Children First Guidance
If you have a child welfare or protection concern which you want to discuss or report, please telephone the local social work duty service in the Child and Family Agency in the area where the child concerned resides.
Children First Guidance
The revised Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children was published in July 2011. The Guidance sets out a number of key messages relating to the duty to protect children. Among these are that the safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility, that children will have safer lives where everyone is attentive to their wellbeing and that people who work with children across a range of areas understand their responsibility for safe practice and the reporting of concerns. It provides greater clarity and guidance for individuals and organisations in identifying and responding appropriately to child abuse and neglect and sets out specific protocols for Social Workers in the Child and Family Agency, Gardaí and other front line staff in dealing with suspected abuse and neglect of children.
The revised Guidance is accompanied by the Child Welfare and Protection Practice Handbook [HSE, 2011] which is aimed at professionals working in child welfare and protection and provides information on best practice using the main Children First Guidance as a reference. In July 2011, Minister Fitzgerald launched the Handbook which was developed by the National Office for Child and Family Services in the HSE.
For more information on specific aspects of the Guidance please follow the links below:
- What is Children First?
- Who is Children First for?
- What responsibility do organisations have?
- Why do we need a new or revised set of Guidance?
- How will this Guidance make children safer?
- How will we know if everyone is working within the Guidance?
- Where can I get more information?
Children First Launch - Press Statements and Speeches
HSE Statement: Children First National Guidance 2011
Garda Statement: Children First National Guidance 2011
HSE Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook
In July 2011, Minister Fitzgerald launched the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Handbook that was developed by the National Office for Child and Family Services in the HSE. The handbook is based on protocols as set out in the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 to support the work of social workers and other relevant practitioners in dealing with child protection and welfare cases.
Our Duty to Care
Our Duty to Care was published by the Department of Health and Children. It is aimed at staff and volunteers of community and voluntary organisations that provide services for children. It is a practical handbook offering guidance on the promotion of child welfare and the development of safe practices in work with children. It also gives information on how to recognise signs of child abuse and the steps to take within organisations if abuse is suspected, witnessed or disclosed.