The Child and Family Agency has a primary responsibility to promote the safety and well-being of children. An Garda Síochána also have statutory responsibilities for the safety and welfare of children.

Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be suffering from abuse or neglect. Tusla should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected.

The Children First Act 2015 was enacted on 19th November 2015 and commenced in full on December 11th 2017.

The Act places a number of statutory obligations on specific groups of professionals (including registered childminders) and on particular organisations providing services to children.

Through the provisions of the Act, it is intended to:

  • Raise awareness of child abuse and neglect
  • Provide for mandatory reporting by key professionals
  • Improve child safeguarding arrangements in organisations providing services to children
  • Provide for cooperation and information-sharing between agencies when Tusla – Child and Family Agency, is undertaking child protection

The policy’s intent is that the legislation will operate side-by-side with the existing non-statutory obligations provided for in Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017)

The Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act, 2012 and the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act, 2012 are additional key pieces of complementary legislation designed to improve child safety and protection.

The Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 is published as a companion document to the 2011 HSE Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (DCYA 2017).

The content of the Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 was compiled from submissions from numerous stakeholders and content experts, both within Tusla and from partner agencies with particular expertise. The new Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 is written for use by front-line social workers, their line managers and other professionals. Practice Handbook 2 is divided into four sections, following the categories identified in Children First: National Guidance (DCYA 2017: 11–12): Parent or Carer Factors, Child Factors, Community Factors, and Environmental Factors. Chapters are provided under each of these headings on factors identified in Children First: National Guidance as well as some additional areas. Chapters provide a short description of each topic area, followed by some key messages from research and a practice note to assist professionals in making evidence informed decisions and judgements.

The Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 can be found on the link below

Ireland’s National Child Protection and Welfare Guidance Training

It is recommended that Childminders complete Tusla’s Children First e-learning programme.

Cosaint Leanaí, The National Child Safeguarding Programme: Early Learning and Care website is packed with Child Safeguarding resources and supports for the Early Learning and Care sector, visit: Cosaint Leanaí, Child Safeguarding elc

Carlow CCC has responsibility for the delivery of Tusla’s Always Children First Child Protection training for the Early Years sector in Carlow. This training is valid for 3 years.  For more information on any of our upcoming Child Protection Training, please see the Training section of our Website or call us on 059-9140244.

Suggested Links

5 Steps to Prepare for Mandatory Reporting

Developing-a-Child-Safeguarding-Statement-Draft-Jan-29-2018 (1)

Tusla’s guide for the reporting of child protection and welfare concerns