SAFE GUARDING CHILDREN & VULNERABLE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
CODES, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
SAFE GUARDING CHILDREN POLICY STATEMENT
In keeping with the Archdiocese of Armagh’s policies and procedures around safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults, St. Peters Parish Centre is committed to providing a safe environment and experience with a child centred approach where the welfare of the child is paramount. We will adhere to the ‘Children First’ national guidelines and diocesan guidelines for the protection and welfare of children by having and implementing procedures including:
safe recruitment, management/supervision of all staff and volunteers
issuing and having on display a code of behaviour for staff, volunteers and participants
incident and accident recording
complaints and allegations recording
confidentiality statement and implementation
St. Peter’s Parish Centre is committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare issues we undertake that information will only be passed on a need to know basis to relevant authorities i.e. HSE, Gardaí and diocesan authorised person; giving such information for the protection of a child/young person is not a breach of confidentiality. We cannot guarantee total confidentiality, where the best interests of the child/young person are at risk parents/guardians will be told unless doing so would place the child/young person/vulnerable adult in danger. All parties have a right to know if a report is being made. Consent will be sought from participants/youth groups/parents (whichever is appropriate) around the issue of video-taping, photographs and imaging and the publication of such.
CODES OF PRACTICE
The following is an outline of considered best practice for working with young people/vulnerable adults. It is expected that all facilitators will adhere to the codes outlined here.
Respect the opinions of young people – allow them to express opinions & maintain safe environment for such.
Be familiar with Safe Guarding Policies and procedures.
Report any concerns regarding young people to the workshop leader and/or Manager
Treat young people as fairly and equally as possible.
No young people or vulnerable adults coming to the Centre should ever feel threatened: physically, emotionally or intellectually.
Do not abuse trust placed in you.
Do not engage with a young person on your own.
In situations of group conflict, attempt to discover all facts & points of view, whenever possible.
Keep to agreed management structure and all reporting requirements, especially in cases of grievance.
All incidents or accidents, must be reported and recorded in written form as soon as possible.
As representatives of St. Peter’s Parish Centre, maintain professional manner in all dealings with young people.
1. Inappropriate behaviour
Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people/vulnerable adults;
Don’t use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language;
Don’t single out a particular child/young person for unfair favourtisim, criticism, ridicule, or unwelcome focus or attention;
No inappropriate touching of any form;
Don’t hit or physically chastise children/young people/vulnerable adults;
Don’t socialise inappropriately with children/young people/vulnerable adults, e.g. outside of structured organisational activities.
Do not smoke in the presence of children/young people/vulnerable adults.
The use of drugs or illegal substances is strictly prohibited.
2. Physical Contact
Seek consent of child/young person in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation);
Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch;
3. Health and Safety
Adequate ratio of leaders to participants at all times:
Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised;
Any dangerous materials or toxic substances must be kept in a locked cupboard;
Provide a safe environment, be aware of electric cables, use wet floor signs and provide socket covers where necessary;
Be aware of accident procedure and follow accordingly.
• Operate within Church guidelines and, at all times, act in the best interest of the child, young person or vulnerable adult
• Keep attendance records, accident report forms, consent forms and complaints or grievance records in a secure system
• Always work openly – be visible to others whenever possible, especially when working with children
• Ensure changing room supervision is gender appropriate and always in pairs
• Have male and female supervisors of mixed groups on trips away from home
• Report all allegations and concerns of abuse to the statutory authorities
• Treat everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect
• Provide good example and conduct themselves as positive role models
• Provide an open culture where no one, including children, is afraid to bring up issues affecting their lives
• Be aware of and challenge bullying
• Take care not to discriminate nor to use language that could be interpreted as discriminating against those of a different race, culture, age, gender, disability, religious persuasion, sexual orientation or political view
• Advise children, young people and vulnerable adults or their right to be safe
• Operate a positive approach to managing behaviour
• Actively encourage children, young people and vulnerable adults a voice and listen to what they have to say
• Respect each person’s boundaries and help them to develop their own sense of their rights as well as helping them to know what they can do if they feel that there is a problem