Child Protection

 


Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children
 
2017 
provides the national guidance for the protection and welfare of children in Ireland.  

A child is defined under the Child Care Act 1991  as anyone under the age of 18 years who is not, or has not been married. 

It states what organisations need to do to keep children safe, and what different bodies and the general public should do if they are concerned about a child’s safety and welfare.

Tusla Child and Family Agency 

Tusla Child and Family Agency has a legal responsibility under the Childcare Act 1991 to promote the welfare and protection of children.  

Click here to locate contact details of your local Child and Family Agency Social Workers

 

Children First Act 2015

The key provisions in the Act that will affect early years’ services are:

1.     Legal Obligation on ‘Mandated Persons’ to report child protection concerns and child abuse over a certain threshold to Tusla

2.     Requirement to have a Child Safeguarding Statement

Commenced in full on December 11th, 2017

Mandated Persons

In early years’ settings you are a Mandated Person if you are:

1.     A person carrying on a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991.

2.     A child care staff member employed in a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991

Mandated persons have two main legal obligations under the Children First Act 2015:

-         To report harm of children, above a defined threshold, to Tusla

-         To assist Tusla, if requested, in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report

 

The National Child Safeguarding Committee; Early Learning and Care

 

The National Child Safeguarding Committee; Early Learning and Care was set up in 2012 following a number of developments in the Early Years Sector, including the establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2011 and the launch of the updated publication of Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, also in 2011. The Children First National Guidance was fully revised and published in 2017 to include reference to the Children First Act 2015. The Committee was developed with the primary aim of addressing the implementation of Children First in the Early Years Sector. 

The Committee is charged with coordinating the delivery of Child Protection Training nationally in a consistent approach. Thus a Sectoral Training Plan was developed under four headings:

  • Training
  • Communication
  • Policy & Procedure
  • Quality Assurance

Updated Child Safeguarding Statement Template and Information Sheet

The National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care is the only Tusla approved, Early Learning and Care sector specific Child Safeguarding training programme. 

We are delighted to share the updated Child Safeguarding Statement Template and accompanying Information Sheet for Early Learning and Care services.  This resource has been developed in conjunction with the Tusla Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit and will help services to develop a strong, robust Child Safeguarding Statement that is individual and unique to their service.  The template and accompanying information sheet attached outlines the exact steps that services are required to follow to develop their Child Safeguarding Statement.

A Child Safeguarding Statement is a written statement that specifies the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed in order to ensure, as far as practicable, that a child availing of the service is safe from harm.  Upon completion, the Child Safeguarding Statement must be shared with all staff members, displayed in a prominent place in the service and made available to parents and guardians, Tusla and members of the public upon request.

Further information can be found here https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/organisations/what-is-a-child-safeguarding-statement/

Click on the documents below to view the updated Child Safeguarding Statement and Information Sheet:

 Child Safeguarding Statement ELC TEMPLATE

Child Safeguarding Statement ELC Information Sheet

 

Child Protection Training

Reminder: Always Children First Child Protection Training currently on hold

Due to current Public Health advice, the Early Years specific Always Children First Foundation Level training is on hold.  We understand that there are many Early Learning and Care services that require training as certs are out of date, however in order to keep staff, children, families and communities safe, the National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care in consultation with Tusla have taken this decision. 

*All staff, whether currently working or returning to work, are asked to complete the Tusla ELearning Programme

The programme can be accessed here: Children First ELearning Programme

As with the Foundation level training, it is suggested that Practitioners complete the Tusla ELearning Programme every three years.

 Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar

In addition to this, the National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care have put together a 30 minute, online, revision presentation for Early Learning and Care Practitioners. The session was developed to highlight the key elements of the Children First 6 hour training. This programme should be preceded by completing the Tusla ELearning Programme.

Children First Revision webinar can be accessed here: Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar

Further information on Child Protection training is also included on the website below:

The National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care Website and Twitter Page

The National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care provides the only Tusla approved sector specific Child Safeguarding Programme in Ireland. 

Their new website is full of Early Learning and Care sector specific child safeguarding training and resources, which were developed in conjunction with Tusla.

It is a ‘one stop shop’ for all Child Safeguarding resources for Early Learning and Care Services in Ireland as detailed below:

The website can be found at www.childsafeguardingelc.ie and on Twitter at @safeguardingelc

The website includes:

  • Information for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare services including all relevant Child Protection resources and publications.
  • Information for Parents section which includes an Information Leaflet for Parents on Child Safeguarding in Early Learning and Care services. 
  • Information for Third level providers
  • Information on Child Protection training

Visit the website here: National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care

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