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Home > A report based on an investigation into the implementation of Children First: national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children

Ombudsman for Children’s Office. (2010) A report based on an investigation into the implementation of Children First: national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children. Dublin: Ombudsman for Children’s Office.

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This report is the result of an investigation into the implementation of Children First, National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, which was published in 1999.

Individual complaints to the Ombudsman for Children can highlight a deficiency in policy, practice or legislation. In this case the investigation was conducted under section 10 of the Act which provides that I can initiate an investigation of my own motion. Own motion investigations are particularly useful where, as in this case, children and families who may be affected are less likely to make a complaint. This is also the first systemic investigation carried out by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. By definition this recognises the Ombudsman’s potential to induce broader change in the administrative system that benefits more than one individual child.

Some of the conclusions in this report are positive. It is recognised that substantial efforts have been made at various times since 1999 to implement Children First. However, some of its conclusions are negative and a number of findings of unsound administration have been made.


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