Child Protection and Welfare

The welfare of young people in state and community organisations has become a priority in recent years. It is recommended that all organisations dealing with children and young people implement a child protection policy and that staff receive training in child welfare matters.

Below are a selection of publications relating to child welfare policy. Many of them appear very daunting and legalistic when first using them. The best advice is to avail of Keeping Safe training supplied by the HSE. This training works through the various potential issues that can arise when dealing with young people and creating a good environment for staff and young people. Its greatest benefit is that it helps people realise that putting good policies and practice in place is nothing to be afraid of. You can download a list of contacts for information,  advice and Keeping Safe training here. (ROI Only)


Useful Publications in the area:


Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017

This updated guide was published in 2017 by the Office Of the Minister for Children and Youth affairs. Download the guidelines here.


Other Documents From Tusla Relating to Children First

Child Safeguarding – A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice

Guidance on Developing a Child Safeguarding Statement

A Guide for the Reporting of Child Protection Concerns

Best Practice Principles for Organisations in Developing Children First Training Programmes



Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Young People in the Arts Sector

This is The Arts Council publication which describes how to write a child protection policy. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting the IAYO office or it can be downloaded as a pdf here.


Garda Vetting Information Pack

The linked guide, from the National Youth Council of Ireland, describes the process of Garda vetting. IAYO members can access the NYCI consortium by contacting the IAYO office. Read the info pack here.


Child Protection Policy and Procedures Sample Information

These two documents are samples of information on child welfare policies for provision to parents and children.

For Parents and Guardians

For Children


Protecting our Children and Young People

This new resource from the National Youth Council of Ireland  is aimed at youth clubs, services and organisations that are designing their child protection policy for the first time or reviewing their existing child protection policy. Download it here.


Code of Good Practice | Child Protection for The Youth Work Sector

This guide was published by the Youth Affairs Section of the Department of Education and Science (The Youth Affairs section is now under the Department of Health and Children). Download the guide here.


Our Duty to Care

Published by the Department of Health and Children (HSE). This publication contains an introduction to best practice in child welfare and protection and deals with policies and procedures for dealing with child abuse reporting.  Hard copies are usually distributed to participants in Keeping Safe courses. It can be downloaded as a pdf here.


Guidelines for taking and using images of  children and young people in the arts sector

Published by The Arts Council. Contact The Arts Council on 01 618 0200 for hard copies. Download here.


Solo Practitioner code of practice for working with children and young people

Published by The Arts Council. Contact The Arts Council on 01 618 0200 for hard copies. Download here.


Go Happy Come Back Safely

A guide to touring with youth theatre groups published by the National Association for Youth Drama. Download here.


JOINT VENTURES: Partnerships with Outside Theatre Professionals

These guidelines outline good practice when engaging an outside theatre professional to work with a youth theatre. Supporting advice sheets are available through These guidelines have been drawn up by the National Association for Youth Drama in consultation with Theatre Forum, professional theatre practitioners and youth theatre practitioners. Download the guidelines here.


Internet Safety & Social Networking

Youth Work Ireland have produced two guides for internet usage for young people and those working with them. These are useful for those that engage with young people through media such as Bebo and Facebook.

Safe Social Networking: Guidelines for those working with young people

Safe Surfing: Guidelines for safe Internet use for young people and those who work with them


Let’s Beat Bullying

This resource, developed by the National Youth Council of Ireland for the youth work sector, is practical, informative and comprehensive in relation to the issue of bullying and offers a range of options in relation to the prevention of bullying and the development of an anti-bullying environment. The resource outlines a variety of responses which may be used to intervene in situations involving bullying. It also provides a framework and process for devising an anti-bullying policy. Down load a copy here.


The Anti-Bullying Centre

The Anti-Bullying Center is a resource unit for organisations and individuals alike with reference libraries, helplines and a drop-in centre. Find out more at