From January 2014, child protection training for the Early Years sector will be delivered by the Childcare Committees and a number of Voluntary Childcare Organisations.
- The first level of training to be offered is Child Protection & Welfare: Basic Level. This is an HSE accredited module that has been developed for the Early Years sector.
- The HSE will no longer provide training on child protection to the sector and the new programme replaces ‘Keeping Children Safe’
- Over 3 years training will be offered to all Early Years Workers.
- Training will be free as far as possible.
- Only Trainers accredited to the new programme can deliver the HSE module.
- Training for Designated Liaison Persons will be rolled out at a later date
To download a copy of the Children First 2017 – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children please click here: Children_First_National_Guidance_2017
To download a copy of the Child Protection and Welfare Handbook please click here: Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook
To download a copy of Our Duty to Care please click here: Our Duty to Care
Commencement of Remaining Provisions of the Children First Act 2015
On 2nd October 2017 Minister Katherine Zappone T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced that the remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 will commence on 11th December 2017.
The Act will impose statutory obligations on key professionals to report child protection concerns over a certain threshold to Tusla and on providers of relevant services to children to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of their services and develop a Child Safeguarding Statement.
The Act includes provisions to:
- introduce mandatory reporting of child abuse
- place a legal obligation on organisations providing services to children to prepare and publish a Child Safeguarding Statement.
Early Years Services and the Children First Act, 2015
- All persons carrying on or running a registered early years service and all who are employed in them as childcare staff are Mandated Persons under the Act and will acquire new legal obligations on Dec 11th, 2017.
- Registered early years services who employ at least one other person will have a legal obligation to publish a Child Safeguarding Statement. Services will have 3 months from that date to comply with their obligations in relation to publishing a Child Safeguarding Statement.
Revised Children First Guidance
- The revised Children First Guidance has been published and it includes the provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 it will come into operation on December 11th, 2017.
- Early years services will be provided with a copy of the new guidance over the coming months. The Guidance can be downloaded here: http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-2017/
|December 11th, 2017||- Mandated Persons acquire new legal obligations to report child abuse- Relevant services are required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement
|December 11th, 2017||- Revised Children First Guide & other support documentation comes into operation.|
|March 11th, 2018||- Existing relevant services have until this date to publish their Child Safeguarding Statement.|
The Early Years Child Protection programme was established to support the implementation of Children First in the early years sector through delivery of a national child protection training plan and child protection policy supports. The Programme is currently updating its materials and developing support documentation. Regional information sessions will be held in partnership with Tusla on the new legal obligations and will be open to all early years services.
In the meantime, services are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new Children First Guidance and other support documents published by Tusla, they include a Child Protection Reporter’s guide and a Guide to developing and Child Safe Guarding Statement all of which can be accessed here: http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-2017/.
On the 1st January 2014 the Child and Family Agency (the Agency) assumed service responsibility for the following range of services.
- Child Welfare and Protection Services, including family support services;
- Existing Family Support Agency responsibilities;
- Existing National Educational Welfare Board responsibilities;
- Pre-school Inspection Services;
- Domestic, sexual and gender based violence services; and
- Services related to the psychological welfare of children.
Under the Child and Family Act, 2013, the Child and Family Agency is now the dedicated state agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. The Agency operates under the remit of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and. The Agency works with the Department to provide leadership to statutory and non-statutory agencies, to ensure that the conditions needed to achieve children’s wellbeing and development are fulfilled.
The Agency operates under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, legislation which brings together the Child and Family Agency (the Agency) a number of child-related services ranging from family and educational supports to psychological supports and care and protection services. Children are at the heart of the legislation and families are seen as the foundation of a strong healthy community where children can flourish. Partnership and co-operation in the delivery of seamless services to children and families are also central to the Act.
Under the Act, the Agency is charged with:
- supporting and promoting the development, welfare and protection of children, and the effective functioning of families;
- Offering care & protection for children in circumstances where their parents have not been able to, or are unlikely to, provide the care that a child needs. In order to discharge these responsibilities, the Agency is required to maintain and develop the services needed in order to deliver these supports to children and families, and provide certain services for the psychological welfare of children and their families;
- ensuring that the best interests of the child guide all decisions affecting individual children;
- consulting children and families so that they help to shape the agency’s policies and services;
- undertaking research relating to it functions, & provide information & advice to the Minister regarding those functions;
- commissioning services relating to the provision of child and family services
- Responsibility for ensuring that every child in the State attends school or otherwise receives an education, and for providing education welfare services to support and monitor children’s attendance, participation and retention in education;
- Strengthening interagency co-operation to ensure seamless services responsive to needs;
The Child and Family Agency’s services include a range of universal and targeted services:
- Child protection and welfare services
- Educational Welfare Services
- Psychological Services
- Alternative care
- Family and Locally-based Community Supports
- Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Services
Tusla – Brand & logo of the Child and Family Agency
Prior to establishment date, consultation was undertaken around the development of the new Agency. An overriding theme emerged from this process – that the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013 presents a unique opportunity to start anew and for child and family services to work together in partnership to transform the way in which we provide support and help to children and families in Ireland. Following consultation, the name Tusla emerged as a fitting logo for the Child and Family Agency. While the word borrows from the Irish words ‘tus’ + ‘lá’, Tusla is a completely new word reflecting a shared desire for a new beginning, forging a new identity. A new word, a new way of working.