Marie Blaney has over 25 years experience as a Social Worker in a range of settings including Youth Justice and Professional Fostering Support. She currently works as a part time Systemic Practitioner with Angelman Syndrome Support Education and Research Trust and is a Co-Founder of ‘Connected for Life’.

Deirdre  McLaughlin has over 20 years experience as a Social Worker in a range of settings including Youth Justice. In 2007 she established Sign2Music, a preschool music and signing franchise which facilitates programmes supporting communication and attachment. She also works as a part time social work lecturer. She is an Independent Trainer and C0-Founder of  ‘Connected for Life.”

Lynne Peyton Independent Consultant to Children’s Services in ROI and NI. Former Senior Manager in Children’s Services in Northern Ireland and former Director of NSPCC. Regularly undertakes audits and case reviews in both jurisdictions. Has a particular interest in tackling chronic neglect and the immediate and longer term impact of lack of secure attachment in children.

Christina Enright  is a Child and Family Psychotherapist, Attachment Consultant and Trainer. For over 16 years she has worked in London with extremely vulnerable children and families across a range of settings, including schools and alternative education provision.

Marie Dunne is Registered Mental Health Nurse with 36 years’ experience.  She has worked in a range of settings that support individuals and families in the area of mental health. Her last role was as a mental health promotion specialist working in the health improvement department within a Health and Social Care Trust. This role involved working across all sectors including statutory, voluntary and community in the development of mental health and emotional wellbeing through education, training and partnership working. She now undertakes the latter as an Independent Trainer and Consultant.

Gail Penders is a Social Worker with twenty-five years’ experience of working with children, teens and their families.  She is Centre Manager of the TUSLA Child Well Being Centre at Castleblayney.  She is a panel member of the Foster Care Committee.  She understands the significance of attachment disruption and the need children have for secure base.

Peter O’Toole Support Service Manager for IFCA who seeks to address the expressed need by foster carers for more understanding of attachment related issues and appropriate training to enhance practice.

Paul Harvey is the Model of Attachment Practice (MAP) Project Lead within a  Health and Social Care Trust, having the lead role in designing and developing ‘Trauma Informed  and Attachment Focussed based’ practices and interventions within the Woman and Children’s directorate for over 10 years..  Paul’s background is in social work, social care and community development. In the later he worked for a Project attached to the ‘Centre for The Study of Conflict’ at the University of Ulster s in providing training and addressing ‘Conflict Resolution and Prejudice Reduction’ within the Northern Ireland Context.  He is the Co-Founder of Irish Attachment in Action, an Author, Independent Trainer and Consultant.


John (Johnnie) Gibson Independent Child Care Trainer and Consultant, has many years experience in residential care in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Specialist in therapeutic crisis intervention.  Trains and supports foster carers and helping children in care form secure attachments.   Faculty member, Residential Child Care Project, Bronfenbrenner for Translational Research, Cornell University New York.  Trained in the Child Attachment Interview Protocol.  Joint Convenor, Irish Attachment in Action.