About Us

Aspire Plus – The Specialist Children’s Service offers a unique approach, delivering a range of high-quality, specialist services for children and families who are involved with the Family Courts and also for children and families involved with social services.

Who We Are

Combined, our directors bring over 50 years of experience in the area of child welfare, child protection and residential care. This service has been developed by Orla Ryan, our Director of Children’s Services in conjunction with Colum Smith, Managing Director. Our senior management team is due to increase this year, as the service continues to expand. In addition, our panel of multi-disciplinary advisors combined, bring in excess of 100 years experience from the fields of attachment studies and child protection.

Orla is a psychology-trained social worker, with more than 21 years of experience working with children and families. She also holds an M.Sc. in Attachment Studies. Her experience includes working in residential settings with children with complex emotional needs, management of a large children’s residential service, social services management of a children in care team. Most recently, Orla has worked with children for almost twelve years, as a Guardian ad Litem appointed to complex childcare cases.

Colum Smith brings extensive experience in the area of children’s residential care services and recruitment. Colum developed Community Children Centres’ in the 90s and provided residential care for thirty-six children across Kildare and Wicklow. Our sister company MCMA is a leading healthcare provider of agency staff across the country to private residential services for children and adults, charities, the HSE and Tusla.

Our Primary Objective for Children

‘History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children’
Nelson Mandela

In Aspire Plus our primary objective is to make a difference in children’s lives by supporting them to achieve better outcomes. We believe that every child and young person has the ability to achieve their full potential. Together, our teams strive to untap this potential and identify their strengths. We support children to build on their strengths, focusing on small achievable goals, taking one day at a time. We know there will be bumps along their journey, but every step of the way our committed teams will be there to support and encourage them to make positive choices, that will pave the way to better outcomes in their lives.

For children of separated parents, our goal is to support children to enjoy good quality relationships with both parents, through the provision of skilled access workers and our Together Parent-Mentoring programme.

Our Mission

Our mission statement

In Aspire Plus, our mission statement is simple; ‘Better days, better lives’. We believe when children and young people are supported to enjoy an increasing number of better days, this in turn contributes to better lives for them.  Our teams devise tailored plans for children and young people taking into consideration their specific circumstances, focusing on their best interest in conjunction with all relevant parties. Every child  and young person deserves a future, and through our approach, by focusing first on helping them to have better days,  we work towards the goal of supporting meaningful change and better lives in the future.

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