The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs announced that the remaining sections of the Children First Act 2015 would commence on 11th December 2017.
Two very important sections of this Act will, when commenced, have important implications for child safeguarding work in the Church. From 11th December 2017the provision relating to Mandatory Reporting will become law in the Republic of Ireland; as will the requirement for organisations that have ministry with children to have a Child Safeguarding Statement. The key expectations relating to these two sections:
- Mandated persons are people who have contact with children and/or families and who, because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm. Within a Church context a mandated person is a member of clergy and a pastoral care worker, or someone involved in child safeguarding
Mandated persons have two main legal obligations under the Children First Act 2015.
1. To report to Tusla harm to children that is above a defined threshold;
2. If requested, to assist Tusla in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report.
- A Child Safeguarding Statement includes an assessment of risk of ‘harm’ to a child who is availing of your service, and the statement specifies the procedures in place to manage any risks so identified. It must be understood that the Child Safeguarding Statement does not replace the Child Safeguarding Policy, but it sits alongside it and should reference the relevant sections of the policy.
The National Safeguarding Board will give further guidance and direction for all of this. Check out their website: www.safeguarding.ie other helpful website www.safeguardingchildrencloyne.ie and Safeguarding Office for the Diocese – 022 21009: Cloyne Diocesan DLP – 086 0368999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org