Responding & Reporting
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Sport Ireland

Reporting to External Agencies

The video below provides us with an important lesson about how it is critical to know where to get help from before you actually need to get help.

The Tusla and Gateway Teams

Tusla or Gateway are the first point of contact for all new referrals to children's social work and is responsible for:

  • Making sure that all new referrals are responded to promptly;
  • Linking with children and families to assess their needs and identify appropriate support services;
  • Ensuring an immediate response to safeguard children in need of protection;
  • Making sure children and young person receive ongoing social work support whenever they need it;
  • Ensuring that everyone involved with a child can contribute to the assessment of the child and their family;
  • Working closely with other agencies when additional support is needed.

Republic of Ireland - Referring someone to the National Protection Services

National Vetting Bureau (Children & Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012

19. (1) Where, following an investigation, inquiry or regulatory process (howsoever described) in respect of a person, (including an investigation, inquiry or regulatory process initiated but not yet concluded before the commencement of this section) a scheduled organisation (voluntary sport clubs/organisations are not scheduled organisations), has as a result of the investigation, inquiry or regulatory process, a bona fide concern that the person who is the subject of that investigation, inquiry or regulatory process, may-

  • harm any child or vulnerable person,
  • cause any child or vulnerable person to be harmed,
  • put any child or vulnerable person at risk or harm.
  • attempt to harm any child or vulnerable person, or

The scheduled organisation shall, as soon as may be, for the purposes of providing specified information to the Bureau, notify the Bureau in writing of that concern and shall state the reasons for it.

Northern Ireland - Referring someone to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Sports organisations have a legal duty to refer someone to the DBS if they have followed their organisations disciplinary procedures and:

  • sacked or removed the person from their voluntary role because they harmed a child or vulnerable adult;
  • sacked them or removed them from working in regulated activity because they might have harmed a child or adult otherwise; or
  • where planning to sack or remove them for either of these reasons, but the person resigned first.

If you want help referring someone to the DBS, contact the DBS referrals helpline.

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DBS Referrals Helpline | 01325 953795



Sports clubs should seek advice from their governing body designated safeguarding children officer.

An employer or voluntary club/organisation is breaking the law if they don't refer someone to the DBS in any of the above circumstances.

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Northern Ireland - Referring someone to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)