Child protection policy

Introductory Statement

The Management Committee and Staff of Athlone Education Centre have developed and agreed this policy in line with the current recommendations and guidelines relating to child abuse prevention and child protection guidelines.

This policy should be read in conjunction with Children First 2011- National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Department of Children and Youth Affairs) and with reference to the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2011, Circular 0065/2011 ( DES), Child Protection and Welfare Handbook (National Office for Children and families Services) and Child Protection Guidelines for persons employed by the Department of Education and Science (2007) and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse Brought to the Attention of Staff Employed by the Department of Education and Skills (October 2010).
For the purposes of this policy a “child” is any person under the age of 18 years who is not/has not been married (as defined in Children First)

An individual copy of this policy document will be made available to all staff and members of Management Committee and the texts referenced above are available in our library.

It is incumbent on all staff to familiarise themselves with this document.

 

Aims

This policy aims to:

  • Create a safe environment for all users of our Centre and for the participants in any activities organised by the Centre
  • Develop an awareness and responsibility in the area of child protection amongst the staff and Management Committee of the Centre
  • Put in place procedures for good practice to protect all children (engaged in Centre related activities) and staff
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of Children First and the guidelines and procedures in relation to reporting concerns and /or disclosures of child abuse
  • Provide for ongoing training in this and related areas for all staff

 

Procedures

  • All staff in the Centre will follow the recommendations for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in Children First and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures
  • The Management Committee of the Athlone Education Centre has appointed

Frank Walsh as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and

Deborah Walsh as the Deputy DLP.

Each of these persons has received training in Child Protection.

The name of the DLP will be displayed in a prominent position near the entrance to the Education Centre.

 

  • The Management Committee of Athlone Education Centre will engage in safe procedures for the Recruitment of Staff and volunteers.

 

  • As and from the commencement of this policy all potential staff will be asked as part of their application process to sign a Child Protection Statutory Declaration( DES Procedures) and also a form allowing the Centre to seek Garda Clearance. Documentation such as driver’s licence or Passport will also be asked for to confirm identity.

 

  • It is acknowledged that no matter how good recruitment and selection procedures are they are not foolproof, so practices to ensure good management and supervision of staff will also be adhered to.

 

  • The staff and Management have agreed that:

 

  1. All concerns/disclosures involving child protection /child welfare issues will be reported in the first instance to the DLP (or Deputy DLP if appropriate)
  2. Each report to the DLP will be dated and signed by the person making that report
  3. A strict adherence to maintaining confidentiality will be maintained. (information regarding concerns or disclosures of abuse should only be given on a “need to know basis”)
  4. The Management Committee will be informed if a referral is been made by the DLP

The DLP will file all reports confidentially and will fulfil their responsibilities in relation to these concerns as laid out in Children First and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of child Abuse Brought to the Attention of Staff Employed by the Department of Education and Skills (October 2010).