Child Protection & Welfare
The Child and Family Agency has a primary responsibility to promote the safety and well-being of children. An Garda Síochána also have statutory responsibilities for the safety and welfare of children.
Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be suffering from abuse or neglect. This responsibility is particularly relevant for professionals such as teachers, child care workers, health professionals and those working with adults with serious parenting difficulties. It is also an important responsibility for staff and people involved in sports clubs, community activities, youth clubs, religious/faith sector and other organisations catering for children.
The Agency should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
Child protection concerns should be supported by evidence that indicates the possibility of abuse or neglect.
A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even if the children are unidentifiable, should also be communicated to the Agency.
The guiding principles in regard to reporting child abuse or neglect may be summarised as follows:
- the safety and well-being of the child must take priority;
- reports should be made without delay to the Agency.