This section includes information sheets, links to documentation referenced on the Children First website and other useful links.
HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy
HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy
• Roles and Responsibilities of HSE Staff under Children First and the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy (PDF, 1,041 KB, 2 pages)
• Children First Resource Pack for HSE Line Managers (PDF, 3 MB, 14 pages)
• Information for Mandated Persons (PDF, 1,099 KB, 2 pages)
• Roles and Responsibilities of Designated Officers (Under the Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998) (PDF, 1,084 KB, 2 pages)
• HSE Procedure for Reporting Child Protection and Welfare Concerns (PDF, 1,184 KB, 3 pages)
• Children First Awareness Poster for Staff (PDF, 182 KB, 1 page)
HSE Funded Agencies
• Information for HSE Funded Agencies on the Implementation of and Compliance with Children First (PDF, 593 KB, 1 page)
• Children First Implementation and Compliance Checklist for HSE Funded Agencies (Microsoft Word, 86 KB, 18 pages)
• Section 38 & Section 39 Non-Acute/Community Service Arrangement Children First Compliance Finalised Changes 2019 (PDF, 1,027 KB, 20 pages)
HSE Contracted Services / GPs
• Roles and Responsibilities of HSE Contracted Services under Children First (PDF, 444 KB, 1 page)
• Children First Implementation and Compliance Checklist for HSE Contracted Services (Microsoft Word, 86 KB, 18 pages)
• Information for Parents, Guardians and the General Public on the HSE’s responsibilities under Children First (PDF, 557 KB, 1 page)
Children and Young People
• Information Poster for Children - Being Safe and Asking for Help
• Explanation of the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy
• Information Sheet about Reasonable Grounds for Concern (PDF, 535 KB, 1 page)
These resources are available in 17 languages. QR Codes on these resources brings people to the corresponding webpages where they can access the different languages available. It is recommended that the English language version is displayed unless your service is primarily aimed at a non-English speaking demographic.
Poster for Children and Young People on Being Safe and Asking for Help
(PDF, 606 KB, 1 page)
The poster informs children about their right to feel safe and how to ask for help, if they feel unsafe.
It is important that this poster is displayed in services where children and young people are service users or visitors in order to promote child safeguarding.
Please note: Contact details of your local Tusla – Child and Family Agency need to be included on the English language version of the poster.
Explanation of the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy
(PDF, 1,044 KB, 1 page)
This is a child friendly information sheet providing an explanation of the HSE Child Protection and Welfare Policy.
This is a supplementary support document that can be included in any information packs that are provided to children and young people. This information sheet can also be used, if required, by practitioners to explain to children why they are reporting concerns to Tusla – Child and Family Agency.
This resource may also be displayed in services however, the priority would be to display the Poster for Children and Young People on Being Safe and Asking for Help.
Explanation of the HSE Child Safeguarding Statements
Two child friendly posters providing an explanation of the HSE Child Safeguarding Statements are also available. The first option appealed greater to children of primary school age and the second option appealed greater to older children and young people. The wording of both posters is the same.
It is recommended that one of these posters is displayed beside the Child Safeguarding Statement in your service.
Choose which poster is more relevant to your service’s user demographic or if you provide services to children of all ages, display the poster you prefer.
Please note: The name and contact details of the ‘Relevant Person’ for your service’s Child Safeguarding Statement needs to be included on the English language version of the poster. You can find the Relevant Person’s contact details on your Child Safeguarding Statement.
Option 1: Children (PDF, 2,060 KB, 1 page)
Option 2: Older Children and Young People (PDF, 975 KB, 1 page)
Supervision of Children Poster
(PDF, 1,433 KB, 1 page)
Additionally, we have also created a generic poster about children needing to be supervised by a parent, guardian or carer.
If your service does not already have supervision signage, this poster can be displayed as a further child safeguarding measure.
