Child Protection & Garda Vetting

It is the policy of Youth Work Ireland and our Member Youth Services to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people in our services by protecting them from all forms of abuse. We are committed to providing a safe space for children and young people to grow, develop, learn, and have fun.

The Department of Health and Children published Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children in 1999. These guidelines were updated in 2011 and are intended to assist people in identifying and reporting Child Abuse to ensure best practice in Child Protection in statutory and voluntary agencies. 

Youth Work Ireland’s Child Protection policy and procedures have been developed for the National Organisation. Member Youth Services and their clubs, groups and projects will have their own local policy that will be in line with the principles outlined in Children First.

Child Protection is about promoting the welfare of children who avail of our services and creating a safe environment for both staff/volunteers and young people, where trust and willingness to listen to the young person is foremost.

We will endeavour to safeguard children by:

  • Delivering Keeping Safe Training to all staff and at least one volunteer in each affiliated group/project.
  • Ensuring all volunteers and staff are garda vetted.
  • Following the principles of best practice thus ensuring the welfare of the child is paramount in decisions, activities and programmes involving them.
  • Adhering to the procedures set out for the  recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers.
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, and training.
  • Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents/guardians, staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing information with relevant agencies on a need to know basis

Youth Work Ireland's Child Protection Policy 2014*

*This document is currently under review, awaiting legislation & guidance

Garda Vetting

Youth Work Ireland is a registered organisation with the Garda Central Vetting Unit. We vet approximately 2,000 applications a year on behalf of our Member Youth Services.

When the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 comes into effect, it will become mandatory for persons working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Gardaí. The Act also provides for the use of "soft" information in regard to vetting. This is information other than criminal convictions where such information leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons. Under the Act the Garda Central Vetting Unit will become the National Vetting Bureau and the vetting procedures will be put on a statutory basis.

Types of employees vetted

The types of work or activities where people working with children and vulnerable adult will require vetting include include:

  • Childcare services – see also ‘Further information’ below
  • Schools
  • Hospitals and health services
  • Residential services or accommodation for children or vulnerable persons
  • Treatment, therapy or counselling services for children or vulnerable persons
  • Provision of leisure, sporting or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons
  • Promotion of religious beliefs

For any information or queries on Garda Vetting contact Ethel in National Office.