Child Protection


Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 provides the national guidance for the protection and welfare of children in Ireland.  A child is defined under the Child Care Act 1991  as anyone under the age of 18 years who is not, or has not been married. 

It states what organisations need to do to keep children safe, and what different bodies and the general public should do if they are concerned about a child’s safety and welfare.

Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and Children First:

The Child and Family Agency has a legal responsibility under the Childcare Act 1991 to promote the welfare and protection of children.  Any person who has a concern about a child should report his concern to the Child and Family Agency.

Child Protection

Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017


  • The welfare and protection of children is of paramount importance.
  • Everyone has a responsibility for the welfare and protection of children.
  • If you are concerned about a child, you should report that concern without delay to Tusla Social Work Department which has statutory responsibility to protect children.
  • You can report your concern in person, by telephone or in writing.
  • Before deciding whether or not to make a formal report, you may wish to discuss your concerns via informal consultation with Tusla’s Social Work Department.

Click here to locate contact details of your local Child and Family Agency Social Workers


Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act (1998) 

This Act provides immunity from civil liability when reports on child abuse cases are made ‘reasonably and in good faith’.

Reports must be made to Tusla/HSE Designated Officers or Gardaí.

The main provisions of this Act are:

  • The provision of immunity from civil liability to any person who reports child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’.
  • The provision of significant protections for employees who report child abuse.
  • The creation of a new offence of false reporting of child abuse when a person makes a report of child abuse to the appropriate authorities ‘knowing that statement to be false’. This is a new criminal offence designed to protect innocent people from malicious reports.


For more detailed information on Child Protection view the links and publications below:


Click on the below images to view relevant Child Protection publications: