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Child Protection

Child Protection is often the term used to identify government policy and its services working to prevent children being neglected and abused and to intervene when they are.  In Ireland, as with many countries, the welfare of children is paramount.   

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) operates in a global context and framework, provided primarily through its membership of the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe. International human rights norms ratified by Ireland, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Hague Convention on Adoption, provide a framework for domestic policy and practice relating to children’s rights.  This global context includes the protection of children who enter Ireland from another country. 

The DCYA is responsible for the development of a wide range of policy and service activity, both direct and indirect, for children and young people in Ireland, while the Child and Family Agency is responsible for family support, protection and welfare of children and ‘children in care’ under the Child Care Act, 1991 as amended.

In accordance with section 8 of the Child Care Act, 1991, the Child and Family Agency annually publishes a Review of Adequacy for Children and Families Services which provides information on the services being provided to children and families; including family support, child protection, foster, residential and special care.  This review provides statistical data, information on service development and other areas such as research, education, training and policy.  Read Reports

Concerned about a child’s welfare and protection?

Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children

Children First Act 2015

National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016

Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012)

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

HIQA - National Standards for the Welfare and Protection of Children

Special Rapporteur on Child Protection

Missing Children Hotline


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