Newmarket-on-Fergus Community Centre CLG believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard all children and young people and promote their welfare by a commitment to practices which protect them.
2. We recognise that:
- The welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
- All children, regardless of age, gender, racial heritage, belief, disability, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
3. The purpose of the policy is:
- To provide protection for the children and young people who attend Newmarket-on-Fergus Community Centre's activities, including the children of adult members or users.
- To provide volunteers and/or workers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of harm.
- This policy applies to all volunteers and board members or anyone working on behalf of Newmarket-on-Fergus Community Centre CLG.
4. We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing them, listening to them and respecting them.
- Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for volunteers and management.
- Recruiting volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks (including Garda Vetting) are made.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, and volunteers.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Providing effective management for volunteers through supervision and support.
- Reporting immediately any disclosure of abuse or suspicion that abuse may have occurred to a child or young person on our premises, to the designated person for child protection, Edwin Bailey, or to the chairperson of the board.
- The designated person for child protection or chair person must inform Tusla of the disclosure or suspicion by phone. Contact 061-457102 office hours 2pm - 5pm.
- Maintaining confidentiality on information relating to individual children and young people and families. Information shared on a strictly need to know basis.
- Ensuring that all leaders, representatives or operatives of clubs, community groups, schools, associations or organisations using our facilities are Garda vetted if they are dealing with children or young people. It is a legal requirement to do so.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, and up-dated where appropriate.
6. Record Keeping
- Any board member or volunteer receiving a disclosure of abuse, or noticing possible abuse, must make an accurate record as soon as possible noting what was said or seen, putting the event into context, and giving the date, time and location. All records must be dated and signed.
- All hand-written records will be retained, even if they are subsequently typed up in a more formal report.
- Written records of concerns about children should be kept, even where there is no need to make a referral immediately.
- All records relating to child protection concerns will be kept in a secure place and will remain confidential.
Sample code of behaviour
- Treat all children and young people with respect
- Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
- Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others
- Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy
- Encourage young people and adults to be comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
- Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned
- Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people
- Operate within the organisation’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.
You must not:
- Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people
- Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour/ make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people
- Jump to conclusions about others without checking facts
- Either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues
- Show favouritism to any individual
- Rely on your good name or that of the organisation to protect you
- Believe “it could never happen to me”
- Take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach
You should give guidance and support to inexperienced helpers.