Child Safeguarding Statement Obligations

Child Safeguarding Statement Obligations

The Children First Legislation Act 2015 was passed and signed into law on 19th November 2015. On the 11th of December 2017, Minister Katherine Zappone T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced the commencement of all remaining provisions of the Children First Act 2015.  These include the provisions in relation to mandatory reporting of child abuse and in relation to placing a legal obligation on organisations providing services to children to prepare and publish a Child Safeguarding Statement.

What is a Child Safeguarding Statement?

It is a written statement specifying the services being provided together with the pricnciples and procedures to be observed in order to ensure that a child availing of the service is safe from harm.

The statement itself should set out the measures that the organisation dealing with children have in place to ensure children are protected from harm.

The Child Safeguarding Statement must be circulated to all staff members upon completion. It must be displayed publicly and made available to parents and guardians, Tusla and members of the public upon request.

When does it need to be in place?

The Child Safeguarding Statement must be completed within three months of the Children First Act 2015 coming into force (i.e. 11th of February 2018). Organisations that are established after the Children First Act 2015 comes into force, must comply with the requirements within three months from the date the service commenced.

What organisations need to have a Child Safeguarding Statement?

Organisations that have statutory responsibilities under the Children First Act 2015 are those that provide a relevant service to children and young people. Schedule 1 of the Children First Act 2015, outlines the types of organisations and services to which the legislation applies.

Where to seek guidance on content?

Tusla provide guidance in respect of all aspects of the Childrens First Act. They have developed templates to assist organisations in drafting their statements. For more information please visit their website .