Helen Buckley
Fellow Emeritus, Sch Office - Social Work & Social Policy

Biography

Dr. Helen Buckley is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Social Policy and Course Coordinator, Postgraduate Diploma in Child Protection and Welfare, Trinity College Dublin. She is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin. She has practised as a social worker in the areas of disability, mental health, and community care. She teaches and researches on child protection practice and policy, assessment, service user perspectives, children living with domestic violence and the use of evidence in practice. She has published number of peer reviewed articles and books on child protection practice, as well as research reports and policy documents. She was a co-author of the Ferns Report (2005) which inquired into clerical sexual abuse. She is currently the chair of the National Panel that reviews serious incidents including the deaths of children known to the child protection services. She is an advisor to the National Director of Children and Family Services in Ireland and also provides cunsultancy to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, Recommendations from child abuse inquiries and their impact on policy and practice, Children's Research Digest, 2, (1), 2015, p4 - 10 Journal Article, 2015 URL

Dermot Hurley, Liliana Alvarez and Helen Buckley, From the Zone of Risk to the Zone of Resilience: Protecting the resilience of children and practitioners in Argentine, Canada and Ireland, International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies , 6, (1), 2015, p17 - 51 Journal Article, 2015

The Sins of the (Irish) Fathers: Is Mandatory Reporting the Best Response? in, editor(s)B. Mathews and D.C. Bross , Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect, New York, Springer, 2015, pp275 - 294, [Helen Buckley and Roni Buckley] Book Chapter, 2015

Kevin Lalor and Helen Buckley, Foreword: European perspectives on child abuse and neglect: Key messages from the 13th ISPCAN European Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 15, (2), 2015, p1 - 1 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text URL

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, Child Death Reviews: Developing Clear Recommendations, Child Abuse Revieiw, 23, (2), 2014, p89 - 103 Journal Article, 2014

H. Buckley, L. Tonmyr, K. Lewig and S. Jack, Factors influencing the uptake of research evidence in child welfare, Child Abuse Revieiw, 22, 2013 Journal Article, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Kathryn McGarry, Helen Buckley, Lessons on child protection: a survey of newly qualified primary level teachers in Ireland, Child Abuse Revieiw, 22, 2013, p80 - 92 Journal Article, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley and Caroline O'Nolan, An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services and their impact on policy and practice, Dublin, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, December, 2013, 157 Report, 2013

Helen Buckley, Using intelligence to shape reforms in child protection, Journal of Applied Social Studies, 12, (1), 2012 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text

Putting research evidence to work in child and family social work in, editor(s)Kenneth Burns and Deborah Lynch , Children's rights and child protection: Critical times, critical issues in Ireland, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2012, pp168 - 183, [Helen Buckley] Book Chapter, 2012

Buckley, H., Whelan, S and Carr. N., 'Like waking up in a Franz Kafka novel': Service users' experiences of the child protection system when domestic violence and acrimonious separations are involved, Children and Youth Services Review, 33, (1), 2011, p126 - 133 Journal Article, 2011

H. Buckley, N. Carr and S. Whelan, 'Like walking on eggshells': service user views and expectations of the child protection system , Child & Family Social Work, 16, (1), 2011, p101 - 106 Journal Article, 2011

Buckley, H., Whelan, S and Carr. N., "It looked messy and it was easier just to not hear ikt": Child Protection Concerns in the Context of Domestic Violence and Relationship Breakdown, Irish Journal of Family Law, (1), 2011, p18 - 23 Journal Article, 2011

Helen Buckley & Kathryn McGarry, Child Protection in Primary Schools: a contradiction in terms or a potential opportunity? , Irish Educational Studies, 30, (1), 2011, p113 - 128 Journal Article, 2011

Buckley, H., , Child protection and the proposed legislation: oil and water or an opportunity for positive change?, Irish Journal of Family Law, 30, (3), 2011, p57- Journal Article, 2011

H. Buckley, C. Corrigan, L. Kerrins, Report of an Audit of Irish Research on Child Protection 1990-2009, Dublin, Children Acts Advisory Board, July, 2010, 56 Report, 2010 URL TARA - Full Text

Helen Buckley & Kathryn McGarry, Compliance with Guidelines: A Case Study of Child Protection in Schools, Irish Journal of Family Law, 13, (1), 2010 Journal Article, 2010

Buckley, H. and Whelan, S., Putting Research Evidence to Work: Key Issues for Research Utilisation in Irish Children's Services, Dublin, Children Acts Advisory Board, November, 2009, 1, 147 Report, 2009 TARA - Full Text URL

