Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse on way this year

Katherine Zappone will commence all provisions of Children First Act in December

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill


A mandatory requirement to report suspected child abuse will be introduced for all organisations and individuals dealing with children later this year, the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will announce on Monday.

Ms Zappone will commence all of the provisions of the Children First Act in mid December giving full effect to the legislation. Only some sections of the Bill have been in operation over the past two years, including the removal of the right of “reasonable chastisement” of children by parents.

With the full commencement on December 11th, statutory obligations will be imposed on key professionals to report child protection concerns to the child agency Tusla.

Providers of services to children will also be obliged to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of their services and develop Child Safeguarding Statements.

“I am fulfilling a long-standing Government commitment in relation to mandatory reporting of child abuse,” said Ms Zappone. “While I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge for individuals and organisations to comply with their responsibilities under the Children First Act, I believe our children deserve no less.