Qualified as a social worker in 1996 from Trinity College Dublin. She also holds an MA in Health Care Management. Deirdre has been working in Five Rivers Ireland since it started in 2002. With previous experience of working in child protection she has developed the organisation. Deirdre has been Managing Director since 2003 and has always been focused on building an organisation that values children and families. She has worked to build a multi-disciplinary team who are just as driven to provide a foster care service that is of a high standard and meets the needs of a wide range of children. Deirdre believes that foster families are the linchpin of the Irish care system and need to be well supported, trained and acknowledged for the contribution that they make to the lives of children and young people. Deirdre has sought to ensure that foster families are key partners in the organisation and aims to ensure that this value is upheld through the organisation.