self-worth, promoting diversity, celebrating inclusivity


Teamwork, collaboration, partnering, relationship based


Joy, fun, creativity, growth mind set, instilling hope and positivity


Taking responsibility, dependability, transparency, holding boundaries

Leadership Team

You will be a member of a leadership team that includes the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Services, Director of Innovation and Development, Director of Finance, IT and Governance, Director of Fundraising, Retail and Communications and Director of People and Culture. The Director of Services is supported by a senior team of 6 regional Assistant Directors of Services and a National Assistant Director, each of whom hold responsibility for teams of managers and staff who offer frontline services to children and families.

Find out more about Barnardos at


Post:                           Director of Services

Location:                   National Office, with national travel as required

Responsible to:        Chief Executive

Works with:                Board, Management, staff and external agencies


Job purpose

To lead the effective implementation of Barnardos strategic direction of our services for children and adults, integral to which is effective change management. Management of services with attention being paid to quality provision and risk management.


Requirements Specific to this Post

  • Lead and manage Barnardos' Services to children and adults to the highest level of quality, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability working closely with the Assistant Directors of Services
  • Ensure the effective use of internal quantitative and qualitative data to inform operational oversight and management of our services.
  • Develop, drive and manage the implementation of the Services strategy as part of Barnardos' overall strategic plan. 
  • Ensure the delivery of best practice models of service across the organisation to ensure they remain needs led and outcomes focussed.
  • Report to the Board, the Services Committee, the Audit Committee and the Senior Management Team on all matters relating to operational aspect of Services.
  • Work with Director of Innovation and Development on agreeing annual KPI's for Barnardos services
  • Responsible for ensuring Barnardos' compliance with best practice regarding the safeguarding of children we work with, consistent with the requirements of legislation, national standards and best practice.
  • Responsible for management and oversight of key funder relationships, in particular the Tusla relationship.
  • Representing Barnardos on the national Tusla Commissioning Advisory Group. 
  • Working with Senior Management Team and Children Service Management Team to attract funds from statutory and other sources to ensure that Barnardos work can be appropriately resourced and developed.
  • Have budgetary responsibility for the areas under your control and to assure the efficient management of all financial and administrative matters according to the Barnardos systems and procedures and in consultation with the Finance Director.
  • Supporting the effective management and accountability of a large team of staff and volunteers, ensuring they receive appropriate supervision and support and appropriate HR processes are followed.
  • Oversee the management of service users' complaints.


Requirements of all Barnardos staff

·              Commitment to the purpose of Barnardos and to work within the values, policies and procedures of the organisation and in the context of current legislation and regulations.

·              To participate in meetings with their line manager.

·              To actively participate in team and staff meetings and service reviews/ evaluations and to contribute to the development of policy and practice with your area of work and within Barnardos as a whole.

·              To show reasonable flexibility in relation to hours of attendance to meet the needs of the work. Work during unsocial hours may be required.

·              Have a flexible approach to the work in response to organisational change, development and review of best practice.

·              Participate in and engage with a performance management programme.

·              Identify training needs with your line manager and participate in training opportunities appropriate to the role.

·              To be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of your line manager or local Health & Safety Officer.

·              To be vigilant to any concerns regarding the protection and welfare of children and to bring them to the attention of the Barnardos Designated Person in a timely manner, in keeping with the Barnardos Child Protection policies.

·              To participate in the efficient flow of information within the organisation by sharing and seeking information as appropriate.

·              To undertake other duties as may be requested by the line manager from time to time.

·              To undertake your work in a manner that is friendly, flexible and informal.

Note: This Job Description will be reviewed and updated in line with the needs of the work



Personal Attributes

·       Strong team player.

·       Self-aware and calm

·       Positive, consistent and ability to contain whilst remaining task focused

·       Highly motivated with a commitment to deliver quality services to children and adults.

·       Committed, self-motivated and hard working.

Flexible and adaptable.

Ability to prioritise competing demands and to meet deadlines.

·       Excellent problem solving ability.

·      Excellent communicator with a variety of stakeholders.

Awareness of confidentiality and the ability to deal with sensitive queries.

Data curious with understanding of the role of qualitative and quantitative data



Experience and Knowledge

  • At least 5 years' experience in a Senior Management role.
  • At least 5 years' experience in a practice related role.
  • Knowledge and experience of implementation.
  • Effective change management skills.
  • Experience of effective cross-functional working.
  • Experience in the not-for-profit sector desirable.



  • Ability to support quality implementation by developing effective action plans.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Relationship building skills with internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to make decisions in uncertain environments with diverse partners and where there are multiple and competing demands. 
  • Ability to deal with uncertainty, crisis, change and ambiguity.
  • Ability to work effectively with different systems internally and externally.
  • Strong effective leadership, people and team management and motivational skills. 
  • Effective negotiation and conflict resolution skills.




A university degree standard qualification is desirable, ideally in social work, psychology, social care or a related area.


The post-holder will be based in Dublin with ability to work on a hybrid basis. Requirement to work in a national capacity and maintain a presence in our services. Frequent travel is required in line with organisational needs.


Barnardos is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all.


Terms & Conditions



Data Protection

15 - 17 Leinster Street South
Dublin 2

t. 01 541 4770

RCN: 20043964
CRO: 335412

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