Relationships in Practice

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AUTUMN NEWSLETTER: Training, News & More!


As we move into the final weeks of summer, we hope that you have managed to get some rest and respite to take you into autumn with renewed energy. The poet, William Cullen Bryant, described autumn as “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” How lovely to have that to look forward to!

With shorter days and the changing light, autumn is often a time for new beginnings, resolutions and reflection. Perhaps, a time to invest further in your professional growth and in what sits at the heart of your role in frontline practice – relationships.

If you are curious about a relationship-centred approach, or want to develop your knowledge and understanding, we have several training opportunities starting in October. Available in-person and online, they are all highly subsidised to ensure that they are accessible to all, in keeping with our mission and vision.

As a small team, we look forward to welcoming you into these warm and welcoming, safe and facilitated spaces ahead.

As always, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Robyn Pinkham on


Fern Higgins Atkinson

Programme Manager, Relationships in Practice

 087 1751259

An invitation to Principals and aspiring school leaders

It provided me with the critical skills to deal with complex issues that arise daily in a dynamic environment. Keep doing what you are doing – the training is fantastic and the more people that avail of it the better for our education system. Míle buíochas – you are amazing people, and you understand the needs of children and adults, especially those with significant ACEs in their lives.” – Previous participant

On Wednesday 11th October, our online programme for principals and aspiring school leaders – ABLE4School Leaders: How and Why Relationships Matter in Schoolswill begin.

This interactive, evidence-based training programme has been endorsed by the Centre of School Leadership (CSL) and is now in its third consecutive year.

We invite all school leaders and aspiring leaders to join us in this small group, reflective, experiential and nurturing online learning experience to deepen your understanding of why quality relationships in schools matter – and the impact they have on wellbeing and learning outcomes.

The programme will run over five dates in October and November: 11th, 18th 25th October and 8th & 15th November. Two Community of Practice dates follow on for 17th and 31st January 2024. 

This growing Community of Practice provides an opportunity for school leaders interested in taking a relationship-centred approach in their schools to network with colleagues nationally. It supports further reflection, knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer engagement and problem solving in a safe, online space.

This training will give you the skills, insight and knowledge to nurture positive relationships in your school for better outcomes. It also provides you with a framework to manage your time and boundaries for your own health and wellbeing via our ABLE brief intervention model.  

Our evaluations show that 83.3% agreed that the course was relevant to being a school leader and agreed that it developed their skills to build quality relationships.

The subsidised cost is €350. For further details please contact  to secure a place or phone her on (087) 1466011.

ABLE training to support a relationship-centred approach

Are you interested in learning more relationship-centred practice? Join us in-person or online for ABLE4Pracitioners, a three day, evidenced-based programme to help you to place quality relationships at the heart of your practice.

Our trainers, Leon and Cliodhna, will co-facilitate an online programme on the 3rd, 10th and 17th October.  Together, they will guide you through our ABLE (Adopt a relational approach, Build & Boundary, Listen and End & Empower) brief intervention model – a framework to support you in managing difficult conversations and to help you to manage your time and boundaries for your own health and wellbeing.

An in-person ABLE4Pracitioners programme follows on 14th, 21st, 28th November in Waterford (venue to be advised) when our trainers, Una and Patsy, will warmly welcome you into a small group, experiential space.  

The programme shares emerging scientific insight from the fields of relationship theory, parent-infant mental health, childhood development, childhood adversity and interpersonal neurobiology to help you understand what may be going on for the children and adults you engage with at work. In these experiential and reflective spaces, you will develop your understanding of the power of active/reflective listening and how quality relationships lead to better outcomes.  

The Early Bird fee for both courses is €250 or €300 for the full rate. To book your place, please email  or phone her on (087) 1466011.

Heart of Frontline Practice Touchpoint in October

On 17th October 2023 from 11-1pm, Dr Sylvia Smith will facilitate an online seminar on ‘Relationship-based practice in social work and social care management’.

This is one of a series of initiatives under the Heart of Frontline Practice (HOFP) alliance to provide frontline practitioners with reflective practice spaces so that we can take time out of our daily routine practice to reflect on the topics that sit at the heart of our work.

The event will be hosted by Dr Nicola O’ Sullivan, a member of the HOFP alliance, and it is open to all frontline practitioners in Health, Education, Social Care Work, Community & Youth Services.

Dr Smith teaches on the Masters and Doctorate in Social Work programs and Supervises Doctoral Students. She is Course Lead for the PGCert/Dip ‘Multidisciplinary Practice in Health and Social Care’ course at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

A social worker for over 35yrs, she has been an educator for almost as long, holding frontline, senior practitioner and management/leadership roles within the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. Her practice is informed by psychosocial, systemic and relationship-based approaches so this seminar promises to be insightful and inspiring.

Please see our flyer for full details about this inspiring event. The cost of this seminar is just €30.  Spaces are limited so to reserve your place, please scan the QR code below or contact Robyn Pinkham on

“Relationships matter: the currency for systemic change was trust, and trust comes through forming healthy working relationships. People, not programs, change people.

Bruce D. Perry

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