Children First Guidance, Legislation and Implementation
The term “Children First” was originally used in relation to Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, first published in 1999 and reviewed and updated on a number of occasions since then, most recently in 2017. Since the enactment of the Children First Act 2015, the term is now a generic term used to encompass the guidance, the legislation and the implementation of both. Children First related to the recognition of child abuse and neglect, the reporting of same to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and the best practice which organisations should adhere to, to keep children safe while availing of their services. Non statutory obligations for all persons coming into contact with children are set out in the Children First Guidance, and the Children First Act 2015 sets out additional statutory obligations for defined categories of persons, and for organisations providing relevant services to children.