Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has launched a blueprint for an agency to deal with child and family welfare.

The agency will bring child and family welfare under a single, dedicated body.

Currently multiple agencies deal with child and family welfare support.

The minister said the Cabinet approved the drafting of legislation for the new agency this week.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One Minister Fitzgerald said that for the first time there would be an agency with the sole focus on child protection, child welfare and family support.

Minister Fitzgerald said we needed to deal with the systemic problems which have been identified in over 17 reports, most recently the independent report into child deaths, published some weeks ago.

The Minister said there would be access to social work advice on a 24-hour-basis for people in 2013.

Minister Fitzgerald has acknowledged that people who were working in the front line in child protection had felt unsupported in the past.

She said that there was good-will out there and that bringing the services together and integrating services was supportive to frontline staff.

She asked whether or not staff were prepared to work more flexible hours, she said she believed that was already happening in some services.

On the referendum on children's rights, Minister Fitzgerald said the Cabinet had not decided on the wording for the referendum yet.

She said that the wording would be published in good time for people to have a clear debate on the topic.

Earlier, the Task Force on the Child and Family Agency released recommendations that the agency should be operationally separate from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

It suggested that the agency should be governed by a board due to its specific role and function relying on professional assessment and decision making.

Proposals in the task force report say that domestic, sexual violence services, public health nursing for children and families should fall under the agency's auspice.

The task force made other suggestions such as child and adolescent mental health services, psychology services and places of detention for children in Oberstown and Trinity House in Co Dublin.

IMPACT Assistant General Secretary Christina Carney said it would be dishonest to give the impression that setting up the new Child and Family Agency will solve all the problems in this area.

She said resources and trained people must be put in place to deliver services.

She added that the recession has resulted in a severe increase in referrals to services and with mandatory reporting on the way, the whole situation could get out of control.

However, Ms Carney said the union, which represents a range of child and family services professionals, welcomes plans to establish the new agency as a cruical step in towards improving child protection services.