The work of the Child Development Agency (CDA) is governed primarily by the Child Care and Protection Actwhich empowers the agency to act in the best interest of the child as it carries out its function of investigating cases of child abuse; caring for the children in State care and engaging in advocacy to prevent child abuse.

The Act makes it clear that parents have primary responsibility for their children, and makes it mandatory for all citizens to report known or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment or neglect. Under the CCPA, the CDA is also empowered to monitor all private children’s homes and to license them, as well as to revoke the licences of those in breach.
CDA’s work is also complemented by a number of other laws. These include the Adoption Act which underpins the adoption process for which CDA has responsibility, and the Sexual Offences Act, among others.

Laws listed below (click to view in pdf):