Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Risk of Harm Assessment

Under the Children First Act 2015, organisations providing a relevant service, must undertake a risk assessment. The risk assessment is an important part of the development of a Child Safeguarding Statement. It considers the potential for harm to children while they are in the organisation’s care and identifies the procedures that are in place to manage and reduce identified risks.

This short video explains more about what the risk assessment should cover, how you might conduct it, and how it should inform the rest of your Child Safeguarding Statement. There is also additional information on risk assessments available, here.


It should be noted that risk in this context is the risk of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) and not general health and safety risks. There are some risks that are reasonable to expect need consideration in risk assessments by providers of relevant services:

  • Risk of harm to a child by a member of staff/volunteer.
  • Risk of harm to a child by a visitor to the service.
  • Risk of harm to a child by bullying from an older child/peer.
  • Risk of harm to a child on outings by a member of staff/volunteer/stranger/peer.
  • Risk of harm to a child through unauthorised photography.
  • Risk of harm to a child through social media/internet use.
  • Risk of harm to a child through lack of supervision.

In addition to the procedures to manage any risk identified in the risk assessment, the Children First Act, 2015 specifies six procedures that must be included in the Child Safeguarding Statement and implemented within services.

  1. Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers
  2. Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children.
  3. Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
  4. Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla.
  5. Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons.
  6. Procedure for appointing a relevant person for the purpose of the statement.


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