A policy is a collective agreed statement of beliefs. It exists to protect children, parents & staff. It is a course of action recommended or adopted by a service”


Role of the designated liaison person



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Role of the designated liaison person

Children First requires that every organisation providing services to children appoint a Designated Liaison Person (DLP) for reporting neglect or abuse. The DLP is responsible for dealing with child protection and welfare concerns in accordance with Children First and Our Duty to Care.

The Deputy DLP will be appointed by the Board of Management / Management Team to undertake the below duties when the DLP is on leave or is unavailable for a long period of time.



Designated Liaison Person


Deputy Designated Liaison Person

Vicky Ward

C/O Bridge Kids

Shannon Road

Sixmilebridge

Co. Clare

Tel: 061 713 028 or Mobile: 086 822 9424



Bridge Kids Manager(s)

C/O Bridge Kids

Shannon Road

Sixmilebridge

Co. Clare

Tel: 061 713 028



The Role of the DLP is to:



  • Provide information and advice on child protection and welfare concerns and issues to the staff of the service

  • Be accessible to all staff

  • Ensure that they are knowledgeable about child protection and welfare and that they undertake any training considered necessary to keep updated on new developments

  • Ensured that the Child Protection and Welfare Policy and procedures of the service are followed

  • Be responsible for reporting concerns about the protection and welfare of children to TUSLA – Child and Family Agency or to An Garda Siochana
  • Ensure that appropriate information is included in the report to the Child and Family Agency and that the report is submitted in writing (under confidential cover) using the Standard Report Form (see appendix 1 )


  • Liaise with the Child and Family Agency, An Garda Siochana and other agencies as appropriate

  • Keep relevant people within the organisation informed of relevant issues, whilst maintaining confidentiality

  • Ensure that an individual case record is maintained of the action taken by the service, the liaison with other agencies and the outcome

  • Maintain a central log or record of all child protection and welfare concerns in the service

Recognising, Responding and Reporting Concerns about a Child’s Welfare or Possible Abuse.

Recognising Concerns


  • Staff and / or volunteers may at time be concerned about the general welfare and development of children they work with and they can discuss any concerns with their Manager and/or Designated Liaison Person at any time.

  • All staff and volunteers should be familiar with the definition of abuse as outlined in Children First (see Appendix 2) and the signs and symptoms of abuse (See Appendix 3).

In accordance with Children First:

  • Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be suffering from abuse or neglect.



  • The Child and Family Agency should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being or is at risk of being abused or neglected. Child protection concerns should be supported by evidence that indicates the possibility of abuse or neglect.


  • A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even if the children are unidentifiable, should also be communicated to the Child and Family Agency.




  • The guiding principles in regard to reporting child abuse or neglect may be summarised

as follows:

(I) the safety and well-being of the child must take priority

(II) reports should be made without delay to the Child and Family Agency.


  • Any reasonable concern or suspicion of abuse or neglect must elicit a response. Ignoring the signals or failing to intervene may result in on-going or further harm to the child.




endangerment of children. It states:

‘A person, having authority or control over a child or abuser, who intentionally or recklessly endangers a child by – (a) causing or permitting any child to be placed or left in a situation which creates a substantial risk to the child of being a victim of serious harm or sexual abuse, or (b) failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child from such a risk while knowing that the child is in such a situation, is guilty of an offence.’

The penalty for a person found guilty of this offence is a fine (no upper limit) and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Recognising Concerns


  • A child tells you or indicates that she/he is being abused. This is called a disclosure (see Appendix (iv) for guidance on responding to a disclosure from a child)

  • An admission or indication from the alleged abuser

  • A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even I the children are unidentifiable

  • Information from someone who saw the child being abused.
  • Evidence of injury or behaviour that is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in any other way.


  • Consistent indication over a period of time that a child suffering from emotional or physical neglect.

  • An injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse, but an innocent explanation is given

  • Concern about the behaviour or practice of a colleague

All personnel are expected to consult Children First and the Child Protection & Welfare Practice Handbook for detailed information on the signs and symptoms of abuse.

Recognising Concerns


  • Under no circumstances should a child be left in a situation that exposes him or her to harm or risk pending Child and Family Agency intervention. In the event of an emergency and the unavailability of a Duty Social Worker, the DLP will contact An Garda Siochana.

  • If the child has made a disclosure, a written record will be made. If there are other grounds for concern that the child has been abused or neglected, a written record will be made.

  • If there are reasonable grounds for concern (see appendix 5) the DLP will complete the standard report form without delay and send it to the duty social work team in the child and family agency (see below for contact details)

Duty Social Work Team, Tusla-Child and Family Agency


An Garda Siochana

River House

Girt Road

Ennis

Co. Clare



Tel: 065 6863935

Office Hours 9-5pm


Ennis: 065 6848100

Sixmilebridge: 061 369 133

Shannon: 061 361212

Limerick: 061 212411





  • If the concern is urgent and the child is in immediate danger, the report to the Child & Family Agency will be made by telephone and followed up with the completed Standard Report Form.



  • In the event of an emergency and the unavailability of a Duty Social Worker, the DLP will

contact An Garda Síochána

  • The DLP may use the process of informal consultation with the Duty Social Work Team to discuss the response to a child protection and welfare concern and whether or not it warrants reasonable grounds for concern. Informal consultation is carried out without providing the name of the family or the child. If advised to do so, a formal report will be made.



  • The DLP will record information about the concern, informal consultation (if carried out) and details regarding if and when the parents were informed

Community Services/Services with a Voluntary Management Committee:

  • Where there is a voluntary management committee in place, the chairperson is informed each time a referral or report is made under the Child Protection and Welfare Policy. In accordance with the confidentiality policy, no identifying information is included when informing the chairperson.

Other Services:

  • If the owner is not the DLP they are informed when a referral or a report is made under the Child Protection and Welfare Policy.

Procedure when a referral is not made to the Child & Family Agency
  • Not all concerns will meet the reasonable grounds for concern. In this case, the concern and any informal consultation will be documented and kept confidentially and securely.


  • The DLP will inform the member of staff, volunteer or student who raised the concern that it is not being referred in writing, indicating the reasons. The DLP will advise the individual that they may make a report themselves or contact the Duty Social Work Team and that the provision of the Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 will apply.


Informing Parents about child protection and welfare concerns


  • Good communication with parents is very important in ensuring best outcomes for children and any concerns about the health and well-being of a child will always be discussed with parents from the outset.



  • When a child protection concern is being reported to the Child & Family Agency, good practice indicates that parents should be informed about the report unless doing so may put the child at further risk. The DLP may seek advice from the Child and Family Agency Social Work Department in relation to this.

Responding to a retrospective disclosure by an adult of abuse as a child


  • In relation to retrospective disclosures, it is imperative that all child protection concerns are examined and addressed.



  • An increasing number of adults are disclosing abuse that took place during their childhood. If a staff member becomes aware of a retrospective concern they should follow the reporting procedure and speak with the DLP. If any risk is deemed to exist to a child who may be in contact with an alleged abuser, the service should report the concern to the Children and Family Agency without delay.




  • Information about relevant support services may be provided to the adult if appropriate.





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