Holy Trinity National School

Child Protection Policies

Child Protection Policy: Holy Trinity National School December 2015

Introduction

The Board of Management (BoM) recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in each school policy, school practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills, Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the BoM of Holy Trinity N.S. has approved this Child Protection Policy.

The BoM has adopted and will fully implement without modification the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2011.  These procedures will therefore underpin the content of this policy.

  • The Board of Management has appointment Mr James Tobin as the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in Holy Trinity NS to have specific responsibility for child protection.

  • Brianóg Brady Dawson has been appointed as Deputy DLP (DDLP) to take the place of the DLP if he is unavailable for whatever reason.

  • The position of DLP will be addressed at the first meeting of each Board of Management. The DLP will continue to act as such until such time as he/she is replaced by the BOM for whatever reason.

In its policies, practices and activities, Holy Trinity N.S. will adhere to the following principles of best practice in Child Protection and Welfare. Our school recognises that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations and will therefore;

  • Recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance regardless of all other considerations.

  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters

  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect

  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children

  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters

  • adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability

     

The school staff drafted an initial child protection policy in September 2007. This review of the policy was ratified by the Board of Management in January 2016. This policy takes account of the provisions of each of the following important pieces of legislation:

  • Freedom of Information Act 1997

  • The Education Act 1998

  • The Child Welfare Act 2000

  • Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.

References

  • ‘Children First’ (Department of Children and Youth Affairs 2011)

  • ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (Department of Education and Skills 2011)

Specific policies named hereunder are key elements of this overall document and must be referred to in the context of this policy:

  • Code of Behaviour

  • Health & Safety

  • Record Keeping

  • Special Ed

  • Induction of Staff

  • Critical Incidents

    This policy will also be considered with reference to the participation by pupils in sporting activities, other extra-curricular activities and school outings. Other practices and activities, where child protection might have particular relevance, will consider the procedures outlined within this policy.  The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.

    This policy is available to all school personnel and the Parent Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. It is also available in hard copy in each classroom.  A copy of this policy is available for the attention of the DES and the patron if requested.

Rationale

Holy Trinity NS implements the DES 2011 “Child Protection Procedures” issued by the Department of Education and Skills as well as the “HSE Children First –National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011”. We undertake to implement in full and without exception these guidelines in order to ensure the protection and welfare of all children attending our school.

Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the school

Holy Trinity NS strives to help the children to grow and develop into healthy, confident, mature adults, capable of realising their full potential as human beings. We strive to create a happy, safe environment for the children where they feel secure, knowing that if they have concerns, they will be listened to with understanding and respect and acted upon.

Aims

  • To raise awareness of child abuse namely, emotional, physical, sexual and neglect, among all the education partners in our school.

  • To put in place clear procedures for all school personnel dealing with suspicions and allegations of child abuse.

  • To identify other policy areas which need to be amended in light of the “Child Protection Guidelines”.

  • To identify curricular content and resources that contribute to prevention of child abuse and to enable children to properly deal with abuse if it occurs.

Guidance

The Guidelines are laid out as follows;

  1. Appointment of a Designated Liaison Person (DLP)

  2. Roles, Responsibilities and Guidelines

  3. Role of the Board of Management

  4. Role of the Staff Members (Teachers, SNA’s, Caretaker, Secretary)

  5. Role of the Designated Liaison Person

  6. Case Conferences

  7. Organisational Implications

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The Board of Management has primary responsibility for the care and welfare of our pupils.

  • The DLP has specific responsibly for child protection in the school.

  • All staff have a general duty of care to ensure that arrangements are in place to protect children from harm.

Role of the Board of Management

  • To arrange for the planning, development and implementation of an effective child protection programme.

  • To monitor and evaluate its effectiveness.

  • To provide appropriate staff development and training as recommended by PDST, CPSMA and DES.

Specifically the board of management will

  1. Appoint a DLP and deputy DLP

  2. Have clear procedures for dealing with allegations or suspicions of child abuse.

  3. Ensure the curricular provision is in place for the prevention of child abuse.

  4. Investigate and respond to allegations of child abuse made to the HSE or Gardai against any school employee.

  5. To decide on teachers’ attendance at child protection meetings/case conferences and to advise teachers before attending such meetings/conferences.

