Under the Children First Act 2015, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and An Garda Síochána are designated as the organisations with responsibility for child protection and welfare.
If you have concerns about a child's safety or welfare, you should contact the Tusla local social work duty service in the area where the child lives. You can find contact details for local social work services on Tusla’s website.
If you think a child is in immediate danger you should contact An Garda Síochána. Contact details for all Garda stations can be found on the Garda Síochána website.
As outlined above, statutory responsibility for child protection rests with Tusla and An Garda Síochána. If a concern regarding the safety and welfare of a child is brought to the attention of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, we are obliged to refer this information to Tusla, or An Garda Síochána, or both. The Department have no role in the assessment or investigation of any child protection concerns. However, the welfare of children is paramount and the Department have a duty to ensure any concerns or allegations are referred to Tusla or An Garda Síochána. We will refer any concerns or allegations in their entirety and without judgement.
You can find more information on reporting Child Protection concerns on the Tusla website.
Children First Act 2015
The Children First Act 2015 was enacted on 19th November 2015 and will be fully commenced by December 2017. The Act places additional obligations on providers of certain services to children. While the Department has very limited direct interaction with children, in order to ensure we meet our obligations under the Act and under Children First Guidelines generally, the Department is developing a Child Protection and Welfare Policy for all staff and will publish this Policy here when finalised.
You can find the full text of the Children First Act 2015 on the Oireachtas website.
More information on the Act and the Children First Guidelines can be found on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website.