Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse National Policy & Procedures

The National Safeguarding Policy sets out a number of principles which promote the independence and rights of adults who may be vulnerable and also outlines the procedures to be followed if there are concerns of abuse and / or neglect of a vulnerable adult.  The Policy provides details on a number of structures to be developed in order to support the safeguarding agenda.  Since the Policy was officially launched in late 2014 the National Federation has been working at both at a national level with other key stakeholders and with its membership to support this area of work.  The National Federation has two nominees on the Review Development Group which has been tasked with revising the Adult Safeguarding Policy.  Work on revision of the Policy is due to be completed in late 2018. 

National Safeguarding Office

National Safeguarding Policy 


HSE / Umbrella Groups Safeguarding Reference Group

The HSE, the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, the Disability Federation of Ireland and the Not-For-Profit Association established a Reference Group in relation to the HSE’s Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse – National Policy and Procedures. The group aims to:

  • Provide leadership and direction in safeguarding vulnerable adults from abuse and promoting their rights.
  • Support all Service Providers in the implementation of the Policy.
  • Identify impediments to the ongoing implementation and application of the Policy and recommend any corrective action.
  • Evaluate the implementation of the HSE’s Safeguarding Policy across all agencies providing Services to People with Disability.
  • Participate in a formal review of the Policy.

The National Federation is represented on the HSE Safeguarding Reference Group by Mr. Michael Flood Brothers of Charity Services, David Tuomey of Western Care and Ms. Jillian Sexton, National Federation Secretariat.


HSE National Implementation Task Force on the Safety of Vulnerable People in Residential Disability Service 

Empowering and Safeguarding Vulnerable People in Residential Centres


Safeguarding Ireland (formally known as the National Safeguarding Committee) 

The overarching remit of the National Safeguarding Committee (NSC) is to ‘…support the development of a societal and organisational culture which promotes the rights of persons who may be vulnerable and safeguards them from abuse’, National Safeguarding Committee, Strategic Plan 2017-2021, November 2016).  The NSC, chaired by Ms. Patricia Rickard Clarke, is a multi-agency and inter-sectoral body which recognises that safeguarding vulnerable persons requires agencies to work collaboratively.  Jillian Sexton represents National Federation members on the Committee.  Link to NSC Website

The main areas of work which this group will concentrate its efforts on over a 5-year period are:

  • Raising public awareness and understanding
  • Supporting and promoting the protection of people’s rights
  • Informing and influencing government policy
  • Building the Committee’s capacity and capability

National Safeguarding Committee Strategic Plan 2017-2021


Confidential Recipient

Ms. Leigh Gath, Confidential Recipient, operates independently of the HSE to address any complaints or concerns that are raised with her office in relation to any HSE or HSE funded facility.  Ms. Gath can be contacted as follows:

By post to:          Confidential Recipient for Vulnerable Persons.  Training Services Centre, Dooradoyle, Limerick

By telephone:      Lo Call 1890 100 014 or mobile (087) 6657269

By e-mail:  


Launch of Review of current practices in the use of wardship for adults in Ireland

Safeguarding Ireland has called for the urgent commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, in its report published in early 2018,  stated the 19th century Wards of Court regime was inadequate and archaic.  

Link to the report on Review of current practice in the use of wardship formulates in Ireland 

Public Awareness Campaign (May 2019) 

Safeguarding Ireland is running a Public Awareness Campaign promoting the rights of Vulnerable Adults in the area of safeguarding and potential abuse. 

For all relevant materials and further information please click here.  

Public Awareness Campaign (October 2018) 

Safeguarding Ireland is running a Safeguarding Public Awareness Campaign.  All relevant campaign materials (news release etc.) are live on the new website in the Public Awareness section.

Further information is here

Public Awareness Campaign on Financial Abuse (October 2017) 

The National Safeguarding Committee is leading a public awareness campaign on Financial Abuse which will run for the week (October 16-22). 

Further information is here. 

Public Awareness Campaign (June 2017) 

In June 2017 an adult safeguarding public awareness campaign was launched by the National Safeguarding Committee – a number of campaign graphics and radio adverts have been developed by the NSC and these can be accessed via the National Safeguarding Committee's Website - 

Further information is here


Safeguarding Conference November 2016

The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies in partnership with St. 

Michael’s House and the Open Training College, hosted a one-day conference entitled 'Safeguarding everyone's responsibility' on Thursday 17th November in the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise. You can download the programme and presentations here. 


POBAL - Online Safeguarding Module 

The National Federation, St. Michael’s House, and the Open Training College, have developed an online safeguarding module.  Funding for the Project was made available following a successful application to Pobal - Dormant Accounts Fund. 

The online safeguarding module seeks to provide information on organisations responsibilities in terms of safeguarding, definitions and types of abuse; organisational culture; responsibilities of staff; and procedures for dealing with concerns and allegations of abuse.

For further information please contact Jillian Sexton, National Federation at or Raymond Watson, Open Training College at


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