HSE Statement: Children First National Guidance 2011
The HSE welcomes the launch by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Ms. Frances Fitzgerald of the Children First National Guidance 2011. Children First National Guidance 2011 promotes the protection of children from abuse and neglect.
The Guidance states what organisations need to do to keep children safe, and what different bodies, and the general public should do if they are concerned about a child's safety and welfare. It sets out specific protocols for HSE social workers, Gardaí and other front line staff in dealing with suspected abuse and neglect. The scope of the guidance extends beyond the reporting to statutory bodies. It emphasizes the importance of multi-disciplinary, inter-agency working in the management of concerns about children's safety and welfare. Key to this is the sharing of information between agencies and disciplines in the best interests of children and the need for full co-operation ensure better outcomes.
The National Office for Children and Families is developing a Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook, to assist with the standard implementation of Children First 2011 and to support the vital work of social workers and other relevant practitioners in dealing with child protection and welfare cases. The Practice Handbook will be launched and disseminated in September.
Gordon Jeyes, National Director, Children and Family Services, HSE, commented at the launch: "I welcome and commend the launch of Children First National Guidance 2011. This guidance will allow the vital and challenging work of frontline staff to be applied in an accountable, consistent and transparent manner. We in the HSE are committed to building trusting partnerships and sharing information with all agencies who work together to keep children safe and protected. This updated guidance will assist our committed, dedicated and professional staff to provide a consistent and quality service in the best interest of the child."
Every child has a right to grow up in a safe environment. The HSE would urge anyone who has suspicions or concerns about a child's safety to contact the Gardai or the local HSE Social Work office.
For more information, please visit: http://www.hse.ie/go/childrenfirst