Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Child Abuse Substantiation Procedure (CASP)

From Monday June 27th 2022 Tusla introduced a new procedure called the Child Abuse Substantiation Procedure (CASP). It is for use by social workers who carry out what is called a “substantiation assessment”, to conclude if child abuse has happened or not. We conduct these assessments solely for the purpose of protecting children who could be at risk of abuse today. It will be used to assess current and retrospective allegations of child abuse. We have developed a briefing video to provide you with an overview of CASP and it is available to view here.

The CASP will replace the current “Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Abuse and Neglect”, which has been in use since 2014. Several other additional supporting resources have also been developed to help staff across the country implement and operate the CASP consistently and in line with our statutory responsibilities. The resources include explanatory leaflets written in Plain English for children, young people and adults, the CASP Data Protection Guidance, and the CASP Data Protection Impact Assessment.

The CASP will facilitate social workers across the country to implement a consistent standard of child protection practice when carrying out substantiation assessments. To make sure this is so and that our approach to this work is sustainable, a dedicated CASP team will operate in each one of Tusla’s six new regions, with the necessary knowledge and training in applying the procedure more uniformly and effectively. The CASP is currently the best-informed approach to this complex aspect of our work within the current legislative framework, and the need to ensure best practice, fair procedures, and many requirements, including data protection.

During its development, we recognised the importance of engaging widely in a consultation process in our journey to arrive at the introduction of the new procedure. The invaluable feedback we received from our colleagues, and from a diverse group of external sectoral stakeholders, all deeply invested in this complex and sensitive area of work, has directly influenced the development of the CASP.

As practitioners charged with this important work in of child protection, we want to reassure you that the CASP has been designed and developed to produce the most effective, thorough, and robust procedure possible, within existing legal limitations and the lack of a legislative framework underpinning this crucial work.

We look forward to our continuing engagement with our stakeholders into the future as the CASP evolves to help us meet the challenges this complex area of work continues to present.

CASP Data Protection Notice:

The CASP Data Protection Notices describe how Tusla uses the personal data that we collect and receive about people involved in a substantiation assessment when using the Child Abuse Substantiation Procedure (CASP).  They describe how we collect personal data, why we need it, what we use it for, who we share it with, and why we share it.

There are three Data Protection Notices for use when conducting substantiation assessments using the CASP:

  • CASP Person Making Disclosure (PMD) Data Protection Notice
  • CASP Person Subject of Abuse Allegations (PSAA) Data Protection Notice
  • CASP General Data Protection Notice

When conducting substantiation assessments using the CASP, whenever we send out written correspondence we must also provide the relevant CASP Data Protection Notice with every written correspondence:

  • The CASP PMD Data Protection Notice is to be provided in every written correspondence to the Person Making Disclosure.
  • The CASP PSAA Data Protection Notice is to be provided in every written correspondence to the Person Subject of Abuse Allegations.
  • The CASP General Data Protection Notice is to be provided in every written correspondence to any other person.


Information Leaflets


Young People


CASP Data Protection Guidance

Data Protection Impact Assessment 

Data Protection Notices


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