Procedures for BOM in cases of allegations or suspicions of child abuse by a school employee:

Reporting

In the event of receiving a complaint or suspicions re an employee:

  1. The DLP will immediately inform the chairperson.

  2. The DLP will seek a written statement of the allegation from the person/agency making the allegation. Parents/Guardians may make a statement on behalf of a child.

  3. The DLP will seek advice from the relevant HSE office and will take responsibility for reporting, based on this advice.

  4. If the DLP, following consultation with the HSE, decides that this matter is not for reporting, s/he must inform the Chairperson. They must then inform in writing the person/agency making the allegation, of the reasons for this decision. If this person or agency still has concerns, they are free to consult with or report to the relevant HSE office or Gardaí on an individual basis. The provisions of the Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998 apply, once they report reasonably and in good faith.

  5. If the DLP, following consultation with the HSE decides that this matter is for reporting s/he should inform the chairperson who should proceed in accordance with the procedures in the Child Protection Guidelines. (1999 pg 16)

  6. The DLP completes a standard reporting form as comprehensively as is possible.

  7. When the Chairperson becomes aware of an allegation of abuse s/he will always seek legal advice and base his/her response on advice.

  8. S/he will privately inform the employee of the fact and nature of the allegation and whether or not it has been reported by the DLP to the HSE. (Refer to 4.2 – 4.3, pg 16 Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures DES 2001)

Responding

  1. When The Chairperson becomes aware of an allegation of abuse s/he will always seek legal advice and base his/her response on this advice.

  2. The chairperson will consider whether there is any risk to pupils’ safety.If the chairperson considers that there is a risk – s/he may require employee to take immediate administrative leave. If unsure the chairperson will consult with the HSE/Gardai.

  3. If administrative leave has been invoked, the chairperson will inform the DES. The HSE (in some cases the Gardai) may also be notified in accordance with legal advice received.

  4. Once it is deemed necessary by the DLP and Chairperson to make a report (after receiving advice from the HSE) the Chairperson will convene and inform the Board of Management as soon as possible.

  5. Where the alleged abuse has taken place within the school, or relates to the abuse of pupils of the school, by school employees outside of school time, the BOM will investigate the matter. They will convene a further meeting, once the relevant information has been gathered. At this meeting the BOM will consider in detail:

  6. the allegations made and their source,

  7. the advice given by relevant authorities

  8. the written responses of the employee.

  9. At this meeting

  10. The person/ agency who is alleging abuse by the school employee should be offered an opportunity to present his/her case to the BOM and may be accompanied by another person.

  11. Parents/ guardians may act on behalf of the child.

  12. The employee should also be afforded an opportunity to present their case and may also be accompanied,

  13. The BOM must deal with the matter sensitively and the employee must be fairly treated.

  14. The BOM will make a decision on action, if any, based on their investigation and will inform the employee of this in writing. They will also inform the DES of the outcome, if the employee has been absent on administrative leave.

  15. Where it is not possible for the BOM to conduct an enquiry into allegations (e.g. where abuse has occurred in past employment, or where the employee is undergoing investigation by relevant authorities), the Chairperson will act on advice of authorities. The chairperson will maintain close contact with the HSE and receive reports and records from them where appropriate.

    Role of the Staff Member (to include Teachers, SNA’s, Caretaker, Secretary etc.)

    It is the responsibility of all teachers and staff members to familiarise themselves with the Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) especially:

  16. Chapter 2 Definition & Recognition of Child Abuse

  17. Chapter 3 Basis for Reporting & Standard Reporting Procedures

  18. Appendix 3 Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse.

    The above documents are included in the school policy document issued to all staff.

Guidelines for teachers and staff members in handling:

  1. Disclosures from children

  2. Where a child discloses alleged abuse to a staff member, the person receiving that information should listen carefully and supportively. Great care must be taken not to abuse the child’s trust. This should not be a formal interview.

