John Balfe



Wexford Campus
e:      t: 053 9159825
ORCID ID:0000-0001-5100-558X



Academic and Research Experience

John Balfe is a qualified Social Worker, Social Care Worker, Addiction Counsellor, Youth Mentor/Co-ordinator, Strengthening Families Facilitator and CRA (Community Reinforcement Approach) Therapist.

He is currently a full time Lecturer on the Applied Social Studies and Early Childhood Education Care Programmes based at SETU Wexford Campus. He also lectures as an Associate Lecturer on the Masters in Arts programme in Child, Youth and Family Studies and on Restorative Practice in SETU Carlow.

He commenced his Social Care career having completed a National Diploma and Honours Degree in Applied Social Studies and Social Care from NUI Maynooth. He has worked in the professional areas of disability, family therapy, residential care and youth and community work. Having taught for two years as an English teacher in South Korea he returned to work with the Irish Probation Service for a period of 14 years in prisons, community and specialised court settings such as the Drugs Court and served as a Senior Probation Officer covering North inner city Dublin and County. He is currently in his second year of his MA in Teaching and Learning at Higher Education.

Subjects currently being taught include Restorative Justice/Practice, Supervision in the caring professions, Reflective practice, Supervised Professional Practice, Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition, Psychology of Children and Childhood studies,Leading Contemporary Practice, Addiction Studies,  Strengthening Families, Sexual offending, Disability Studies, Protection of Vulnerable Children and Adults.

Publications and Outputs

Conference proceedings and papers

Balfe, J., Farrell, T., Kenny, N., McNamara, M.(2018) ‘Assessment 4 Students’ Poster Presentation at EDTech 2018, IT Carlow, Carlow.

Balfe, J. & Roche, A. (2017) ‘A shared vision; Innovative responses to enhance treatment and rehabilitation pathways’, International Conference for Therapeutic Communities, Dublin Castle.

Balfe, J. (2016) ’Inspiring Change, Transforming Lives,’ the 2016 National Volunteer Conference, Unpublished paper presented at National Volunteer Conference, Tipperary, Ireland.

Balfe, J. & Donnelly, D. (2009) ‘Healthy Families Healing Communities: an Irish experience’ at the NADCP 14th Annual Training Drug Courts Conference, St Louis, Missouri USA.

Balfe, J & Hanna, E. (2009) ‘Navigating the 1983 Community Service Act’ Unpublished paper presented to Training and Development Unit in the Irish Probation Service, Dublin.

Balfe, J. & Hatton, P. (2008) ‘The value of the therapeutic alliance when working with people in addiction: involuntary clients and treatment’. Unpublished paper presented to the Cork Probation Service, Cork.


Balfe, J. (2017) Review of staff morale, burnout and staff engagement issues by Probation Officers, unpublished report, Impact, Dublin.


Balfe, J. (2014) ‘Restorative Justice: How is it currently used by the Probation Service when working with Adult Offenders?’ MSc In Social Science (Social Work), UCD, DUblin.

Balfe, J. (2001) ‘Streaming in secondary school education: An empirical study of the effects using Ballyfermot as a case study’, BA in Applied Social Studies, NUI Maynooth, Kildare.

Balfe, J. (1998), ‘ Thank you for the Music: How is Music Therapy utilised for people with a disability’ National Diploma in Applied Social Studies, Athlone Institute of Technology, Westmeath.

Guest Lecturing

Balfe, J (2017) ‘ A Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC): The STRIVE Initiative’, Ballymun, Dublin.

Balfe, J (2016) ‘ The Strengthening Families Programme’ presentation to MA in Child, Youth and Family Studies programme, Institute of Technology, Carlow.

Balfe, J (2013) ‘The Irish Probation Service- what do they do?’ To BA in Applied Social Studies Programme, Carlow College, Carlow.

Balfe, J (2012) ‘ Working with people who sexually offend’ presentation to the Social Work Department in St James Hospital, Dublin.

John Balfe was also an External Examiner for the BA in Applied Social Studies Programmes in IT Carlow from 2014-2017.

Research Supervision

  • Piggott, S. (@018-2019) ‘A study of the mental health of men who are fathers post separation/divorce’, IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Walsh, K (2018-2019), ‘ Impact of Challenging Behaviour on Social Care Workers’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Bates, C. (2018-2019), ‘The Importance of Early Years Practitioners and Primary School Teachers promoting a healthy lifestyle and implementing healthy eating policies for children in schools and services’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Breen, K, (2018-2019), ‘How do Early Years Practitioners support creativity?’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • O’Connor, A. (2018-2019), ‘The impact that Play Therapy has on children in hospitalised settings’, IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • O’ Leary, E. (2018-2019), ‘How learning more than one language from an early age influences children cognitive development’, IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Doyle, G. (2017) ‘What is the training for Teachers and Special Needs Assistances educating children with ADHD at primary school level in Co Wexford?’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Flood, M. (2017) ‘To Investigate from a rights perspective ho retirees in Co Wexford perceive information communicating technologies and technology based services?’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus, Wexford.
  • Hillis, P. (2017) ‘What is the awareness of programmes and access to information in family resource centres in Co Wexford regarding positive mental health?’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus.
  • Keane, P. (2017) ‘A comparative Study of students currently in Third Level Education, exiting DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) and Non-DEIS Schools’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus.
  • Peiris, S. (2017) ‘An awareness on the Importance of Promoting Culture Inclusion in Diverse Practice and the Outcomes it has on Children’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus.
  • O’Brien, K. (2017) ‘A move towards mindfulness in Irish schools: how knowledgeable are Irish parents in regard to mindfulness and their approval of mindfulness based techniques in Irish primary schools?’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus.
  • White, C. (2017) ‘Parent’s Experience of their Dyslexic Child’s Journey through Primary Education’ IT Carlow, Wexford Campus.
Areas of Interest for future supervision role
  • Restorative Justice/Practice
  • Supervision in the caring professions
  • Reflective practice
  • Teaching and learning in social care
  • International collaborations in social care
  • Addiction studies
  • Ethics in Social Work and Social Care
  • Strengthening families
  • Probation, crime and sexual offending

Engagement and Collaboration

  • South East Research Sparks Initiative with WIT and presentation on ' Restorative Practice and how it is used by Social Workers in the Criminal Justice system'. 
  • WIT Crime and Society research group with a research interest in restorative justice and victims.
  • GAME CORE  and an organisation called FOCUS Games with a research grant from The Teaching and Learning Forum on developing a simulated game to teach social care students on issues to do with child protection. 
  • Completed a Digital Badge in Universal Design for Learning with AHEAD and UCD and Teaching and Learning Forum in applying principals of UDL to teaching and learning in Higher Education. Will be awarded the facilitators badge.
  • A current member of the Irish Association of Social Care Educators (IASCE) and Social Care Ireland -
  • Held the position of Chair of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) Special Interest Group on Probation 2015-2017 and is currently an active member of the IASW
  • Active member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice-
  • Supervises Social Workers in private practice and is a CORU registered Social Worker - CORU registration number- SW012837
  • Volunteers as a leader and co-ordinator on the Meitheal Youth Leadership programme in Kildare and Leighlin Diocese for the past 25 years -