CYC CHILD PROTECTION POLICY AND PROCEDURES
CYC encourages the participation of young people in activities in order to enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. CYC recognises the dignity and rights of all young people and are committed to ensuring their protection from all forms of abuse.
CYC complies with Children First (2011) and fulfils its obligations and responsibilities for the safeguarding and protection of children by:
- Working in partnership with the civil authorities (the HSE and An Garda Siochana) in all matters that pertain to the protection of children.
CYC has 3 distinct functions pertaining to young people:
- Creating and maintaining safe environments for all young people who are involved in their activities.
- Providing support to those affected by abuse.
- Dealing with Child Protection Concerns.
The paramount consideration for CYC in all matters relating to young people is their safety and protection from all forms of abuse. The following steps are taken in relation to all child protection concerns:
- All child protection concerns are reported to the HSE and/or An Garda Siochana as soon as possible.
- Appropriate measures are taken, pending the outcome of any Garda investigation and HSE assessment. Such measures typically involve the persons against whom an allegation of child abuse has been made having no contact with young people.
- Final determination of the person’s future role within CYC is informed by the outcome of any investigation.
- No person against whom an allegation of child sexual abuse has been substantiated is permitted to work with young people.
All child protection concerns are passed on to the Civil Authorities, in the first instance, the HSE and, in an emergency, An Garda Siochana. This can be done in two ways, either by going directly to the HSE or An Garda Siochana or by taking the concern to the Designated Liaison Person in CYC. It is highly confidential information, to be shared only with those who need to know it for the purposes of protecting children.
The HSE child protection service operates through a network of local area-based social work teams. These teams operate a ‘duty system’, that is, there is a social worker ‘on duty’ each day during normal office hours. The contact details of the local office are available in the phone book on www.hse.ie Concerns about a young person should be discussed with the social worker on duty in the local HSE office. The duty social worker will be used to dealing with such concerns and will assist in identifying the key issues. He or she should indicate how the HSE will deal with the concern. A record should be made of the contact with the social worker. This note should include the name of the social worker and of the local HSE office, the date of the contact and the information shared with the social worker. This record must then be passed on to the CYC Designated Liaison Person.
If the HSE cannot be contacted and the situation is urgent, the matter should be reported to the local Garda station. An urgent situation might be one where a young person indicates that she/he is afraid to go home for fear of being abused. The number of the local Garda station is available in the phone book, on www.garda.ie
The CYC Designated Liaison Person will take the details of the concern and pass them on to the relevant agency. The CYC Designated Liaison Person is available to offer advice and support to all CYC personnel who have concerns about young people. The Director of the Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service will also be informed of relevant concerns.
It is very important that CYC staff and volunteers understand the limits of their child protection role. They cannot intervene directly to protect children and should not attempt to do so. Nor should they undertake to investigate a child protection concern. Those are matters for the HSE and An Garda Siochana. Equally CYC personnel and volunteers should resist any temptation to offer young people any false reassurance. Young People can best be helped by passing on information to those who can protect them.
Child Protection Concern Emerges
Report to duty social worker in local HSE office. In an emergence, report to local Garda Station
Report to CYC Designated Liason Person
Inform Directopr of Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service.
CYC is working to ensure that the environment in which young people participate in youth work is the safest it can be. There are a number of steps that CYC take in order to bring this about. They are:
- Adopting a child centred approach;
- Ensuring that permission of parents/legal guardian for the involvement of young people is obtained;
- Choosing carefully those who work with young people;
- Ensuring staff and volunteers behave appropriately in their dealing with young people.
- Making proper arrangements when organising activities and outings.
- Keeping good records.
CYC operates a Code of Good Practice which gives guidelines of what is generally acceptable or unacceptable. Child Protection Training is provided to all staff and volunteers and the Code of Good Practice forms part of this training.
CYC Designated Liaison Person is Ger Magee. Contact Details: 086-8083552