Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878    info@offalychildcare.com

Child Safeguarding

 

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The National Child Safeguarding Committee; Early Learning and Care was set up in 2012 following a number of developments in the Early Years Sector, including the establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2011 and the launch of the updated publication of Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, also in 2011. The Children First National Guidance was fully revised and published in 2017 to include reference to the Children First Act 2015. The Committee was developed with the primary aim of addressing the implementation of Children First in the Early Years Sector.

The Committee is charged with coordinating the delivery of Child Protection Training nationally in a consistent approach. Thus a Sectoral Training Plan was developed under four headings:

  • Training
  • Communication
  • Policy & Procedure
  • Quality Assurance

 


 ◊Resources:

Essential reading for Childcare Practitioners

➡️ Children First National Guidance 2017

➡️ Children First Act 2015

➡️Developing a Safeguarding Statement

➡️ Child Safeguarding Statement Template 

Childrens first

Childrens First Act 2015

Develop a safe guarding statement

Safeguarding template

 

➡️A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice: 2nd Edition

➡️Child Protection and Welfare: Practice Handbook 2

➡️  A Guide for thereporting of Child Protection and Welfare Concerns 

➡️ Child Safeguarding Rescouce Document 

A guide policy procedure practice book 2

Child protection welfare practice book 2

A guide for the reporting of child welfare concerns

Child safeguarding resource document

 


 Child Safeguarding Statement 
 

 

A Child Safeguarding Statement is a written statement that specifies the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed in order to ensure, as far as practicable, that a child availing of the service is safe from harm. It includes a risk assessment, measures to manage any risks and a number of mandatory safeguarding policies and procedures.

New Child Safeguarding Statement
“Child Safeguarding Statement, Policy, and Procedures: Guidance for Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare Services in Ireland” is a resource for ELC and SAC services who are developing, reviewing or updating their Child Safeguarding Statement and associated procedures. This resource is designed to be used by each individual ELC and SAC service and should reflect the individuality of all services. This document was developed by the National Child Safeguarding Programme; Early Learning and Care, in conjunction with Tusla Children First Information and Advice Officers

For further information:  https://www.tusla.ie/about/child-safety-statement/

Child Safeguarding Resource Document (November 2021)

Child Safeguarding Statement ELC Template (Oct 2020)

Child Safeguarding Statement ELC Information Sheet July 2020

If you are a pre-school or a school-age service who employs more than one person you are legally required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement.

 


 

 ◊E-Learning:  Introduction to Children First and Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar

E-Learning :

Introduction to Children First

           

Children First Child Protection

Revision Webinar

Everyone in the sector including all owners, boards of management and early years staff are being asked to complete this online course which provides introductory information on child protection and mandated reporting.
 
This short video that introduces the e-learning module can be found here, it covers what is in the module.
                                   

This webinar was developed to highlight the key elements of the face-to-face Always Children First Foundation training while it is on hold due to Covid-19 and current public health advice.

Its purpose is to serve as an interim revision resource for ELC practitioners, SAC practitioners and Childminders.

           

The E-learning course can be accessed through either of these links :

 


 

 ◊Garda Vetting


Under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, it is compulsory for employers to obtain vetting disclosures in relation to

anyone who is carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable adults.

ELC as relevant work: Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children in – (a) an establishment which provides preschool services within the meaning of Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991

Statutory obligations on employers in relation to Garda vetting requirements for persons working with children and vulnerable adults are set out in National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016

The Acts create offences and penalties for persons who fail to comply with its provisions.

The National Vetting Bureau of An Garda Síochána issues vetting disclosures to organisations employing people who work in a full-time, part-time, voluntary or student placement basis with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The National Vetting Bureau does not decide on the suitability of any person to work with children and vulnerable adults. Rather, in response to a written request for vetting, the National Vetting Bureau releases criminal history and other specified information on the person to be vetted to the prospective recruiting organisation.

Early Learning and Care services should have their own criteria in place to decide on the suitability of persons to work in their service.


 ◊Mandated Persons

WHO ARE MANDATED PERSONS?

Mandated Persons are people who have contact with children and families and who, because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm.

Many groups of professionals who will be Mandated Persons under the Act.

If you work in an early years setting you are a Mandated Person if you are:

  • A person carrying on a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991.
  • A child care staff member employed in a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991

If you run or own pre-school service that is required to register with the Early Years Inspectorate, then you are a Mandated Person.

