Final Stage For Children First Bill

Dr. James Reilly TDDr. James Reilly TD

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has welcomed the passage of the final stages of the Children First Bill. The legislation aims at ensuring a robust and effective child protection system in the locality and beyond.
“The passage of the Children First legislation through the Dáil is a milestone for child protection in Ireland.” SPCC Chief Executive Grainia Long said. “As has been uncovered in recent years, far too many children were failed by a state that did not intervene to protect them from abuse. Long overdue, this legislation will ensure that all those who provide services to children are required to commit to their protection through systems and procedures for child protection and child safety.”
The passage of the Children First Bill will place demands and requirements on organisations that work with children and as such will require a significant public education campaign to ensure the new law is heard and understood. The ISPCC recommends that accessible guidance and advice is made available for all organisations in Ireland, including those of the North County, to understand the requirements placed on them.
Commenting on the legislation, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly, TD (FG) told the County Leader: “The legislation, which has involved a very significant amount of work in my department and elsewhere, represents an important addition to the child welfare and protection. I believe that it will send a very strong signal both at home and abroad, that in Ireland we believe that corporal punishment of our children is wrong.” He continued that central to the bill is putting the Children First guidelines on a statutory basis, which sets out clearly the circumstances in which concerns must be reported. “It is yet another development from a Government which has given the highest priority to the rights and welfare of children and our young people,” he concluded.