Children First Awareness Poster for Staff
(PDF, 182 KB, 1 page)
This Children First Awareness Poster for Staff (PDF, 182 KB, 1 page) can be displayed in offices and staff rooms to promote Children First and raise awareness of staff members responsibilities under Children First.
Adult Disclosures of Retrospective Abuse
(PDF, 957 KB, 2 Pages)
This information sheet provides guidance on Responding to Adult Disclosures of Retrospective Abuse (PDF, 957 KB, 2 pages)
The experience of children living with, and affected by, parental problem alcohol and other drug use has become widely known as Hidden Harm. The term 'Hidden Harm' encapsulates the two key features of that experience:
- those children are often not known to services;
- and that they suffer harm in a number of ways as a result of compromised parenting which can impede the child’s social, physical and emotional development.
The key to the success of Hidden Harm work will be both the willingness and capacity of all services to work in a collaborative fashion.
Hidden Harm Practice Guide Seeing through Hidden Harm to Brighter Futures:
In 2019, the HSE and Tulsa published ‘Hidden Harm Practice Guide Seeing through Hidden Harm to Brighter Futures’. This document is an educational resource to enhance knowledge and skills, in identifying and responding effectively to parental problem alcohol and other drug use in terms of its impact on children and to support the continuing professional development of health and social care practitioners:
(PDF, 2 MB, 94 pages)
Opening our Eyes to Hidden Harm:
The following leaflet ‘Opening our Eyes to Hidden Harm’ is specifically for empowering and guiding frontline workers in the area of parental problem alcohol and other drug use:
(PDF, 5 MB, 10 pages)
Hidden Harm eLearning Programme:
A 45 minute e-Learning programme has been produced and is available on www.hseland.ie; 'Hidden Harm: Recognising and responding to the impact of parental alcohol and other drug use on children'.
This programme is relevant to all staff working with parents, children, young people or families who may be affected by problem alcohol and other drug use. This includes HSE, Tusla, and community/voluntary sectors.
The programme seeks to support them in understanding and responding to the often ‘Hidden Harm’ of children living in these families:
Children First Act 2015
Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 (PDF, 3.8 MB, 72 pages)
Addendum to Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children - Online Safety (PDF 487 KB, 3 pages)
Tús Áite do Leanaí: Treoir Náisiúnta do Chosaint agus Leas Leanaí 2017 (PDF, 2.1 MB, 80 pages)
Aguisín do Thús Áite do Leanaí: Treoir Náisiúnta - Sábháilteacht ar Líne (PDF, 480 KB, 3 pages)
Guidance for HSE Child Safeguarding Statements and Risk Assessment Work Book (PDF, 2.4 MB, 53 pages) (editable version)
Child Safeguarding Statement Template (PDF editable, 2.6 MB, 1 page) (English version)
Child Safeguarding Statement Template (PDF editable, 767 KB, 1 page) (Irish version)
Tusla's Children First Publications and Forms
Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook (HSE, 2011) (PDF, 729 KB, 200 pages)
Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 (Tusla, 2018) (PDF, 1,249 KB, 184 pages)
A Stone Unturned: A Guide for Families of Children who have experienced Sexual Abuse (PDF, 1,721 KB, 32 pages)
Child and Family Agency Act 2013
Children and Family Relationships Act 2015
Children Act 1997 and 2001
Children (Amendment) Act 2015
Child Care Act 1991 and Child Care (Amendment) Acts 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015
Children First Act 2015 (PDF, 490 KB, 28 pages)
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences)(Amendment) Act 2007
Criminal Justice Act 2006 (Reckless endangerment)
Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information) Act 2012
Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012
Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003
Domestic Violence Act 1996, Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2002 and Domestic Violence Act 2018
Education Act 1998
Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2012
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1997, 2003, 2014
Health Act 2004
National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012
Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997
Ombudsman for Children Act 2002
Protected Disclosures Act 2014
Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000
Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998
The Department of Health
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Tusla - Child and Family Agency
An Garda Síochána
The National Counselling Service