Helen Buckley, Reforming the child protection system: why we need to be careful what we wish for, Irish Journal of Family Law, 12, (2), 2009, p9 Journal Article, 2009

Buckley, H. and Gibson, B., A bridge over troubled waters? Welfare and justice interfaces across the continuum of services, Social Work Now: The Practice Journal of Child, Youth & Family (New Zealand) , (43), 2009, p39 - 45 Journal Article, 2009 URL

Heading for Collision? Managerialism, social science and the Irish child protection system in, editor(s)Kenneth Burns and Deborah Lynch , Child Protection and Welfare Social Work: Contemporary Themes and Practice Perspectives, Dublin, A & A Farmar, 2008, pp9 - 23, [Helen Buckley] Book Chapter, 2008

H. Buckley, S. Whelan, N. Carr and C. Murphy, Service Users' Perceptions of the Child Protection System, Stationery Office, Office of the Minister for Children and Young People, July, 2008 Report, 2008

S. Holt, H. Buckley and S. Whelan, The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people, Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 2008, p797 - 810 Journal Article, 2008

Helen Buckley, Differential Responses to Child Protection Reports, Irish Journal of Family Law, (3), 2007, p3 - 7 Journal Article, 2007

Helen Buckley, Sadhbh Whelan, Cliona Murphy, Jan Horwath, Using an assessment framework: outcomes from a pilot study, Journal of Children's Services, 2, (1), 2007, p37 - 47 Journal Article, 2007

Buckley, H., Holt, S., Whelan, S., Listen to Me! Children's Experiences of Domestic Violence, Child Abuse Review, 16, 2007, p296 - 310 Journal Article, 2007

Helen Buckley, Stephanie Holt and Sadhbh Whelan, Listen to Me! Children's Experience of Domestic Violence, Child Abuse Review, 16, (5), 2007, p283 - 295 Journal Article, 2007

The Interface between Youth Justice and Child Protection in Ireland in, editor(s)M. Hill, Lockyer, A. and Stone, F. , Youth Crime and Child Protection,, London, Jessica Kingsley, 2007, pp61 - 74, [Buckley, H. and O'Sullivan, E.] Book Chapter, 2007

Buckley, H., Whelan, S. and Holt, S. , Llisten to Me! Children's Experience of Domestic Violence, Dublin, Children's Research Centre , 2006, 1 - 82pp Book, 2006 URL

Buckley, H., Duty to Care: Reducing Risk in Childcare Settings, Irish Journal of Family Law, 3, 2006, p3 - 7 Journal Article, 2006

Buckley, H., Whelan, S. and Horwath, J., Framework for the Assessment of Vulnerable Children and Their Families, 1st, Dublin, Children's Research Centre, 2006, 1 - 132pp Book, 2006

Buckley, H., Giller, H. and Brierley, M. , The formation of information in child care : herding cats or counting sheep?, Administration, 54, (1), 2006, p72 - 87 Journal Article, 2006

Neglect: No monopoly on expertise in, editor(s)in J. Taylor and B. Daniel , Child Neglect: Practice Issues for Health and Social Care, London, Jessica Kingsley, 2005, pp113 - 130, [Buckley, H.] Book Chapter, 2005

Buckley, H., 'Reviewing Children First: Some Issues for Consideration, Irish Journal of Family Law, 3, 2005, p2 - 8 Journal Article, 2005

Murphy, F., Buckley, H. and Joyce, L., The Ferns Report, Dublin, Stationery Office, 25 October, 2005, 1, 271 Report, 2005

Colligan, L. and Buckley, H. , Community based professional responses to child sexual abuse , Irish Journal of Family Law, (4), 2004, p2 - 7 Journal Article, 2004

Buckley, H., Child Protection Work: Beyond the Rhetoric.., London, Jessica Kingsley, 2003 Book, 2003

Buckley, H., Child Protection: Innovation and Intervention, Institute of Public Administra, Dublin, 2002 Book, 2002

Buckley, H., Beyond the Rhetoric: A 'working' version of child protection practice, European Journal of Social Work, 3, 2000, p13 - 24 Journal Article, 2000

Helen Buckley, Children First: Implications for Practice, Irish Journal of Family Law, 10, (4), 2000 Journal Article, 2000

Buckley, H., Child protection: an unreflective practice, Journal of Social Work Education, 2000 Journal Article, 2000

Buckley, H., Risk Assessment in Child Care Proceedings, Irish Journal of Family Law, 1, 2000, p6 - 9 Journal Article, 2000

Buckley H , .Working Together to Protect Children: Evaluation of an Inter-Agency Training Programme, Administration, 48, 2000, p24 - 42 Journal Article, 2000

