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Mental Health Social Work

Mental Health

May 2020 Updates:

Mental Health Social Work

St Frances Clinic
CHI at Temple Street
Temple Street
Dublin 1
Tel.: (01) 878 4293


Who We Are:

The Mental Health Social Work (MHSW) team is based in St Frances Clinic in CHI at Temple Street. Currently the team comprises seven full and part time Social Workers with a speciality in the area of mental health. We work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to offer a range of services and supports to meet the mental health needs of the children and families attending the hospital.

Services We Provide:

  1. Emergency Department Mental Health Team (EDMHT)

We work as part of the Emergency Department Mental Health Team (EDMHT) which is a multidisciplinary team comprising Psychiatry, Mental Health Social Work and Nursing. This team responds to referrals from the ED in providing a psychiatric and psycho-social assessment of children and young people up to 16 years of age who present to the hospital with deliberate self-harm, suicidal ideation or acute mental health crises.

The Mental Health Social Worker meets with parents/carers to carry out a psycho-social assessment of the family, social and developmental history and explore the circumstances of the presentation. All three disciplines meet to discuss their assessment and create a care plan for the young person in consultation with the family. The Mental Health Social Worker supports the family during the presentation, (and admission if required), and makes onward referrals for community supports on discharge.

  1. Paediatric Liaison Service (PLS)

The Mental Health Social Work team forms part of the Paediatric Liaison Service (PLS): A multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals who work with children and families who are attending the hospital and presenting with psychological, behavioural and/or psychiatric symptoms associated with their medical condition. The aim of the PLS is to reduce child and family stress, promote optimal development and improve psychological wellbeing and health outcomes for children and families. The MHSW team works as part of the MDT and contributes to team assessments, joint work, individual therapeutic interventions and group work.

  1. Diabetes Psycho-Social Team

The MHSW team provides a service to children and families attending the Diabetes Service in the hospital. We work as part of the Diabetes Psycho-Social Team and carry out assessments, interventions and child and parent groups.

How We Work:

  • Child and Family Interventions

The MHSW team works in collaboration with the child/young person, their family, MDT colleagues and external agencies in carrying out initial assessments, parental support interventions and individual therapeutic interventions.

Our assessment and interventions have a systemic focus and particular attention is paid to family history, family relationships, current stressors, and family and individual resilience. We work with parents and children to address relationship difficulties and challenges that arise when the child experiences physical and/or mental ill health.

Our interventions are informed by attachment theory, systemic theory, psychodynamic and cognitive approaches. We develop individualised formulations based on an assessment of psycho-social need. Our guiding ethos is one of recovery, respect, empowerment and the promotion of the young person’s mental health.

  • Group Interventions

The MHSW team see group work as an integral intervention for children and families. We undertake group interventions for both young people and their parents/carers attending the PLS including psycho-education, support, behaviour management and attachment-based parent groups such as: Circle of Security, Decider Skills Groups, Parenting Support Groups and Group Analytic Psychotherapy.

  • Child Protection

The MHSW team respond to any child protection concerns arising from the EDMHT presentations or the wider PLS team. We liaise with Tusla (The Child and Family Agency) on assessment and referral of child protection issues.

Referral Pathways:

Referrals to the CHI at Temple Street EDMHT are made directly by the CHI at Temple Street ED team.

Referrals for Mental Health Social Work are accepted from CHI at Temple Street Consultants. For further information please contact the St. Frances Clinic on (01) 878 4293 or email

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