For more information, see Chapter 3 of Children First National Guidance 2017 and the A Guide to reporting Child Protection and Welfare Concerns


 ◊Designated Liaison Person
In line with the new Child Protection Legislation, every organisation providing services for children or in direct contact with children should have a Designated Liaison Person (DLP) to act as a liaison with outside agencies and as a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns. The DLP ensures the standard reporting procedure is followed and that suspected cases of child neglect or abuse are referred promptly to the Child and Family Agency Duty Social Worker or in an emergency, where a child is in immediate danger and where the Social Worker cannot be contacted, to An Garda Síochana. The DLP should be knowledgeable about child protection and undertake any training necessary to keep themselves updated on new developments.
In order to access the new DLP Training, which should be available later this year, you must have completed the Child Protection and Welfare Training. Please contact Sheena on 057 9135878 to put your name on a waiting list for the training.

 ◊Child Protection and the Pre-School Regulations

Childcare Providers are obliged under Regulation 9 of the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations 2006 to have a Child Protection Policy based on Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children in operation. Clear written guidelines on identifying and reporting child abuse should be developed by the childcare service.


◊Child Protection Training for Early Years Settings

Training for Early Learning and Care settings and School Age Childcare settings has temporarily suspended due to current governement restrictions.  

Please see the section above  E-Learning: Introduction to Children First and Children First Child Protection Revision Webinar


 ◊Recording Child Protection and Welfare Concerns

Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Aged Childcare (SAC) services must keep written records of all child protection and welfare concerns, including concerns that may not reach the threshold for reporting to Tusla. Services must have a system in place where all workers are aware of how to record all child safeguarding concerns and this should form part of the services’ Child Safeguarding Procedures. Concerns must be recorded in order to identify any potential patterns that may cause concern in relation to safeguarding children. In order to ensure that all relevant information is recorded and appropriate steps are taken, concerns should be recorded on a standardised form that all workers are familiar with.

ELC and SAC services must have a procedure in place which outlines what concerns are recorded, how these concerns are recorded, how they are stored and who has access to them. In order to support ELC and SAC services to do this, the National Child Safeguarding Programme have developed a sample ‘Recording Child Protection and Welfare Concerns Form’.

This form is contained in the National Child Safeguarding Programme’s new publication ‘Child Safeguarding Resource Document – Child Safeguarding Statement, Policy and Procedures; Guidance for Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare Services in Ireland’. This resource is available on www.childsafeguardingelc.ie/resources-publications/

The ‘Recording Child Protect and Welfare Concerns Form’ outlines:

  • Details of the concern
  • Details of the person who raised the concern
  • Who was contacted in relation to the concern?
  • Details of informal consultation (if any)
  • Any actions taken
  • Details regarding informing parents

Points to note when using this form:

  • This form is for recording child protection and welfare concerns internally within a service and must not be used to report concerns to Tusla. The Tusla Child Protection and Welfare Report Form must be used to report concerns to Tusla. The Tusla Child Protection and Welfare Report Form should ideally be submitted through the Tusla Web Portal. Where this is not possible, it should be sent by registered post to Tusla Social Work using the Dedicated Contact Point details. Dedicated Contact Points can be found here www.tusla.ie/get-in-touch/duty-social-work-teams/
  • This form is not mandatory. It is considered best practice for recording all concerns that may arise in services, including those that may not be reported to Tusla as they do not reach the threshold of harm under the Children First Act or Reasonable Grounds for Concern.
  • As a first point, child safeguarding concerns must be discussed with the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in the service.
  • The DLP must ensure that the service’s child safeguarding procedures are followed when there are child protection or welfare concerns.
  • The DLP must ensure that all concerns are recorded in line with the service’s child safeguarding recording procedure.
  • Records must be factual and include details of concerns and any decision and actions that have been taken in relation to the concern(s).
  • Confidentiality must be maintained at all times and records of concerns must be stored securely in a separate storage area to other files.
  • Concerns must be shared only on a need-to-know basis, in the best interests of the child. This should be managed by the DLP in the service.
  • There must be a procedure in place where the DLP regularly reviews child safeguarding concerns. This standardised form should form part of your service’s Child Safeguarding Recording Procedure.
  • Information on the Recording Child Protection and Welfare Concerns Form may be shared with Tusla and An Garda Siochana in line with your service’s reporting procedure.
  • Records must be stored securely in line with the service’s Record Keeping Procedure and Confidentiality Procedure and the Pre-School Regulations 2016.

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