How do I report a child protection or welfare concern?
You should always inform Tusla when you have reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being, or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
How to make a report:
- You can report your concern in person, by telephone or in writing to the local social work duty service in the area where the child lives. Contact details for local social work teams are available here.
- Tusla has developed a web portal to allow for the secure submission of child protection and welfare concerns. You can access the portal here. Please be aware that the portal is only available in English.
- To help Tusla staff assess your concern, they need as much information as possible. You should provide as much relevant information as you can about the child, his/her home circumstances and the grounds for concern.
How to recognise child abuse:
If you are concerned about a child but unsure whether you should report it to Tusla, you may find it useful to contact Tusla to discuss your concern.
** If you think the child is in immediate danger and you cannot contact Tusla, you should contact the Gardai on 112 **
It is not necessary for you to prove that abuse has occurred to report a concern to Tusla. All that is required is that you have reasonable grounds for concern. It is the role of Tusla to assess concerns that are reported to it.
Under the ‘Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998’, you are protected as a reporter as long as you report what you believe to be true and you do it in good faith.
What happens after a report is received by Tusla?
If you make a report about a child, Tusla will normally acknowledge it, and may contact you for further information, if necessary. Tusla will consider your report, and if concerns are found after the initial checks, further evaluation involving a detailed examination of the child and family’s circumstances will follow. It will then take whatever action is required to protect the child.
Information regarding School Enrolment
Children aged between 4 and 18 will be supported to access public primary or post-primary education provided by the State as appropriate.
You can approach any local primary or post-primary school and seek information about a place for your child or children. If the school has capacity, they will provide you with more information on how to enrol your child/ children in that school straight away. A list of schools is available on the Department of Education’s website at the following link. For more information regarding the education system in Ireland see here.
Regional Education and Language Teams (REALTs) have been established to assist Ukrainian’s arriving in Ireland to secure school placements. If you have any difficulties in securing a placement contact your local Regional Education and Language Team. Tusla Education Support Service staff are key members of the Regional Education and Language Teams and will assist families if they are having difficulties finding a school place.
Information for Ukrainians arriving in Ireland – Unaccompanied Minors
If you are a child/young person under 18 years of age who is coming to Ireland for temporary protection without a parent or caregiver, you should present to a Border Management Official or to the Irish Police at the Airport or Port where you arrive. They will contact Tusla - the Irish state agency dedicated to the protection of children - to let us know you are here so that we can support you and arrange to liaise with your parent/legal guardian, if possible.
If you have been separated from an adult that you were with when you came to Ireland and you are now alone, you can present to the nearest Garda Station (Police Station) and they will contact the local Social Work Service to meet with you.
All unaccompanied minors referred to us will be seen by a Tusla Social Worker on the day of referral. A plan will be developed, and appropriate accommodation and supports will be considered in order to support you and keep you safe. Social Workers will undertake an assessment to better understand your needs. The assessment will include information about your journey here, family, health, education, and interests. Our main aim will be to assist with family reunification.
Information for organisations, professionals and individuals working with children and families as part of the Ukrainian Response.
If you are an Individual or part of an organisation or group who provide services for children and families as part of the Ukrainian response, it is important that you have all the necessary child safeguarding measures in place to ensure that children and young people are kept safe from harm. Examples of organisations, sectors and services that may be participating in the Ukrainian response could include; Accommodation, Counselling, Medical, Religious, Legal, Educational, Social and Recreational, or Sport.
The Children First Act 2015 and the Children First National Guidance provides a legal framework and best practice guidelines for organisations and individuals who work with and support children and families.
If your organisation or group provides services for children and families, information and supporting publications, documents and resources can be found here.
If you are an individual working alone to support children and families, further support information is available here.
Information for Organisations
Please see below an explainer video on child safeguarding with Russian and Ukrainian subtitles, which may be used with workers, volunteers and parents to explain child safeguarding practices
Children First eLearning Programme
It is recommended that anyone who works with children completes the Children First eLearning Programme which has been designed to support people of all backgrounds and experience in recognising concerns about children and reporting such concerns if they arise. To access the programme click here.
In addition, if you or any of your workers/staff/volunteers are “Mandated Persons” as identified by the Children First act 2015, further information on your role and responsibilities can be found on the Tusla website here.
A short explainer video has been developed to provide information on the role of the Mandated Person and is available to watch here.
If you are a mandated person you should also complete the Tusla Mandated Person Role and Responsibilities eLearning Module available here.
If you have any questions regarding your organisational or individual Children First obligations contact the Tusla Children First Information and Advice Service.
Short guide for parents who are newly arrived in Ireland
This short guide was written to help parents who have recently arrived in Ireland. The guide provides information to help families navigate cultural differences, laws and ways of parenting, which may be different to their country of origin.
Included in this document is some practical guidance that we hope will help parents to navigate the early years of a child’s life while in Ireland, from pre-school childcare and the schooling system, right through to child supervision and family support services. This guide has been developed with input from families who have recently arrived in Ireland.