The Children First Guidance, which launched in 2011, is the National Guidance that promotes the protection of children from abuse and neglect. 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. The Guidance sets out specific protocols for HSE social workers, Gardaí and other front line staff in dealing with suspected abuse and neglect.
Consistent with the principles of Children First, every organisation, both public and private, that is providing services for children or that is in regular direct contact with children should:
Ensure best practice in the recruitment of volunteers, which includes Garda vetting, taking up of references, good HR practices in interviewing, induction training, probation and ongoing supervision and management;
Ensure that staff members or volunteers are aware of how to recognise signs of child abuse or neglect;
Develop guidance procedures for staff and/or volunteers who may have reasonable grounds for concern about the safety of children involved with the organisation. These procedures should not deviate from the current Children First: National Guidance, but may offer further elaboration to ensure local relevance and applicability.
Identify a designated person to act as a liaison with outside agencies and a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns. The designated person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to the HSE Children and Family Services or to An Garda Síochána
Click on the link below to download a copy of the Children First Guidelines:
Fingal County Childcare Committee Child Protection contacts:
Designated Liaison Officer.
Deputy Designated Liaison Officer.