    The following advice is offered:

  3. Listen to the child.

  4. Do not ask leading questions or make suggestions to the child.

  5. Offer reassurances but do not make promises.

  6. Do not stop a child recalling significant events.

  7. Do not over react

  8. Confidentiality should not be assured – explain that further help may have to be sought.

  9. Record the discussion accurately noting:

  10. What, where and when?

  11. Descriptions and possible sketches of physical injury.

  12. Explanations of injuries using direct quotations if possible.

  13. Retain records securely.

  14. The staff member should obtain only necessary relevant facts. It is not the responsibility of school personnel to investigate allegations of abuse.

  15. The DLP should then be informed and given relevant records.

  16. If the suspected abuser is the DLP then the suspicion and any records will be passed on the chairperson who will proceed as per guidelines.

Suspicion of Abuse

Staff members who suspect abuse should refer to Children First Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, especially Chapter 2: Definition and Recognition of Child Abuse. Chapter 3. Basis for Reporting & Standard Reporting Procedures. & Appendix 1. Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse.                                               

Staff members should observe and record over time the dates/ signs/ symptoms/ behaviour causing them concern. They should inform the DLP and pass on all records.

We recognise that some concerns may emerge incrementally and over a period of time. Teachers will note on-going concerns on the ‘Monitoring Form’. This is particularly relevant with regard to neglect. Teachers are attentive to factors such as pupil absences, poor punctuality, lack of lunch, poor concentration, poor clothing, lack of hygiene, significant mood changes etc.

Role of DLP

The DLP acts as a liaison with outside agencies, HSE, Gardaí and other parties with child protection concerns.

The DLP will inform all school personnel of the availability of the Children First Guidelines in the school. He will photocopy and circulate to all staff Chapter 3, & 4 & Appendix 1. of these guidelines and advise on good practice.

The DLP will be available to staff for consultation regarding suspicions or disclosures of abuse. He will keep records of these consultations. The DLP will seek advice from the HSE. The DLP will report suspicions and allegations of child abuse to the HSE and/or Gardaí Síochána based on this advice. The DLP will maintain proper records in a secure confidential manner and in a secure location. The DLP will keep up to date and briefed on current developments regarding child protection.

Guidelines for DLP in handling reported concerns and disclosures: Where the DLP /DDLP have concerns about a child, but are not sure whether to report the matter to the HSE, they should seek appropriate advice. To do this the DLP/ DDLP should make informal contact with the assigned on duty social worker.

The DLP/DDLP in this case should be explicit that he is requesting advice and not making a report. If advised to report the matter, the DLP will act on this advice. A report will then be made to the HSE by the DLP/ DDLP in person, by telephone or in writing.

In the event of an emergency or non-availability of HSE personnel, the report should be made to the Gardaí. The DLP should also report to the chairperson of the BoM, who should then follow the procedures in Chapter 4 (section 4.3) of Children First Guidelines.

A standard reporting form is completed by the DLP/DDLP as comprehensively as possible.

Parents / guardians will normally be informed that a report is being made. It may be decided that informing the parent/ carer is likely to endanger the child or place the child at further risk. If this is the case, the decision not to inform the parent/ carer will be briefly recorded together with the reasons for not doing so.

When the allegation is against the DLP, the chairperson then assumes responsibility of reporting the matter to the HSE and filling in the standard reporting form.

Where there are allegations or suspicions of Peer Abuse the DLP will follow the same procedures.

Parents of all parties will be notified and the DLP will inform the chairperson.

Principal and class teachers will make arrangements to meet with all parents to resolve the matter.

The school will make arrangements to minimise the possibility of the abusive behaviour recurring.

Child Protection Meetings (Case Conferences)

A request is made from the HSE through the DLP who should consult with the chairperson of the BoM of the school. The chairperson may seek clarification through the DLP as to why the attendances of the school employee is necessary and ascertain who else will be present. The school employee will be advised if children/ parents/ guardians are going to be present. The school employee may contact the chairperson of the Child Protection Meeting for advice.

The school employee may keep a child’s behaviour under close observation, if requested to do so. This may include observing the child’s behaviour, peer interactions, school progress or informal conversations.

In all cases, individuals who refer or discuss their concerns about the care and protection of children with the HSE staff, should be informed of the likely steps to be taken by the professionals involved. Where appropriate and within the normal limits of confidentiality, reporting staff will be kept informed about the outcomes of any enquiry or investigation following on from their report. Teachers attending a child protection meeting should familiarise themselves with protocol outlines on pgs. 149-155 of Children First Guidelines.

