Ireland-wide Child Protection Hub now on-line

The task of protecting children from on-line ‘predators’ has gone all-Ireland with news of an new initiative.

The Stormont Social Services Minister and the Dáil Minister for Children and Youth Affairs have launched a new on-line child protection Internet resource.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, it was this week launched in the border city of Newry by NI Minister Michael McGimpsey and Irish Minister Barry Andrews.

They saw at first hand how the new resource – known as the Hub (North South Child Protection Hub) – will work.

It is available for use by child protection professionals (policy makers, practitioners, researchers and educators) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to use and brings together research, policy and practice guidance, inspection reports, serious case reviews, court judgements, news articles and other material relevant to child protection published in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland together with material from Great Britain and other countries.

Staff in the Health and Social Care Board and Trusts in Northern Ireland and in the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland, will have access to the Hub but it will also be an important resource for all organisations concerned with child protection.

Welcoming the launch, Social Services Minister Michael McGimpsey said: “This is an exciting new development. It will ensure that child-protection staff working on both sides of the border has immediate access to the most up to date information and research about child protection.

“We all have a responsibility to make sure our children are protected. I believe that better-informed practitioners lead to better protection of children and the Hub will certainly help towards achieving this.”

Also welcoming the development and launch of the Hub, Barry Andrews, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs said: “The Hub is an excellent resource to support evidence informed child protection policy and practice in both jurisdictions.

“The website differs from other resources in a number of important ways. It is targeted at child protection staff working in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It provides comprehensive information across the range of issues for staff working with children, i.e. legislation, policy, research and practice information.

“It will be updated daily and has cutting edge features that will save staff precious time and effort in accessing valuable research and information,” he said, noting that the North South Child Protection Hub was developed under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council.