National Early Years Children First Programme
It is best practice for Early Learning and Care (ELC) Services to appoint a Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and a Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP).
The Designated Liaison Person is the primary contact in an Early Learning and Care Service for all staff who have Child Protection and Welfare Concerns. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person should be available to take over the role of Designated Liaison Person in their absence.
When appointing the DLP and DDLP the organisation should consider those in a senior position within their ELC service. The person(s) should be knowledgeable about Child Protection and should be provided with adequate training and information to fulfil their role. All staff and volunteers should be aware of who the DLP and DDLP are and have access to contact details. All staff and volunteers should also be familiar with the role of the DLP and DDLP.
The DLP and DDLP should work together to ensure the following:
- That the ELC service’s reporting procedures are followed in order to ensure that Child Protection and Welfare concerns are referred promptly to Tusla
- That records are kept on all Child Protection and Welfare Concerns and that all actions that are taken are accurately recorded and stored in line with the ELC service’s Confidentiality Policy
- All staff in the ELC service are aware that the DLP/DDLP is the person they report to and is a resource and support to them in relation to child protection and welfare concerns
As an organisation, you should ensure that the appointed DLP and DDLP receive adequate training and information to fulfil their role. The DLP should complete the Tusla ELearning Programme available; https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-e-learning-programme/
Further to this the DLP/DDLP should also attend the Always Children First Foundation Level Programme organised through their local CCC, Childminding Ireland or CNNG as appropriate.
Further information on the role of the DLP and DDLP can be found in the Children First National Guidance 2017 and in Child Safeguarding; A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice available; https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Children_First_National_Guidance_2017.pdf