EPIC cautiously welcomes the introduction of mandatory reporting of child protection concerns by professionals, introduced on Monday December 11th. This commences the final part of the Children First Act 2015, which places a legal obligation on professionals to report child protection concerns to the Child and Family Agency and to assist the agency with its assessment of concerns about children who have been the subject of a report. It also fulfils the 2011 Programme for Government commitment of putting reporting of child abuse on a statutory footing.
Terry Dignan, CEO of EPIC, said “More responsibility and ownership on reporting of abuse cases is a positive step, however we need to ensure that mandatory reporting does not overshadow continued investment in recruiting and retaining of social workers, coupled with early community intervention and support; the cornerstone of effective child protection. EPIC would not like to see the positive progress being made by Tusla to be impeded by a diversion of resources in response to an overabundance in mandatory reporting.”
Child protection is everyone’s responsibility, but it is now clear where that responsibility lies in terms of reporting concerns about a child’s welfare and protection.
Tusla has issued publications and online training to enhance awareness and understanding of the new responsibilities.
If you want to report a concern, see http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/report-a-concern/.