Child Protection Policy

Coláiste Laichtín affirms that child protection and child welfare is at the heart of all elements of college life and as such must be central to its policies, work practices and all other activities. Consequently and in line with, ‘Child protection procedures for primary and post- primary schools’ Coláiste Laichtín’s committee has adopted the following child protection policy.

1. Coláiste Laichtín’s committee recognises and accepts ‘Child protection procedures for primary and post-primary schools’, ‘Children First’: Our Duty of Care’: ‘Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook’. They will be implemented in their totality without amendment as part of Coláiste Laichtín’s overall child protection policies.

2. The Designated Liason Person (DLP) is The Coláiste Laichtín Principal

3. The Deputy Designated Liason Person (DDLP) is The Deputy Principal/Senior Teacher

4. In its policies, work practices and other activities, Coláiste Laichtín will comply with the following principles and best practice in child protection and welfare.

The Coláiste will

  • Recognise that child protection and welfare is of paramount importance regardless of all other considerations.
  • Fully cooperate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare.
  • Adopt safe practices to minimise the risk of any harm or accident happening to a child while ensuring that staff members do not inadvertently put themselves in a situation which could result in allegations of abuse, neglect or failure in their duty of care.
  • Foster sincerity and develop, motivate and encourage parents to take an active interest in their child’s education.
  • To fully respect the requirement for discretion and confidentiality when dealing with child protection issues.

 

Child Protection Statement

1. Information regarding the reasons for policies on child protection and welfare.

  • Children First: 4.7.1 and 4.7.2

2. These policies are directed at

  • Students
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Ardchinnirí
  • Mná Tí
  • Other employees/service providers

3. The above named are obliged to be informed on Coláiste Laichtín’s child protection policies and to implement them.

4. The objectives for child protection are outlined in The Introduction.

5. It is Coláiste Laichtín’s objective to protect children.

  • Children First: 1.4
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.4

6. The interests and welfare of the child takes precedence over everything else.

  • Children First: 1.4
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.4
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 1.2.

7. The rights of the child to be protected are recognised along with the requirement for others to respect the child. The child will be listened to and attention will be given to his/her concerns.

  • Children First: Chapter 1
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.4

8. Regular evaluation/review of the child protection policy will take place; In the event that the law is changed and outside of that every second year as a minimum. The

Coláiste’s committee will make the appropriate changes.

 

DEFINITION OF ABUSE

1. Definition as in Children First

  • Children First: Chapter 2
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 1.4

2. Reference to signs and symptoms of abuse.

  • Children First: Appendix 1
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 1.32

 

REPORTING PROCEDURES

1. Guidelines relating to child protection and welfare are available

  • Children First: 2.6 and 2.7

2. Examples are given to indicate reasonable grounds for an individual to be concerned about child welfare

  • Our Duty of Care: 1.20
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.2

3. Guidelines relating to revealing information of abuse.

  • Children First: 2.7.3
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.17
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.5

4. An outline of the steps to follow in reporting concerns regarding child protection and welfare.

  • Children First: Chapter 3
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.9

5 .Contact will be made with the Social Worker on duty at Children and Family Services

HSE in the event that it’s unclear if a formal report should be submitted

  • Children First: Chapter 3.4.2
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.7

6. Contact details for Children and Family Services HSE (Social Worker on duty) noted.

  • Children First: Appendix 2
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 5.1

7. Parents/ Guardians will be informed if a report is being forwarded to the HSE. This will not happen in the event that it places the child at greater risk.

  • Children First: 3.2.9
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.12

8. A report will be forwarded to Children and Family Services HSE without delay.

  • Children First: 3.2.5

9. A record will be kept of all revelations and concerns.

  • Children First: 2.7.6
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.16

10. It is a requirement to report dangers/risks that are not named to The HSE

  • Children First: 3.2.4

11. There are consequences in failing or refusing to report and failing to implement child protection and the abuse of children relating to children that are endangered recklessly according to Section 176 of the Criminal Justice Act and other relevant legislation.