Child Protection Practices

As the staff and Board of Management of this school have identified the following as areas of specific concern in relation to Child Protection, the following practices and procedures have been adopted:

Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult. While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child, the following should be factors in determining its appropriateness:

  • It is acceptable to the child

  • It is open and not secretive

  • The age and developmental stage of the child

     

    School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that the children can do for themselves. School personnel should never engage in or allow:

  • The use of inappropriate language or behaviours

  • Physical punishment of any kind

  • Sexually provocative games or suggestive comments about or to a child

  • The use of sexually explicit material. All media products (YouTube clips, CDs, DVDs etc.) should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability.

Supervision

School supervision policy will be followed by all staff to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children at all breaks. The supervision roster is displayed in staffroom and in office.

Visibility and Security

Teachers on supervision duty will be aware of any visitors entering the school yard and will ascertain their intentions. Visitors will be supervised in the discharge of their business. Children will be at all times visible to teachers on duty. If a child needs to use the toilet during yard-break, two buddies/friends are assigned to bring the child into classroom and back to yard. The classroom beside First aider on duty will be used.

All visitors will report in the first instance to the school office. Special Needs Assistants will help teachers to discharge their supervision duties.

Behaviour/ Anti Bullying

Children are to be encouraged at all times to play co-operatively and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under the Code of Behaviour. Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If an incident occurs which we consider to be of a sexualised nature we will notify the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.

Visitors/Guest Speakers

Classroom visitors and guest speakers/ facilitators will always be under the supervision of class teachers and must not be left unsupervised with pupils. Under exceptional circumstances, identified guest speakers will be allowed work with a class unsupervised. This is at the discretion of the principal.

Parents/ incidental classroom helpers who assist on an incidental basis in the school must not be left unsupervised with a child/ group/ class.

A copy of the CP policy is made available to classroom visitors/ guest speakers on their initial visit. All visitors will report to the office to sign an acceptance form adhering to the CP policy before commencing their duties. Each teacher is responsible for ensuring this procedure is followed. Acceptance forms are filed in the school office.

 

One-to-one teaching

Staff should not be alone in a classroom with one child or detain a child on their own after school. Some pupils with special educational needs are sanctioned resource hours and assistance on an individual basis; staff are mindful of this child protection policy when teaching these pupils and our support rooms have glass panels in the doors thus rendering the occupants visible at all times.

  • Parents of children who are to be involved in one-to-one teaching will be informed at the normal IEP meetings at the beginning of each school year.

  • Work being carried out by Special Needs Assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment.

     

    Internet Safety

  • It is the intention of the Principal and Staff at Holy Trinity NS to ensure that child protection concerns will be addressed in the school’s Acceptable Use Policy as part of its Information and Communication Technology policy. The Stay Safe lessons in each classroom will be supplemented with a lesson from “Bullying in a Cyber World” Prim Ed.

  • There will also be regular meetings during which parents will be invited to attend a session with an invited speaker to stay abreast of the ever-changing situation regarding internet access.

     

     

    Children travelling in staff cars

    Any individual member of the school staff will not transport an individual child in his/her car at any time.

     

    Toileting

    Children with physical disabilities who may require assistance in toiletry matters will be aided by Special Needs Assistants who have met the necessary screening requirements when being employed by the school. It should be noted that children with disabilities may be more at risk of abuse due to a number of reasons (DES Procedures 2:3). Parents, teachers and all staff involved in services for children with disabilities need to be familiar with the indicators of abuse and to be alert for signs of abuse.

    Toileting accidents

    Clean underwear and suitable clothing will be kept in the school so that if a pupil has an ‘accident’ of this nature, they will in the first instance be offered fresh clothing into which they can change.

    If the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parents/guardians cannot be contacted, the child will be assisted by members of staff familiar to the child. In all such situations, two members of staff should be present while ensuring the remainder of the class are supervised. A record of all such incidents will be kept and Principal and parents will be notified.