Buckley, H., Inter-agency Co-operation in Irish Child Protection Work, Journal of Child Centred Practice, 6, 2000, p9 - 17 Journal Article, 2000

Buckley, H., Child protection: conflicting legal and medical perspectives, Medico Legal Journal of Ireland, 1999, p18 - 21 Journal Article, 1999

Skehill, C., O'Sullivan, E. and Buckley, H. , The Nature of Child Protection Practices: An Irish Case Study, Child and Family Social Work, 4, (2), 1999, p145 - 152 Journal Article, 1999

Buckley, H., Child Protection Practice: An Ungovernable Enterprise?, Economic and Social Review, 30, (1), 1999, p21 - 40 Journal Article, 1999

Buckley, H., C. Skehill, and E. O'Sullivan, Protecting Children Under the Child Care Act 1991 : Getting the Balance Right, Irish Journal of Family Law, 1, 1999, p7 - 11 Journal Article, 1999

Buckley, H., Conflicting Paradigms: General practitioners and the Child Protection System, Irish Journal of Social Work Research, 1, (2), 1998, p29 - 42 Journal Article, 1998

Child Protection in Ireland in, editor(s)M. Harder and K. Pringle , Protecting Children in Europe: Towards a New Millennium, Aalborg, Aalborg University Press, 1997, pp101 - 126, [Buckley, H] Book Chapter, 1997

Buckley, H., Skehill, C. and O'Sullivan, E, Child Protection Practices in Ireland: A Case Study, Dublin, Oak Tree Press, 1997 Book, 1997

Buckley, H., Child Abuse Guidelines in Ireland: For Whose Protection?, Protecting Irish Children: Investigation, Protection and L Welfare. A special edition of Administration, 44, (2), 1996 Journal Article, 1996

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Helen Buckley & Kathryn McGarry, Child Protection in Primary Schools: summary of a research project undertaken in January 2009, Leadership: The Professional Voice of Principals, (56), 2010, p16 - 17 Journal Article, 2010

Buckley, Helen, How well are we protecting children?, Child Links, (2), 2006, p4 - 6 Journal Article, 2006

Horwath, J., Buckley, H. and Whelan, S. , Looking for Common Ground, Community Care, 2004, p36 - 37 Journal Article, 2004

Buckley, H., 'Filtering out fathers: the gendered nature of social work in child protection, Irish Social Worker, 16, (3), 1998, p7 - 11 Journal Article, 1998

Buckley, H., The Report of the Kilkenny Incest Investigation: Implications for Practice', Irish Social Worker, 11, (4), 1993, p6 - 7 Journal Article, 1993

Research Expertise

Description

Child protection policy and practice, particularly inter-disciplinary and inter-agency collaboration; child protection procedures and guidelines; assessment; impact of social factors on child welfare, evaluation of child protection practices, research utilisation.

