Children First Act 2015

16.

Agency may request mandated persons to assist with assessments

16. (1) Where the Agency receives a report from a mandated person or persons under section 14 , the Agency may, for the purposes of assessing whether a child who is the subject of that report or any other child—

(a) has been harmed,

(b) is being harmed, or

(c) is at risk of being harmed,

take such steps as it considers requisite and such steps may include a request to any mandated person whom it reasonably believes may be in a position to assist the Agency for those purposes, to give to the Agency such information and assistance as it may reasonably require and is, in the opinion of the Agency, necessary and proportionate in all of the circumstances of the case.

(2) Where the Agency makes a request of a mandated person under subsection (1), the mandated person shall, as soon as practicable, comply with the request.

(3) If a mandated person furnishes any information (including a report), document or thing to the Agency pursuant to a request made under subsection (1), the furnishing of that information, document or thing shall not give rise to any civil liability in contract, tort or otherwise and nor shall the information, document or thing be admissible as evidence against that person in any civil or criminal proceedings.

(4) The Agency may share information concerning a child who is the subject of a report under section 14 with a mandated person who is assisting the Agency with the assessment concerned, however, the sharing of such information shall be limited to such information as is, in the opinion of the Agency, necessary and proportionate in all the circumstances of the case.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the Child Care Act 1991, the procedures for carrying out an assessment arising from a report under section 14 shall be such as the Agency considers appropriate in all the circumstances of the case.

(6) For the purposes of performing its functions under this Part, the Agency shall have the same powers as it has under the Child Care Act 1991 or any other enactment in respect of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection.

(7) The powers conferred on the Agency by this Part in respect of reports under section 14 are without prejudice to the powers conferred on it under the Child Care Act 1991 or any other enactment in respect of reports received by it, otherwise than under section 14 , concerning a child who is not receiving adequate care and protection.

(8) In this section “assistance”, includes, in relation to a request under subsection (1)

(a) the provision of verbal or written information or reports,

(b) attendance at any meeting arranged by the Agency in connection with its assessment under subsection (1), and

(c) the production to the Agency of any document or thing.