Children First Act 2015

11.

Risk assessment and child safeguarding statements, etc.

11. (1) Where a person proposes to operate as a provider of a relevant service, he or she shall, within 3 months from the date on which he or she commences as such a provider—

(a) undertake an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of the service (in this section referred to as a “risk”),

(b) prepare, in accordance with subsection (3), a written statement (in this Act referred to as a “child safeguarding statement”) specifying the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed to ensure as far as practicable, that a child, while availing of the service, is safe from harm, and

(c) appoint a relevant person for the purposes of this Part.

(2) A person who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was operating as a provider of a relevant service shall, not later than 3 months from the date of such commencement—

(a) undertake an assessment of any risk,

(b) prepare, in accordance with subsection (3), a child safeguarding statement, and

(c) appoint a relevant person for the purposes of this Part.

(3) A child safeguarding statement shall include a written assessment of the risk and, in that regard, specify the procedures that are in place—

(a) to manage any risk identified,

(b) in respect of any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child availing of the relevant service,

(c) for the selection or recruitment of any person as a member of staff of the provider with regard to that person’s suitability to work with children,

(d) for the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to members of staff of the provider in relation to the identification of the occurrence of harm,

(e) for reporting to the Agency by the provider or a member of staff of the provider (whether a mandated person or otherwise) in accordance with this Act or the guidelines issued by the Minister under section 6 ,

(f) for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons, and

(g) for appointing a relevant person for the purposes of this Part.

(4) A provider of a relevant service shall ensure that the child safeguarding statement being prepared by the provider has due regard to, and is in accordance with, any guidelines issued by—

(a) the Minister under section 6 , and

(b) the Agency concerning child safeguarding statements.

(5) A provider of a relevant service shall furnish a copy of the provider’s child safeguarding statement—

(a) to members of staff of the provider, and

(b) on request—

(i) to a parent or guardian, as the case may be, of a child availing of the relevant services,

(ii) to the Agency, or

(iii) to members of the public.

(6) As soon as may be after the preparation of a child safeguarding statement or any review of it, the provider shall display the statement in a prominent place where the relevant service concerned relates or is provided, or both, as may be appropriate.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), a provider of a relevant service shall, at intervals of not more than 24 months, undertake a review of the provider’s child safeguarding statement and the first such review shall be undertaken not more than 24 months from the date on which the first child safeguarding statement was prepared under subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be, and displayed under subsection (6), and any subsequent review shall be undertaken not more than 24 months from the date when the last review was undertaken.

(8) A provider of a relevant service shall review a child safeguarding statement prepared under this section as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

(9) Any of the following matters may be prescribed:

(a) the form of a child safeguarding statement;

(b) the matters to be included in a child safeguarding statement;

(c) the procedures to be followed by a provider of a relevant service in respect of a review, by the provider, of a child safeguarding statement.

(10) In this section “member of staff” means, in relation to a provider, a person referred to in sub paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of paragraph (b) of the definition of “provider” as set out in section 8 .