Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children was published initially in 1999 and updated in 2011. It is a national policy document which assists people in identifying and reporting child abuse. It states what organisations need to do to keep children safe, and what everyone should do if they are concerned about a child's safety and welfare.
The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on the 19th November 2015 and is being commenced on a phased basis. It provides a legal basis for elements of the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011).
It is HSE policy that all staff irrespective of role, grade or position must promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. It is not okay to do nothing if you have any information that a child has been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
How to report a child protection concern
Staff within the organisation:
As mandated persons staff member within the NMH have specific responsibilities for reporting child protection concerns.
Members of the Public:
Anyone who has concerns regarding the safety and well being of a child can make a report directly to TUSLA.
NMH Commitment to Children First
The National Maternity Hospital is committed to implementing the requirements outlined in the Children First Act (2015). A Children First Implementation Committee has been established in order to review & develop the necessary pathways and procedures required to meet the identified standards. This is an ongoing process within the organisation.