Materials will support practitioners and public in implementing revised Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and mandatory reporting
Tusla – Child and Family Agency today launched a suite of Children First information booklets and an accompanying e-learning programme. The booklets support the forthcoming introduction of the revised Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and commencement of remaining provisions of the Children First Act 2015.
The materials were launched at the launch of the revised Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children this afternoon. At the event, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, also announced that the remaining provisions of the Children First Act 2015, including provisions in relation to mandatory reporting of child protection and welfare concerns, will be commenced on 11th December 2017.
Speaking at the launch, Fred McBride, Chief Executive, Tusla, said “We are delighted to launch our Children First information booklets and e-learning programme today. These have been developed in collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to ensure that they accurately reflect the revised Guidance and will help individuals and organisations understand their obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and protect children.
“International evidence demonstrates that when mandatory reporting is introduced in a jurisdiction, referrals to child protection services increase. Ahead of 11th December 2017, it is imperative that all of us who work with children and families familiarise ourselves with the new Guidance and provisions of the Act so that referrals made to Tusla are appropriate. Tusla has an additional responsibility to strengthen our structures so that we are able to provide proportionate responses to all referrals, should the rate increase after 11th December. To this end, Tusla is developing dedicated points of referral across the country to facilitate the receipt of reports and acknowledge them in a timely manner as required under the Act. These points of contact, which are being supported by additional administrative and social work staff, will allow us to screen reports efficiently and ensure children get the right response at the right time.”
The information materials will support Tusla staff, mandated persons, organisations and individuals working with children and families, and members of the public to meet their obligations under the Children First Act 2015, including:
- Mandatory reporting of child protection and welfare concerns to Tusla from commencement on 11th December 2017;
- The development of a Child Safeguarding Statement for organisations working children within three months of commencement on 11th December 2017;
- Introductory training in Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children.