Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Research Ethics Committee

As part of the Research Strategy, Tusla is establishing a Research Ethics Committee (REC) and has published Guidelines for the functioning of the Committee.

These guidelines apply and REC review is required where the research relates to the following areas of the Agency’s responsibility:

  • Potential research participants identified from, or because of their past or present use of services provided by the Agency (including services provided under contract with the private, voluntary or community sectors).
  • Potential research participants identified because of their status as relatives or carers of past or present users of the Agency’s services.
  • Potential research participants identified because of their status as providers of the Agency’s services.

The principal ethics consideration of the REC will be given to ensuring the maximum benefit of the research whilst minimizing the risk of actual or potential harm. The procedures of the REC will seek to protect, as far as possible, all groups involved in the research, including participants, researchers and research teams throughout the lifecycle of the research (ESRC, 2015).

The Child and Family Agency REC will review research proposals in terms of their ethical appropriateness. This entails consideration of:

  • The design of the research
  • The outputs of the research
  • The proposed conduct of the research

Pending the establishment of a Reserch Ethics Committee, all potential researchers, internal and external, must contact the National Research Office and complete a Research Agreement prior to commencing any research. Research proposals are reviewed on a 6 weekly basis. Submissions must be received two weeks in advance.

National Research Office Contact details:

Jean Gormley
REC Administrator 
Child and Family Agency
Brunel Building
Heuston South Quarter
Dublin 8

Tel: 01-7718833
Mobile: 087 3330718
Email: jean.gormley@tusla.ie


Consent is the giving of permission or agreement for an intervention, receipt or use of a service or participation in research following a process of communication about the proposed intervention. The National Consent Policy produced by the HSE in 2013 provides guidance to staffs employed in healthcare and social care settings on issues relating to consent.   Researchers should review these policies prior to submitting a Research Agreement to Tusla for ethical approval.

 The Data Protection Commissioner provided guidance on research in the health sector in 2007.  Potential researchers should consult this guidance prior to submitting a research proposal to Tusla. 

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