12. Any actions undertaken by the organisation when the DLP decides not to submit a report to the HSE. Children First 3.8

  • Children First: 3.8.1

13. The Protections of Persons Reporting Child Abuse act 1998 makes provision for the protection of person who have communicated “ child abuse reasonably and in good faith” to designated officers of the HSE or to any member of an Garda Síochána. A person who makes a report in good faith and in the child’s best interest may also be protected by common law and by the defence of qualified privilege

14. There is a standard reporting form for forwarding a report to The Chief Social Worker or to the Social Worker on duty at Children and Family Services HSE.

  • Children First: 3.4.4 and Appendix 3
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.9

15. In case of emergency when one is of the opinion that a child is in immediate danger and they are unable to contact the HSE, one should contact An Garda Siochána.

  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.8

16. It will be demonstrated how concerns that are not necessary to report to the HSE are recorded; eg. Accident report.

  • Our Duty of Care: 1.21

17. The procedures to deal with retrospective disclosure of abuse by adults.

  • Children First: 3.6
  • Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 3.1.16

18. It will be demonstrated how third party concerns are reported to Children and Family Services HSE

  • Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook: 2.11

19. If a child goes missing:

If a student is not where they should be at a designated time; parents/guardians must be notified.

  • Search around the college.
  • Around the students accommodation.
  • Advise other students/cinnirí.
  • If the student is not found, notify the emergency services.

 

Designated Liason Person

1. Students, teachers and mná tí will be informed of who the DLP and DDLP are.

2. The names of the DLP and DDLP will be displayed on a poster that will be clearly visible to visitors to Coláiste Laichtin.

3. Contact numbers will be clearly printed on the poster.

4. Informed on reporting on the standard reporting form

5. Informed and training given to them in relation to child protection.

 

GUIDELINES IN RELATION TO CONFIDENTIALITY

1. When concerns arise relating to a child’s protection or welfare, information will only be shared with those who need to know and when it is in the child’s best interest.

  • Children First:3.9

2. A guarantee on confidentiality cannot be given but this will be evident from the normal daily practice of The Coláiste

  • Children First: 3.9.3

3. It will be clarified that sharing information in the interest of child safety and protection is not a betrayal of confidentiality.

  • Children First: 3.2.9

4. Parents have a right to information when it is being shared, except in a situation where it puts a child at risk.

  • Children First: 3.2.9 and 5.2.6
  • Our Duty of Care: 1.22

5. Records are being kept in a confidential and safe manner.

Children First: 3.9.3 and 3.11.2

  • Child Protection Act

6. The policy is to cooperate with Children and Family Services HSE and the gardaí when there are concerns in relation to child safety.

  • Children First: 4.7.5 viii

7. There is a policy in relation to keeping a record of material relating to child protection.

8. To be available and to attend as appropriate meetings on child safety organised by Children and Family Services HSE and to share this information. E.g .The Child Protection and Safety Conference and strategic meetings.

  • Children First: 1.2
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Discipline Policy
  • Homework Policy
  • Travelling to the mainland Policy
  • Anti bullying Policy
  • Sex and Relationship Policy
  • Social, Personal and Health Policy
  • Special needs requirement Policy
  • Internet safety Policy
  • Enrolment Policy
  • Irish Language Policy
  • Individual Tuition Policy
  • New media safety Policy
  • Critical Incident Policy
  • All other Coláiste Laichtín Policies.

The Coláiste Committee will ensure that the all the policies, protocols and practices in relation to the above are being adhered to.

 

Record Keeping

1. The course principal will keep a record of concerns, allegations or revelations relating to child abuse under lock and key in The Coláiste office. The records will be kept by the Coláiste Secretary after this.

2. The Coláiste Directors will have access to the files if required. The records will be kept safely and confidentially.

  • Children First: 3.9.3 and 3.11.2
  • Data Protection Act

3. Assistance will be provided to Children and Family Services HSE by providing information and records when there are concerns relating to the safety of the child.

  • Children First: 4.7.5 viii

4. There is a policy in relation to the storage of records relating to the protection and safety of children.

This policy was adopted by the Directors of Coláiste Laichín on

_____________________________________________

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Date for next review: ___________________________

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