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Legislation enacted in 2015


Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015

The Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 10 December 2015.  The main purpose of this legislation is to strengthen the legislative provisions for aftercare by amending the Child Care Act 1991 to place a statutory duty on the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) to prepare an aftercare plan for an eligible child or eligible young person.

Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015

Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2015


Children First Act 2015

The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 19 November 2015.
The Act obliges certain professionals and others working with children to report child protection concerns to the Child and Family Agency and to assist the Agency, if requested to do so, in its assessment of a child protection risk.

The Act obliges a provider of services to children to undertake an assessment of the potential for risk of harm to a child while that child is availing of its services and to prepare an appropriate Child Safeguarding Statement in accordance with the Bill.

The Act also provides statutory underpinning for the Children First Inter-departmental Implementation Group which will promote cross-sectoral implementation and compliance with Children First legislation and report on an annual basis to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

The Children First Act 2015 also provides for an amendment to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 to abolish the common law defence of reasonable chastisement. Sections 1 to 5 and section 28 were commenced on 11 December 2015. Sections 18 and 20-26 were commenced on 1st May 2016.


Children First Act 2015

Children First Bill 2014

Children First Bill 2014 - Regulatory Impact Analysis


Children (Amendment) Act 2015

The Children (Amendment) Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 27 July 2015. This Act provides the legal framework to facilitate the amalgamation of the children detention schools to create a single campus and, delivers on the Programme for Government to end the detention of children in adult facilities.

In addition, the Act provides for a system of remission in the children detention schools and clarifies the legal status of children who have been convicted of a summary offence and reach the age of 18 in a children detention school.  It also makes other necessary changes to the Children Act 2001. The Act also made a number of technical amendments to the Children Act 2001 including amendments to reflect the revised age cohort accommodated in children detention schools.


Children (Amendment) Act 2015

Children (Amendment) Bill 2015

Draft General Scheme Children (Amendment) Bill 2014

Draft General Scheme Children (Amendment) Bill 2013

Children (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Regulatory Impact Analysis


Legislation currently being prepared by the Department

Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill

The Heads of Bill and General Scheme of the  Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill provide for structured and regulated access to adoption information and tracing services for adopted persons, birth parents and others affected by adoption.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children carried out pre-legislative scrutiny on the Heads of Bill and General Scheme and provided the report to the Minister in November 2015.  The Committee's recommendations are being reviewed by the Department and drafting process is underway.

Heads and General Scheme of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2015 (Print Friendly Version).


Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016

This legislation is arising from the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Act 2012 which was signed into law on 28 April 2015. The main purpose of this proposed legislation is to amend the Adoption Act 2010 to provide for:

•    the voluntary placement for adoption and adoption of a child of married parents, and
•    the dispensing with parental consent to adoption in circumstances where the High Court is satisfied that the parents of a child have failed in their duty towards that child for a continuous period of 36 months or more and where it is considered likely that such failure will continue, and where adoption is considered to be in the best interest of the child.

This Bill also proposes to amend the Adoption Act 2010 to reflect the adoption provisions provided for in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 as well as provide for sole step-parent adoption. The Bill was published on 5th May 2016 and is currently being progressed through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016


Legislation relevant to the Department

Legislation enacted since the establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs


Other legislation for which the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has responsibility

Restatements and Revision of Acts

A restated or revised Act is an administrative consolidation of that Act. It brings together in a single text all amendments and changes to an Act, making the law more accessible for all users.

The Statute Law (Restatement) Act 2002 provides that the Attorney General may certify the text of a restatement, which allows it to be used as prima facie evidence of the law in question.  The Law Reform Commission has prepared a body of restatements under its two programmes of restatement and it intends to ensure that this work is maintained up-to-date on an ongoing basis. Because it may not be practicable to have each update certified, the Commission is making available uncertified restatements and will refer to these as Revised Acts. The term Revised Acts is often used in other states, such as Australia and New Zealand to describe such administrative consolidations of Acts. (Source Law Reform Commission)

For more information on the programme of restatements see the Law Reform Commission.

Acts which are relevant to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs which have been restated or revised by the Law Reform Commission are listed below:

Please note that these documents are restated or revised up to a particular date which is indicated. The documents do not include any amendments which have been made to the Acts after that date.


Revised Acts


The Irish Statute Book (eISB)

The electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) is produced by the Office of the Attorney General and includes Acts of the Oireachtas, Statutory Instruments and the Legislation Directory, which can be accessed on their website.




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