Child Safeguarding Statement

We believe that the best interests of the children and young people we work with are paramount. Our guiding principles are underpinned by:

Our guiding principles apply to all of our 45 staff members as well as any volunteers, committee members, Board members and students on work placement within our organisation. All must sign up to and abide by these guiding principles and child safeguarding procedures. We will review our guiding principles and child safeguarding procedures every two years or sooner if necessary due to service issues or changes in legislation of national policy. You can download and read our full Child Safeguarding Policy here.

Who we work with

Most of our direct work is with organisations and through them with youth workers, teachers and other support persons who deliver programmes for children and young people.  On occasion we work directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults in collaboration with supporting organisations in the formal and non-formal education sectors. Organisations we work with include youth organisations, youth clubs, youth intermediaries, youth services, NGOs, informal groups of young people, volunteers, trainers, and those active in youth and community work.  We also have professional relationships with schools and those working with children in the formal education sector. In this context we extend our child protection practices to include vulnerable adults.

As a funding agency, we request funded organisations to meet their obligations under the Children First Act 2015. Please see our quality assurance requirements used to measure and evidence their Child Safeguarding compliance in Appendix B.

Risk Assessment

We have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. The following is a list of the risks identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.

Identified Risk

Identified Procedure in Place to Manage Risk

1 Allegation of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service: Our Child Protection Policy clearly outlines the procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service.
2 Recruitment: Our Child Protection Policy outlines the procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers. We have recently amended our policy to comply with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016.  All Léargas staff, volunteers and board members are Garda-vetted.  Léargas is in full compliance with the requirements of this act.
3 Training: We provide ongoing child protection training to all staff to raise awareness within our organisation about potential risks to children’s safety and welfare. We make all staff and board members aware of their duty to report concerns or disclosures of abuse that they receive in the course of their duties to the Designated Liaison Person (DLP).
4 Reporting Child Protection Concerns from staff/volunteers:  The roles and responsibilities of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) are outlined in the our Child Protection Policy. The DLP acts as a resource person to staff members who have any child protection concerns. If the DLP is unavailable, staff can contact the Deputy DLP.

The Reporting Child Protection Concerns Form for all Léargas staff and volunteers is available in our Child Protection Policy. This form must be completed by all staff members. Failure to do so is a failure in duty to care and can lead to disciplinary action.

5 Outreach/On-Site Services: Staff cannot work alone with a child/young person.  Another adult such as a youth worker, teacher, volunteer or trainer must be present at all times. Our Outreach Service Policy outlines these procedures in detail  and is included in our Child Protection Policy.
6 Reporting Child Protection Concerns to TUSLA: All staff are aware of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and have access to their contact details.  The DLP acts as a liaison person with outside agencies and also as a resource person to staff members or volunteers who have any child protection concerns.  Our Child Protection Policy clearly outlines these procedures.
7 Record Keeping: We have clear procedures in relation to record-keeping of all child protection and welfare concerns.  These, together with the full policy on record-keeping, are outlined in our Child Protection Policy. All records are kept securely.

 

Procedures

In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:

  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct of a child/young person availing of our service made against workers/volunteers
  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children/young people.
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person

All procedures are available on request or consult our Child Safeguarding Policy.

Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. We are committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and procedures that support our intentions to keep young people safe from harm while availing of our service.

We will review this Child Safeguarding Statement in March 2020 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.