07 October 2011

Minister Delivers for Saggart Residents

Minister Launches HSE Child Protection & Welfare Practice Handbook in Stewarts Hospital

Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, officially launched the new HSE Child Protection & Welfare Practice Handbook in Stewarts Hospital, this week.

The event was hosted by Gordon Jeyes the National Director of Children and Family Services and took place in Palmerstown.

The handbook is based on the protocols set out in the Children First Guidelines which Minister Fitzgerald launched during the summer.

“I am delighted to be here today to launch this new handbook for practitioners. I know you already passionately employ best practice in child protection and understand your duties fully, but I think this handbook will make clearer the protocols and procedures which we must all adhere to in order to ensure children across Ireland are kept safe,” said Minister Fitzgerald.

Minister Fitzgerald reiterated her intention to bring forward legislation to require, for the first time, statutory compliance with Children First. The legislation will provide that all organisations will have a duty to comply with Children First, to share relevant information and to cooperate with other relevant services in the best interest of the child. The legislation will provide for a strong system of inspection and oversight and the need to provide demonstrable evidence that the guidance is being implemented correctly across all sectors.

Minister Fitzgerald also said “I want the message to go out that it is absolutely critical that if somebody has, on good faith, reasonable concerns over the abuse or neglect child then those concerns must be reported to the relevant authorities and to this end statutory reporting requirements will be addressed as one aspect of the proposed new Children First legislation.”