Projects

  • Title
    • An examination of recommendations from inquiries into events in families and their interactions with State services, and their impact on policy and practice
  • Summary
    • This study was commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with the overall aims of examining the recommendations of a number of specific inquiry reports in relation to child protection failings in Ireland, ascertaining the degree to which the recommendations were implemented in the context of concurrent reforms, and developing a template to guide recommendations in future reports.
  • Funding Agency
    • Department of Children and Youth Affairs
  • Date From
    • 01 November 2012
  • Date To
    • 30th April 2013
  • Title
    • Audit of Irish Research on Child Protection
  • Summary
    • The purpose of this project to undertake an audit of child protection research in the Republic of Ireland. The principal output from this work will be an accessible database that will be publicly available. The CAAB are undertaking this audit in consultation with the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, which is also liaising with the Health Research Board in their mapping exercise of research undertaken on child health.
  • Funding Agency
    • Children Acts Advisory Board
  • Date From
    • October 2009
  • Date To
    • December 2009
  • Title
    • Survey of newly qualified primary teachers to ascertain their knowledge of and familiarity with child protection procedures
  • Summary
    • this was a one off survey of 101 newly qualified primary teachers representing separate primary schools around the Dublin area. It measured their knowledge of and familiarity with their schools child protection policies and procedures. Results showed that a minority of teachers had been inducted, had read the procedures or knew the identity of the Designated Liaison Person for child protection in their school. The study also demonstrated a low rate of pre-qualifying training, and lower levels of confidence in ability to identify and report child abuse in those who had less than three hours training.
  • Date From
    • January 2009
  • Date To
    • June 2009
  • Title
    • Putting Research Evidence to Work
  • Summary
    • This project sought to establish the extent of research utilisation in the Irish child welfare sector. It identified the barriers and facilitators that impact on research use and made recommendations for research commissioners, organisations providing services and research providers
  • Funding Agency
    • Children Acts Advisory Board
  • Date From
    • April 2008
  • Date To
    • November 2009
  • Title
    • Child Protection Services in Ireland: An Evaluation by Service Users
  • Summary
    • This project evaluated child protection services from the perspective of sixty seven service users including thirteen children and young people. Child protection services are defined as those services which provide an integrated response to reported child protection concerns, principally the Health Service Executive child care services and An Garda Síochána. Service users in this context are defined as children, young people, parents/carers and extended family members who have been involved with child protection services through their own initiative or referral by others on their behalf. It examined their perceptions of the type of response they received from the service, the impact of being investigated, of having a assessment carried out, being involved in identifying their different needs, of genuine participation and involvement in child protection conferencing, contributing to child protection planning, being given the opportunity to review the operation of the plan, and receiving a longer term service. It also examined the degree to which children and families considered that their identified needs have been addressed.
  • Funding Agency
    • Office of the Minister for Children
  • Date From
    • 01/09/2006
  • Date To
    • 31/08/2007
  • Title
    • Listen to me! Children's Experience of Domestic Violence
  • Summary
    • Project to explore impact on children of living with domestic violence, establish their needs and recommend style and nature of most appropriate service delivery to meet their needs
  • Funding Agency
    • Children's Research Centre
  • Date From
    • March 2005
  • Date To
    • January 2006
  • Title
    • Developing a Framework for the Assessment of Vulnerable Children and their Families
  • Summary
    • three year action research project developing materials for assessment of vulnerable children and their families
  • Funding Agency
    • North Eastern Health Board, South Eastern Health Board, South Western Area Health Board
  • Date From
    • January 2002
  • Date To
    • December 2004
  • Title
    • National Childcare Information Project (Phase V)
  • Summary
    • Phase V of the National Childcare Information Project sought to establish definitions of the core business processes involved in child protection and welfare work, in order to consistency of reporting in the context of increasing technological potential to create an information system that could meet the needs of stakeholders at all levels in child care services by providing a readily accessible bank of data. Data for the study was gathered through round table discussions with over one hundred practitioners and managers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) and a final report was submitted to the joint HSE/ Department of Health and Children Steering Committee in 2004.
  • Funding Agency
    • Department of Health & Children
  • Date From
    • December 2003
  • Date To
    • December 2004
  • Title
    • Beyond the Rhetoric: A study of child protection practice
  • Summary
    • In-depth ethnographic case study of child protection practice in an area team over a 12 month period
  • Funding Agency
    • Eastern Health Board
  • Date From
    • 1992
  • Date To
    • 1998
  • Title
    • Working Together - Training Together: Evaluation of an inter-agency child protection training programme
  • Summary
    • Evaluation of a multi disciplinary programme for training of teachers, youth workers, health board staff and gardai in child protection
  • Funding Agency
    • Mid Western Health Board
  • Date From
    • June 1999
  • Date To
    • December 1999
  • Title
    • Evaluation of Child Protection Services in the South Eastern Health Board
  • Summary
    • Study of the child protection activity over a six month period using case records and individual qualitative interviews to establish practices and outcomes
  • Funding Agency
    • South Eastern Health Board
  • Date From
    • October 1995
  • Date To
    • September 1996

Keywords

Child centred research questions, study design, data analysis; Child protection policy and practice; Child welfare; Promotion of child centred research

Recognition

Representations

Member of the HIQA working group developing national standards in child protection 2011-12

Member of the Advisory Committee on Children and Family Services appointed by the HSE 2011

Member of the Scientific Committee for the BASPCAN Congress 2012 to be held in Queen's University Belfast 2011

Chair of the National Review Panel on Serious Incidents including the Deaths of Children in Care 2010

Member of Child Protection Cross Border Sub Group on Research and Knoweldge Transfer 2009

Senior Research Fellow, Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin 2002 onwards

Contract to provide consultancy to the Office of the Minister for Children on child protection and welfare policy 2006 onwards

Collaborator with the Scottish Centre for Child Care and Protection based at the University of Dundee January 2006 onwards

Chair of the working group of the Council for Children's Hospital's Care producing unified child protection guidelines for the three Dublin children's hospitals October 2005

Member of the Ferns Inquiry Panel, appointed by the Minister for Health to inquire into clerical sexual abuse in the diocese of Ferns 2003 - 2005

Member of an oversight group in the Department of Health in respect of the implementation of child protection guidance in the health sector July 2013

Awards and Honours

Elected to Fellowship of Trinity College 2006