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St. Frances Clinic (Children and Families)

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


St Frances’ Clinic (SFC), which is located at the end of the hospital’s ambulance lane way. 

What is the Mental Health Social Work team?

The Mental Health Social Work (MHSW) team is based in St Frances Clinic in CHI at Temple Street. Currently the team consists of seven full time 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 attending the hospital.

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.

What Service We Provide

Emergency Department Mental Health Team (EDMHT)

We work as part of the Emergency Department Mental Health Team (EDMHT) which is a multidisciplinary team comprising of Psychiatry, Mental Health Social Work and Nursing. This team responds to referrals from the Emergency Department 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. 

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.

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.

Referral Pathways

Referrals to the Emergency Mental Health Team are made directly by the Emergency Department team. Referrals for Mental Health Social Work and the Diabetes Psycho-social team are submitted to the Paediatric Liaison Service and only accepted from Consultants within the hospital.

What to expect at your outpatient appointment

  • All out-patient appointments should check-in at the St Frances’ Clinic reception.  The social worker will collect you from there and bring you to one of the meeting rooms.
  • If you are referred through the Emergency Department or the Diabetes Clinic you may be seen at that location.
  • You may see the social worker alone or with another member of the PLS team, for example, psychiatry, psychology, nursing or Occupational therapy. 
  • Appointment times are usually 1 hour but may be longer for first appointments.
  • At your first appointment we will explore the reason for referral to the service and gather information on how this is impacting on the child and family, as well as looking at background information such as child development and areas of functioning such as home, school and educational functioning. 

Before your out-patient appointment

  • If you received a questionnaire with your appointment letter please send this back before your appointment or bring it with you.
  • If you have any reports which you think may be relevant or helpful please bring them along (eg NEPS report). 

How to cancel your appointment

  • Please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend, by calling 01 8784293. Please leave a message on the answer phone if there is no answer.
  • We will endeavour to book you in at the next available appointment.

Useful links and resources – HSE website with guidance and directories – Irish Association of Social Workers website

Do you offer work shadowing or clinical placement?

We can offer placements to students currently studying for a BSS or MSW in Social Work at one of the Irish Universities.


Principal Mental Health Social Worker
St Frances’ CLinic 
CHI at Temple Street
Temple Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 8784293

09.00-17.00 Mon-Fri.

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