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Ethics Committee

In St Joseph’s Foundation, we have policies and guidelines to help us provide the best service we can for our service users, staff and their families. Sometimes unexpected situations arise that are not covered by our policies. When this happens, the Ethics Committee may be able to offer guidance.  

What is the Ethics Committee

  • The Ethics Committee is a group of staff members and family of service users. 
  • They work to protect the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of the children, adults and staff within St. Joseph’s Foundation. 
  • They promote the education of staff and service users on ethical issues that may affect their rights and quality of life.
  • The Committee supports discussion and problem solving for difficult issues, not covered by existing policies. 
  • They consider national and international legislation and guidelines to help with their decisions.  
  • The Committee may make recommendations to meet best practice for service users and staff within St. Joseph’s Foundation. 
  • The Ethics Committee meets once a month or as required. 
  • Ethics meetings must be attended by at least 50% of the Ethics Committee members in order for decisions to be ratified.


1.       Service User, Staff & Families

The Ethics Committee accept referrals in relation to services provided by St. Joseph’s Foundation.


  • A service user or staff/family member can make the referral.
  • Staff/ family members can support service users to complete the referral form and email it to the chairperson at ethicscommitttee@sjf.ie 
  • The referral form can be downloaded here 


Step One: 

  • The Ethics Committee  receives a referral
  • An Ethics Committee meeting is held to review the referral
  • The Ethics Committee revert to the referrer wthin 10 days of the meeting advising of the outcome or f further information is required. 

Step Two: 

  • The Ethics Committee make recommendations relating to the outcome .
  • The recommendations are sent to the person who has made the referral. within 10 day of the Ethics Committee meeting *

Step Three:

  • The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Ethics Committee will keep a copy of these recommendations.
  • Appeals should be made through the CEO of St. Joseph's Foundation
  • A further appeal can be made to the Board of Management who will have the final say.

* In the case of a service user, the recommendations will be communicated to them by the person who supported them to make the referral. This should be stored in their personal plan. 


2.       Researcher

For a Research proposal to be considered for the next available Ethics Committee Meeting, it must be submitted by email to the chairperson at ethicscommitttee@sjf.ie with the heading Research Proposal. 

The Ethics Committee will respond to a Research application within 10 days of a committee meeting reviewing an application.  The responses with be either: 

  • Approval
  • Request for Further Information/ Suggested Changes
  • Rejection