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No concerns for Samaritans confidentiality under Children First bill

The organisation said that it is working with the Department of Children and relevant authorities to ensure its processes and procedures meet the proposed Children First legislation.

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SAMARITANS HAS SAID it does not currently have concerns that that new laws on children will affect its ability to take information from callers confidentiality.

The Children’s First legislation has been proposed by Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald. The Irish Catholic had raised concerns that the proposed laws could wipe out helpline confidentiality, but Samaritans said this is not the case.

A spokesperson said there are currently no concerns, and that Samaritans and similar organisations are working together with the relevant authorities to ensure that the new framework protects children, while enabling adults to secure support.

The position of Samaritans regarding Children First is that it complies with the current Children First guidelines. A spokesperson said:

The organisation prioritises the safety and protection of children. It is currently working – together with the partner agencies who provide adult support – with the Department of Children and relevant statutory authorities to ensure that the organisation’s processes and procedures meet the new laws on Children First, which are expected to be implemented in 2013.

The Children First Bill will see the national guidance for the protection and welfare of children given a statutory footing, and will also place an obligation on those working with or having access to children to report to the HSE incidents of neglect, abuse or allegations of abuse.

Read: Teachers to have their say on Children First Bill>

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