The Children’s First Act 2015 came into effect on 11th December 2017. This means the Children First National Guidelines for the protection and welfare of children are now law.

All service providers of a “relevant service” including hospitals, and schools are required to ensure as far as practicable that each child is safe from harm when using the services. Each service provider must prepare a “child safeguarding statement” which includes a written assessment of risks and procedures to manage any risks to children in accessing their services. Guidelines are available on www.tusla.ie

The Child Safeguarding statements must be available for inspection and all staff members are required to be trained to be familiar with these. The Child Safeguarding statement must be updated at least every 2 years. Failure to produce a Child Safeguarding statement to the Child and Family Agency may result in a non-compliance notice being served and inclusion in a public register of non-compliant organisations.

Mandated persons which include nurses, doctors, dentists, and teachers are required to make a mandatory report to Tusla if they have knowledge of or suspect that a child has been harmed, is being harmed or is at risk of harm.

All staff should receive training in relation to this important development.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “The Children’s First Act 2015”, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

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