Children First ACT
Information and guidance for LGFA Clubs
On 11 December 2017 the remaining provisions of the Children First Act commenced in full. Most notably for the LGFA our immediate requirements include adopting all provisions in relation to mandatory reporting of child abuse, ensuring the appointment of what can be termed key child safeguarding officers which include Designated Liaison Persons and Children’s Officers at Club and County level and also appointing the Association’s Mandated Person, we must also provide certain child safeguarding training programmes and commence the process to agree a Child Safeguarding Statement for all Clubs.
The commencement of the Act and the publication of the Children First Guidance documents have all thrown up a number of questions and issues of clarification that Coaches, Parents, Children and Club and County Officials have been asking of late.
It is worth noting that where aspects of the Act impose certain requirements on our Associations or raise the threshold of good practice in our work with children in the Republic of Ireland all of these requirements, as they arise, will apply not just within the geographical jurisdiction of the Act but across the island of Ireland as well.
Awareness is fully required as to the implications of the Act on LGFA Clubs in particular and to draw attention to the links between the Children First Act and other children’s’ related legislation, all of which promote the safety and protection of children.
LGFA Clubs should have no apprehensions about the full commencement of the Act as any Club that has engaged with our safeguarding requirements to date will have knowledge of child safeguarding training requirements, the need to vet various personnel that work with children and the requirements to appoint key child safeguarding officers as described above (Designated Liaison Persons, Children’s Officers or the Association’s Mandated Person) all of whom should now be in place.
In addition to the above we recognise and support the principle that anybody in our Association who may have a reasonable concern about a child’s welfare should report their concern to TULSA and if any of our safeguarding personnel can assist in this process, they should willing do so.
Please note as an from 2018 all underage coaches / mentors must be over 16 years of age they must at a minimum have a LGFA Fundamentals or GAA Foundation level coaching certificate, they must be GARDA vetted, they must have completed a Safeguarding Children’s course and they must be a registered member of the LGFA. All referees must all be GARDA vetted and hold a Safeguarding Cert.
Please read the document below which contains FAQ's in relation to Safeguarding alongside the LGFA national statement on safeguarding.