The Health Service Executive (HSE) and An Garda Síochána are the agencies responsible for investigating concerns of a child protection and welfare nature. Any concerns of this nature should be referred directly to the HSE and/or An Garda Síochána. You can contact the HSE Info Line on 1850 24 1850 to find out which Social Work Department you should report any child protection concerns to.
The welfare of children is paramount. The Ombudsman for Children must have regard to the best interests of the child and ensure that we act in accordance with Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
Where the screening and /or investigation of a complaint indicates to this Office that there are concerns regarding the safety and welfare of a child, then these concerns will be referred on by us to the HSE or An Garda Siochána. Where we refer such concerns to the relevant agencies, then we inform the complainant directly.
The OCO does not have any role to investigate specific concerns or allegations of a child protection and welfare nature. However, complaints regarding the actions of the HSE in relation to such matters can be referred to the Office.