Press Release – Statement by Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs- Child Protection
11th December 2017 | What's New
Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has today announced commencement of all remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015. These include the provisions in relation to mandatory reporting of child abuse and in relation to placing a legal obligation on organisations providing services to children(which includes primary schools) to prepare and publish a Child Safeguarding Statement.Read statement here
On 2nd October, in anticipation of full commencement of the Act, Minister Zappone, launched Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017) which revises and replaces the 2011 edition of the Children First Guidance. The revised Guidance includes reference to the provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 and is available here
The Children First Act, 2015 provides for a number of key child protection measures that are relevant to primary schools, as follows:
- A requirement on organisations providing services to children, which includes all primary schools, to keep children safe and to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement;
- A requirement on defined categories of persons (mandated persons), which includes registered teachers, to report child protection concerns over a defined threshold to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla);
- A requirement on mandated persons which includes registered teachers, to assist Tusla in the assessment of a child protection risk, if so requested to do so by Tusla.
The commencement of the Children First Act, 2015 and the publication of the new Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 has necessitated changes to the existing Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.