Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (557)

Anne Rabbitte


557. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if there are persons accused of historical child sex abuse who have worked or volunteered for agencies that have received State funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39469/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Investigation of historical child sex abuse is a matter for An Garda Síochána which falls under the remit of my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality. The recruitment and selection of volunteers and workers is also an operational matter for agencies.

Notwithstanding this, the Children First Act 2015 provides for a number of key child protection measures. In this context, the Act places a number of statutory obligations on organisations providing relevant services to children. These obligations apply to agencies under the aegis of my Department and include:

- keeping children safe from harm while they are availing of the service;

- carrying out a risk assessment; and,

- preparing a child safeguarding statement which sets out the policies and procedures which are in place to mitigate these risks.

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, which also fall under the remit of my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality, provide a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting of persons who wish to undertake certain work or activities relating to children or vulnerable persons or to provide certain services to children or vulnerable persons.