We believe that people receiving social services deserve quality and efficiency, as well as compassion and care.
Quality Matters are a not-for-profit working with organisations across Ireland to improve social service provision.
Our mission is to support the joint ambition of state funders, not-for-profits, charities and social enterprises to create high quality evidence-based services for marginalised communities and the individuals within them.
Our work is…
The tangible and real benefits of not-for-profit services to the lives of people in the community remain, at all times, the core focus of our work.
Nothing is more important than figuring out what is working in social services, and what needs to change, so that we can direct resources to the work that makes real impact in people’s lives.
We are committed to using evidence based approaches wherever they exist and are good enough for the job. We are also committed to contributing to a national and international evidence base for service providers.
Consultative and participatory
We value the meaningful involvement of all of the right people in planning and evaluating services that are relevant to them. This might include the public, clients, staff, other professionals, or commissioners.
We are committed to spending the public’s money responsibility. We mange our time and, where we ask for it, the precious time of other workers or clients, to ensure we spend it achieving our aims.
We know that to be sustainable organisations creative use existing resources. Service providers must work with partners across sectors and disciplines to ensure the needs of as many people as possible can met with the skills and resources that we have at our disposal.
We all know the saying about doing the same thing and expecting the same result. We strive to bring innovation and creativity into our processes, so that people pay attention, feel involved, and want to participate. New ways of working can get better results, our job is to make the process enjoyable and meaningful.
Collaborative working can leverage more resources and achieve better outcomes. Success requires shared vision and clarity, and we know that this can be supported by considered processes, protocols and policies.
Focused on building capacity
The importance of the role of staff in meeting people’s needs cannot be understated. We seek to ensure that the not-for-profit sector, and the people that drive it, have the capacity, skills and practical tools to be highly responsive and cost-effective.
Accountable and transparent
We value transparency in our organisation and support transparency in others. When we work with partners, they know what we’ve done, how we did it and where resources were spent.
Quality is more than a certificate to hang proudly on the wall. Quality is an ethos, a way of working. Our clients change, their needs change, and so our services must be changeable, flexible and responsive. Quality means continuously striving to better meet the needs of clients.
Chief Executive Officer
Caroline is CEO of Quality Matters since it was founded in 2012. Caroline oversees all projects, and leads on MA level leadership training, multi-stakeholder strategic planning processes, interagency initiatives, and Social Return on Investment evaluations.
Caroline has over 15 years experience in supporting strategic development in the community and voluntary sector. Prior to establishing Quality Matters, Caroline initiated and led successful interagency initiatives in the drug and alcohol, and homeless sectors in Ireland.
Prior to this Caroline worked in international community development, within women’s services and the disability sector. Caroline has guest lectured for NUI and DCU, presented at various national and international conferences and sat on the Board of several community organisations.
Caroline holds an MPhil in International Community Development as well as facilitation and mediation qualifications. Caroline is a qualified Social Return on Investment practitioner.
Why I do what I do
“By working together, by looking for evidence of what works and by involving clients in decisions that affect them, we make real improvements in our services, and in the lives of our clients. In Quality Matters, I work with a team who have the dedication, energy and genuine commitment to help social services in Ireland the best that they can be”.
Aoife is a Project Specialist with Quality Matters since it was founded in 2012. Aoife has supported numerous organisations and interagency groups across Ireland in the areas of governance, strategic planning, research, training and project management.
She has lead on research projects on overdose and social regeneration and a number of project evaluations. Aoife lectures on governance, human resources and reflective practice in the not-for-profit sector, and provides practical training on front line service provision in the addiction sector.
Aoife has over 10 years experience in front line service provision and management in drug and homeless services in Ireland. She also worked in domestic violence services and with recently released prisoners. In 2010, Aoife moved into policy, research and development, managing local, regional and national inter-agency initiatives. Aoife has established a number of successful advocacy initiatives, worked as a volunteer in a number of human rights groups and sat on steering committees for not-for-profit campaigns and organisations.
Aoife holds an MA in Criminology, a BA in Applied Social Care, a Diploma in Employment Law, and is trained as a trainer.
Why I do what I do
“In my work at the front line, I witnessed lots of barriers that slowed-down or stopped good work getting done. Working in QM gives me the chance to work with clients, service providers and funders to find innovative solutions to everyday problems and to equalise the playing field in Ireland”
Philip has worked at Quality Matters since 2013. He has lead research projects on developing quality standards for LGBT youth work, and supported projects on social enterprise development, institutional abuse and regeneration.
