What is in Tusla's new charter for children?

The body worked with approximately 50 children and young people

What is in Tusla's new charter for children?

File photo

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has launched new charters for children and young people.

The body worked with Dr Carmel Corrigan and a group of young people to develop charters that reflect their views.

These groups were consulted on content, design and layout of the charters.

The charters aim to give children and their families' greater clarity about the quality of services they can expect from Tusla, and they also outline how agency staff will interact with them.

They also provide staff with a guide and reminder of what is important to the children they work with.

The charters were officially launched the chief operations officer of Tusla, Jim Gibson.

Source: Tusla

He says: "We want to ensure that we share power, control and responsibility with children, families and communities and that they are involved in the decisions that affect their lives.

"The development of these important charters is another step on that journey.

"It was really insightful to hear the opinions of children and young people and to hear what’s important to them.

"These views are important to us as we continue to develop our services into the future."

Hearing children’s views

Tusla says there is significant evidence to suggest that when children are engaged in child protection interventions, it can lead to better outcomes.

"The participation of children and young people is fundamental to a child-centred, rights-based approach to working with children and young people", it says.

Source: Tusla

Independent researcher Dr Carmel Corrigan, who met with the children to write the charters, says: "The fact that Tusla came to this project from the young people’s view is, I think, a very positive indication of how far we have come and of Tusla’s commitment to children and young people’s participation.

"It recognises that hearing and properly considering children’s views is not just an important right that we are obliged to uphold, but is the right thing to do.

"It recognises the intrinsic value to all of us, young people, service providers and society, of listening and paying attention to what children and young people have to say."

Some 50 children and young people aged between nine and 17 years took part in the consultations.

It comes after a report published in May called for a complete cultural change within the system.

Gardaí commissioned Dr Geoffrey Shannon, a leading authority in child and family law, to undertake the major audit following concerns over the removal of two Roma children from their parents in Tallaght in 2013.

You can view the charters in full here