Ciara Corrigan

Project Manager, Extern

She qualified in Social Work in 2010 before this she worked as a support worker within the Adult Homeless Sector. After graduating she continued working within Adult Services as a Social Worker in Adult Homeless and Criminal Justice Sectors working in both residential and community settings. She has 9 years’ experience within Adult Services.

This work led to wanting to explore working within more specialised early intervention and preventative support areas. This led to securing a role within an Intensive Family Support Service. Working with families in significant crisis throughout the Belfast area. During this time she completed the NIPPTP Practice Teaching. From there she moved to her current role as Manager of the Strength to Strength Programme where she has worked for the past two and half years.


Olivia Garrett

Manager, Barnardos

Olivia Garrett has worked as a social worker for 25 years supporting children, families and foster carers in both the Voluntary and Statutory sectors. She has a special interest in attachment-based practice, pioneering and co-authoring Barnardo’s BUILD programme, a training and treatment initiative for foster care and residential child care. BUILD offers an evidence-informed, practical framework for providing therapeutic care to children who have experienced trauma and multiple adversities in their early development.


Olivia is currently the Social Work Manager of Barnardo’s Post-Diagnostic Support and Intervention Service for children with a diagnosis of ADHD. Previously, Olivia managed Barnardo’s Early Years Support and Inclusion Service for Traveller families and children living in the Greater Belfast area. These roles followed her long-standing post as Senior Practitioner for Barnardo’s Fostering Service Northern Ireland and her early social work career in Family Support and Intervention (BHSCT).


During her time with Barnardo’s, Olivia has been actively involved in developing and delivering training initiatives. Currently, as manager of a new and innovative ADHD Post Diagnostic Support Service (2017-present), Olivia is piloting Support and Skills Building programmes for both parents and children (7-11 years).


Olivia’s social work career began in 1994 having graduated with an M.SW/Dip.S.W., (Q.U.B.).  She has a B.A. Hons., Psychology, (Q.U.B. 1990), a Post- Qualifying Certificate in Child Care (Q.U.B.,

1997), Dyadic Development Psychotherapy, Levels 1 & 2 (2011& 2014) and a P. G. Cert. in Professional Development in Social Work (Ulster University, 2015).



Dawn Richardson

Social Work Manager, The Salvation Army

Dawn is the Social Work Manager at Thorndale Family Centre and she leads and manages the specialist Parenting Assessment service.  Dawn is passionate about the mission of The Salvation Army, having worked for the organisation for almost 25 years, and she has been at Thorndale in a social work role since 2000, progressing to positions of team leader, registered manager, social worker manager, and service manager.

Dawn leads a team focused upon enhancing parenting capabilities to improve child outcomes through targeted interventions, supports and services to build skills, develop insight and improve family relationships.  Believing that change can be achieved by children and families facing challenge, disadvantage and adversity, Dawn is passionate that the services of Thorndale aim to ‘give every child the best start in life’ and enable transformation within families lives. 


Kirsty McCann

Project Manager, Extern

Kirsty qualified in Social Work in 2013 through the Relevant Graduate Route, after previously graduating in Psychology.  Upon qualification, Kirsty started working in the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) team in Extern, and continued this role within the Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS).  Kirsty was appointed her first management position within Extern in 2016, and has been the project manager of LAC Mentoring Support Programme since the beginning of project in 2017.

Tina O'Reilly

Senior Practitioner, Extern

Tina O’Reilly has been an employee of Extern since qualifying as a social worker in 2006.  She has spent most of her career working with adults in a criminal justice setting.  Throughout this time Tina has taken a particular interest in therapeutic methods of intervention in addressing the high levels of past trauma facing service users.  This led her to embark in post-graduate studies in counselling and therapeutic communication with Ulster University, which were completed in 2012.  It also influenced her decision to undertake further post-graduate training in reminiscence, life story work and life review in 2014. 

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Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333

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