Philip also works with service providers across Ireland in improving their outcome measurement and IT processes. Philip also lectures on impact measurement and outcome reporting in the not-for-profit sector.
Philip worked as a researcher and communications coordinator for national charities and community organisations in both Canada and Ireland. Apart from his professional work here, Philip has played a key role in innovative community projects such as Granby Park and Trade School Dublin.
Philip completed a MA in History specialising in Public Policy and a BA in History.
Why I do what I do
“I’m interested in community-led action and projects that have meaningful outcomes for local people. By working with QM, I have the opportunity to work closely with charities, and social enterprises to develop knowledge, solutions and resources that respond to the needs of people who use social services.”
Sonam has worked at Quality Matters since 2015. Sonam is a research specialist working on projects involving community alcohol treatment, pay and benefits in nonprofit and charity sector and young people support programmes.
Prior to her work at Quality Matters, Sonam worked as a researcher on several research programmes including the National Children’s Consultations (DYCA), the Healthy Schools Programme, the SENsE evaluation of Epilepsy Nurse Specialists study, the EOLAS study on mental health and the Foundation Programme on Sexual Health Promotion. Currently, Sonam teaches in psychology and statistics at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. Aside from her professional work, Sonam has volunteered extensively in the areas of children, Alzheimer’s and dementia, development and immigration.
Sonam completed a BA in Psychology with post graduate certificates in Statistics and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Sonam is completing her PhD in Psychology on the statistical relationship between depression, obesity and poor school performance among disadvantaged children.
Why I do what I do
“I am passionate about working with vulnerable populations and being able to bring positive change in the lives of people through research and service evaluation is vital. Here at Quality Matters I am able to use my research skills to bring about this positive change.”
Agnieszka holds an MA in Law and Legal Science (University of Warsaw) and an LLM in Human Rights Law (Queen’s University Belfast), as well as a number of other relevant qualifications (including a Certificate in Research and Evaluation in the Human Rights Field).
In the past, Agnieszka worked as a researcher for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Irish Penal Reform Trust, and the Institute for Conflict Research in Belfast.
Before moving to Ireland, she has worked as a legal trainer for the Polish Association of Legal Education. Agnieszka has experience of working in the criminal justice and human rights fields in Poland, the UK and Ireland, including delivering high quality research and evaluations.
Robert joined Quality Matters as a research associate in 2014 working primarily on the evaluation of a regional counselling service. Robert’s background is in research, training and evaluation in mental health and substance misuse. Robert is currently working in the mental health services as a researcher, investigating quality of care within the Irish mental health service. He is also doing work in the community sector, working with clients living with addiction in the family.
Robert has worked in mental health services and research in both Ireland and Australia. Robert was involved in the development and roll-out of an indigenous mental health programme in Northern Queensland, Australia.The Indigenous Social and Emotional Wellbeing Unit (SEWB) has since been incorporated into the curriculum of three Aboriginal schools. Robert continues to sit on the steering committee for this project as well as a Young Persons Programme (YPP), designed for children affected by drug or alcohol misuse.
Robert has an MSc in Psychological Science and a BA in Psychology. For his masters thesis, Robert worked with Growing Up in Ireland to investigate the relationship between parental alcohol consumption and child outcome in a sample of nearly ten thousand nine year old children. Robert is also an accredited assessor in an intervention for working with family members affected by addiction (5 Step). Robert is currently supporting over one hundred Irish practitioners who are working towards accreditation.
Why I do what I do
“I have always enjoyed evaluating programmes and services to ensure that the highest quality services are provided to those who are the most vulnerable in society. Quality Matters concern themselves with this kind of work. I am excited to work with a highly driven, fast moving, dynamic and diverse team with the ultimate aim of improving services for everyone”.
Our projects are funded by not-for-profit services, service commissioners and philanthropic organisations.
Our team is experienced in front line service provision, service management, service commissioning, research, strategic and policy development, training and lecturing, and facilitation of high-level interagency processes in the addiction, disability, homeless, youth, community development and justice sectors.
Don’t just take our word for it
Andrew Fagan, Pat Carey, Dr. Catherine Bates, Professor Anthony Staines,
Dr. Des Crowley, Brendan Whelan, Tricia Sheehy Skeffington