Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Child Safeguarding Statement

Tusla has responsibility for child protection and welfare services, family support, educational welfare and a range of other services, including those relating to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

1. Tusla delivers the following services:

  • Child protection and welfare services, including family support services.
  • Family resource centres and associated national programmes.
  • Children’s services regulation and inspection.
  • Educational welfare responsibilities, including statutory education welfareservices, the school completion programme and the home school community liaison scheme.
  • Alternative care services, including foster care, residential care, special care and aftercare.
  • Registration and inspection of non-statutory children’s residential centres.
  • Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services.
  • Services related to the psychological welfare of children.
  • Assessment, Consultation, Therapy Services (ACTS).
  • Adoption services, including information and tracing.

2. Tusla’s principles to safeguard children from harm are:

  • The safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.
  • The best interests of the child should be paramount.
  • The overall aim in all dealings with children and their families is to intervene proportionately to support families to keep children safe from harm.
  • Interventions by the State should build on existing strengths and protective factors in the family.
  • Early intervention is key to getting better outcomes. Where it is necessary for the State to intervene to keep children safe, the minimum intervention necessary should be used.
  • Children should only be separated from parents/carers when alternative means of protecting them have been exhausted.
  • Children have a right to be heard, listened to and taken seriously. Taking account of their age and understanding, they should be consulted and involved in all matters and decisions that may affect their lives.
  • Parents/carers have a right to respect, and should be consulted and involved in matters that concern their family.
  • A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents/carers and families.
  • Child protection is a multiagency, multidisciplinary activity. Agencies and professionals must work together in the interests of the children.
  • Tusla fully subscribes to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child who attends our service should be treated with respect and dignity.

3.  Risk assessment: 

We have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. Below is a list of the amalgamated areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks. Tusla’s organisational risk management procedures have been amended to underpin the Child Safeguarding Statement.

  Risk identified Procedure in place to manage risk identified

Risk of harm to a child from a member of staff

  • Recruitment and selection procedure
  • Reporting procedure
  • Code of behaviour for staff working with children and young people
  • Child protection and welfare allegations against tusla staff policy and procedure
  • Policies, protocols, procedures and guidelines regarding safe practice and service delivery

Risk of harm by a visitor to the service (workers, parents, placements, etc.):

  • Supervision/ accompaniment/ admission/ public access policies as relevant to local services
  • Policies, protocols, procedures and guidelines regarding safe practice and service delivery

Risk of harm by another child in the service:

  • Supervision/ accompaniment/ admission/ Anti-bullying policies as relevant to local services.
  • Policies, protocols, procedures and guidelines regarding safe practice and service delivery

Non-compliance with the Children First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children

  • Children first governance structures
  • Tusla quality and risk management services
  • Children first commissioning processes
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of mandated persons

Risk of harm or concern not being recognised or reported by Tusla staff

  • Staff information and supervision procedure
  • Reporting procedure
  • Mandatory children first training

Harm to child using IT infrastructure and software/social media

  • ICT and social networking guidance for staff working with children and young people, including online safety
  • ICT acceptable use policy

Note: The definition of harm in relation to a child is: ‘assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development or welfare, or sexual abuse of the child’.
Note: Each relevant service delivery unit maintains additional risks on the required template.

4. Procedures:

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice. In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our services.

  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children.
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
  • Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla.
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons.
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person.
  • Additional guidance to manage the risk of harm.
  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child while availing of our service.

All procedures listed are available here

5. Implementation:

We recognise that implementation is an on-going process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our services. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed by 11th February 2024 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Bernard Gloster  
(Provider and Relevant Person)
Chief Executive  
Tusla - Child and Family Agency


For further information contact the Relevant Person at tuslacss@tusla.ie

Printable version of Tusla Child Safeguarding Statement

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