What is mandated assisting?
It is usual practice for professionals who have on-going contact with a child, where there is concern about possible abuse, to continue to engage with Tusla’s Social Work team to assist in the protection of a child. To support and reinforce this practice, the Children First Act 2015 provides that all mandated persons can be asked, by Tusla, to provide any necessary and proportionate assistance to aid the Tusla in assessing the risk to a child from a mandated report. Assistance includes verbal or written information or attendance at meetings.
- A mandated person must comply with this request regardless of who made the report.
- Information that Tusla shares with mandated persons if they are assisting them to carry out an assessment, must not be shared with a third party, unless Tusla considers it appropriate and authorises in writing that the information may be shared. Section 17 of the Children First Act 2015 makes it an offence for you to disclose information to a third party which has been shared by Tusla during the course of an assessment, unless Tusla has given you written authorisation to do so.
- Any information furnished by mandated person shall not give rise to civil liability or be admissible in evidence against that person in any civil or criminal proceedings.
A Mandated Assisting Protocol for Tusla Staff has been developed which sets out Tusla's internal processes for formally requesting assistance and for dealing with a refusal to assist or a failure to engage.
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