Children First

Children First Logo

Children First promotes the protection and welfare of children and outlines how to help to protect them from harm or abuse. It details what you must do if you have a concern that a child has been, is being, or is at risk of being abused or neglected. Children First applies to everyone, including staff working in adult services, HSE funded services and HSE-contracted services.

HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy - Amended January 2024

The HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy was amended in January 2024 to reflect an update in reporting requirements when an adult retrospectively discloses childhood abuse. Please refer to the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy for the relevant amendments in Sections 5.5, 8.2 and 8.3.

The safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. The HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy states that all staff irrespective of role, grade or position must promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

HSE staff should promote the welfare of all children, and where you have a concern in relation to the safety, welfare or protection of a child, you must report this to the appropriate statutory agency. The statutory agencies for child protection are Tusla - Child and Family Agency and An Garda Síochána. 

This website is maintained by the HSE Children First National Office as a Children First resource. Resources on this website are intended as a guide and do not take the place of legal or other advice.