Director – Claire McEwen

Claire has acquired more than thirty years working with children & families with complex needs in Ireland and the UK.

Her academic background is in social sciences and successfully completed an Honours Degree is Social Policy (BSc) and MA in Child, Family & Community Studies. Claire has an Honours Degree in Law and a variety of other relevant specialist training and post graduate certificates. She has been working as Director since 2021.

Child & Family Case Worker – Christine O’Toole

Christine is an experienced community worker in Clondalkin. Having worked for five years with the Traveller community she has gained qualifications in Childcare; Play Therapy; Sex Education; Drug Addiction; Copping On (a programme aimed at educating teenagers in crime prevention).

More recently a certificate in Solution Focused Therapy and Trauma Informed CBT.

Child & Family Case Worker – Kim Coffey

Kim graduated from IT Tallaght (now TU Dublin) in 2016 with a Level 8 degree in Social Care Practice. Kim has been working with children and families for nearly 8 years.

She has worked as an Afterschool Teacher & Teacher’s Assistant in a Montessori School, an SNA in a special school for children with Autism and now, she is in her current position as a Child & Family Case worker in Dochas Family Centre.

Child & Family Case Worker – Katie Reid

Katie has worked in the homeless and addiction services in Dublin. She completed a Diploma in Social Care and Honours Degree in Social & Community Development (BA) from TUD Blanchardstown.

Katie spent four years living in Vancouver, Canada where she worked full time in hospitality management. Her recent training includes Solution Focused Therapy,  Trauma Informed CBT, Rainbows and programme facilitation. Recently Katie graduated with the Yoga Alliance as a Yoga teacher. 

Family Therapist – Siobhan Brennan

Siobhan holds a Masters in Family Psychotherapy and an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and works full-time as a Family Therapist.

Her experience includes working in youth projects and providing therapeutic support to young people and their families in Ireland and the UK. She is working with the organisation on a short-term basis since 2023 and is a welcome addition to the team.

Financial Administrator – Patricia Dunleavy

Patricia has been working with Dochas since 2014. She has over 35 years office experience where she built up clerical, communication, and MS Office Skills.

Patricia has more than ten years’ experience working in the community sector. She has 3rd level certificates in payroll techniques, and advanced knowledge in Excel. The skills that particularly help in her role include; time management and organisational skills.

House Parent – Margaret Church

Mags provides support services for the organisation and prepares home-cooked, nutritional meals for children. She has worked with Dochas for more than fifteen years and ensures that the team have what they need and the house stays in tip-top condition. Mags has the ability to make visitors feel at home and is integral to the team for so many other reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all parents/primary carers are asked to find the time to visit Dóchas on a regular basis. We take a systemic approach to family support which involves everyone connected to the child.

Dóchas works on the basis that all children struggling with their emotions and/or behaviour are doing so due to some external factor. Initially, we will get to know your child and if we identify symptoms that need assessment, we will direct families to the necessary healthcare practitioner to make a referral.

That depends on the issues that have come up in the assessment. Some families progress quicker than others because their needs, although significant, may be less complex.

No, Dóchas is free to children & families.

No, we are qualified community-based practitioners here to support you and your child. If you have been allocated a social worker we will link in with them but we are here to support families.

If we are genuinely concerned that your child is at risk or has made a disclosure to us we are legally obliged to make a report to Child Welfare & Protection. Under most circumstances, we will have a chat with you before doing so.

No, Dóchas does not do that. Our priority is to develop a positive relationship with the child. We do, however, make it clear to the child that if they do not go to school they cannot come to Dóchas. We also work closely with the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL).

You can talk to the Director or Case Worker about commencing Non-violent Resistance (NVR).

Make A Referral

Please read the criteria before making a referral. We work with families living in the North Clondalkin area and with children aged 7-12 years only. Children need to be assessed before their 12th Birthday.