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Frequently Asked Questions on Child Welfare and Protection 




To whom should I report concerns about suspected child abuse, a child being left alone or with inadequate supervision?

Any concern or worry in relation to the welfare or safety of a child should be made to the local social work duty service in the Child and Family Agency in the area where the child concerned resides.

If the concern relates to an emergency situation you should contact the local Garda Siochana office.

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What if I am mistaken about the suspected abuse I report?

Under law, nobody will be penalised for reporting suspected child abuse to the Child and Family Agency or An Garda Síochána as long as the report is not malicious and their intentions are genuine.

It is important that suspected cases of abuse or children potentially at risk are reported.  Contact the local social work duty service in the area where the child resides and they will decide on follow up actions. 

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Will I have to give my name if I report suspected abuse?

Not necessarily, although it is often harder to help children when reports are made anonymously. While local social work duty service cannot guarantee confidentiality, in general they will not reveal the names of members of the public who report suspected child abuse, without permission.

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Who should I contact for more information on establishing a child protection policy in my organisation, or providing training for my staff in the area of child protection policy?

Your Local Area Office of the Child and Family Agency will have information on local procedures and services aimed at the safety and welfare of children.

Advice/Guidance and Supports

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Garda Vetting

Vetting of people who work with children is undertaken by the Garda Central Vetting Unit who can be contacted at 0504 27300.

It is important to note that the Garda Central Vetting Unit does not decide on the suitability of any person to work with children and vulnerable adults. Decisions on suitability for recruitment rest at all times on the recruiting organisation, and the results of vetting should form only one component of the recruitment decision.

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