Child Protection Policy
Compiled and Approved by Board of Management
This organisation (WA) was founded with a view to supporting and promoting the wellbeing of young Irish people in school, online, and in social circles. During the course of our work we interact with young people in group settings. Occasionally, young people contact us to ask for help, to provide feedback or comment, or to share their own stories. With this in mind, this policy was developed to ensure full transparency in terms of interactions with these young people, and to put procedures in place to deal with vulnerable children.
School Talks and Workshops
All individuals working with children must be appropriately Garda Vetted before interacting with children in a group or individual setting.
This policy will be sent to each school on confirmation of booking.
Any WA representative must make contact with the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in each school prior to each visit, and report any disclosures to this person within 1 working day of each visit, and immediately if given cause for immediate concern.
It is a requirement of WA that a guidance counsellor or qualified staff member be present at each school workshop, should any issues requiring follow up transpire within the group.
The WA representative will not promise confidentiality to any child, particularly in incidents where abuse or self-harm are disclosed.
The WA representative will use the attached incident/ disclosure form to record any disclosures and keep copies on file using the child’s initials only.
Private and Direct Contact
On occasion, young people contact WA through email, or private messages on Social Media. These messages are often to provide feedback, say hello or thank the WA representative for attending their school. The following points have been agreed in relation to responding to these emails.
- The WA representative will respond to messages thanking them for their email and wishing them well.
- Should the child ask for specific help or advice, the WA representative will advise that they are not qualified to do so, and refer them to appropriate channels.
- The WA representative will not engage in excessive conversation or draw the child for further information, in a manner that could be deemed as inappropriate
- Information will be added to the website supporting this policy.
Dealing with Disclosure of Self harm or Mental Health Concerns
The WA representative will inform the DLP immediately.
The WA representative will complete an incident form noting the date and time that the DLP was informed.
Any handwritten notes will be copied and given to the DLP to attempt to identify any anonymous disclosures.
Dealing with Disclosure of Abuse
The WA representative will:
- React calmly;
- Listen carefully and attentively; take the young person seriously;
- Reassure the young person that they have taken the right action in talking to you;
- Not promise to keep anything secret;
- Ask questions for clarification only. Not ask leading questions;
- Check back with the child/young person that what they have heard is correct and understood;
- Not express any opinions about the alleged abuser;
- Record the conversation as soon as possible, in as much detail as possible. Sign and date the record;
- Ensure that the child/young person understands the procedures which will follow;
- Pass the information to the relevant DLP, Not attempt to deal with the problem alone;
- Treat the information confidentially.
- Should the disclosure not be affiliated with any school, the WA representative will contact TUSLA directly (or the Gardai if appropriate.)