    General Accidents

While every precaution will be taken under our Health and Safety Statement to ensure the safety of children, we realise that accidents will happen. Accidents will be noted in our Incident book and will be addressed under our Accident Policy as part of Health and Safety

Swimming

Children will be brought by bus to the swimming pool. Children will be the responsibility of teaching staff and assisted by SNAs. There will be three adults in attendance at all times. Staff will not enter dressing area alone, other than in exceptional circumstances when dealing with injury or following an accident. Specific arrangements will be put in place in agreement with parents for managing the care needs of special needs pupils. These arrangements will be recorded as part of the care needs plan.

Record Keeping

Teachers will keep records on each child’s reports. Roll books will be updated daily. Sensitive information regarding children will be shared on a need-to-know basis. All educational files of pupils who no longer attend this school are kept in a locked storage cabinet. Further details on record keeping will be found in the school’s Assessment & Record Keeping Policy

Induction of New Staff.

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new staff of the Children First Guidelines. All new teachers are expected to teach the objectives in the SPHE programme. The principal is responsible for the mentoring of new teachers and will be responsible for supporting new teachers as they implement the SPHE objectives. The principal is also responsible for ensuring that new teachers of all record keeping procedures within the school.

Induction of Pupils.

All parents are made aware of attendance rules and their implications as laid down in the Education Welfare Act (2000).

All parents will be informed of the programmes in place in the school that deal with personal safety and personal development. Parents are made aware at the beginning of each year at induction meeting, how to contact the school if there are absences or concerns of an educational/ personal/ family matter. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher/ principal if they wish to discuss their child’s progress. All parents are given a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies.

Communication

Every effort will be made to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be listened to sympathetically. The SPHE/ Oral English/ RE programmes allow for open pupil/teacher communication which is hoped will aid the pupil-teacher relationship. If teachers have to communicate with pupils on a one-to-one basis, they will always leave the classroom door open.

Attendance

Our school attendance will be monitored closely. With regards to child protection we will pay particular attention to trends in non-attendance. We will also monitor non-attendance in correlation with signs of neglect/ physical/ emotional/ sexual abuse.

Curriculum Implications.

In Holy Trinity NS all children will be cherished and, in fulfilling the general aims of the Primary School Curriculum, we strive to-

  • Enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential.

  • Enable the child to develop as a social being through living and co-operating with others and so contribute to the good of society.

  • Prepare the child for further education and life-long learning.

In endeavoring to realise these aims we will create a positive school climate which is open, inclusive, respectful, fair, and tolerant and which seeks to support the holistic development of all children and all adults working with our children. The strategies we will use to create this environment are detailed in our SPHE plan and will involve:

  • Creating a health-promoting physical environment

  • Enhancing self-esteem

  • Fostering respect for diversity

  • Building effective communication within the school

  • Developing appropriate home-school communication

  • Catering forindividual needs

  • Fostering inclusive and respectful language.

We strive to ensure that our school will be physically and emotionally safe and we will deliver the curricular content of our SPHE programme with a view to giving our children the protective skills of self-esteem and assertiveness. The circle-time methodology  will be used on a whole school basis. Our anti-bullying policy operates on the principle of ‘Restorative Justice’. Cooperative interpersonal skills will be developed through working in pairs and working in groups. Older children will be encouraged to work positively with conflict and negotiation and consensus-building skills will be developed.

Success Criteria

We will evaluate the success of this policy using the following criteria:

  • Delivery and participation by all staff in training.

  • Delivery of the SPHE curriculum.

  • Delivery and participation by children in the Stay Safe programme

  • Assessment of the procedures by participants following a child protection case.

  • Feedback from all staff.

Timeframe for implementation.

These procedures will be discussed with the parent association and will be implemented following ratification by the BoM

Timeframe for Review

At the first staff meeting every year, the DLP will remind all teacher and ancillary staff of the guidelines and copies of Chapter 3 & 4 & Appendix 1 will be given to those who require them. A review will be conducted based on the criteria above, following all incidents when the guidelines are used.

Responsibility for Review

DLP

Principal

ALL Staff

Ratification and Communication.

This updated policy was ratified by the Board of Management on January13th 2016.

Signed: Mary White                                                            Signed: James Tobin

Chairperson Board of Management                                     Principal

Date: 13th January 2016                                                        Date: 13th January 2016

Date of next review: ___________                               Date of next review: ______________

 

Appendices

Appendix 1: Child Protection Guidelines Checklist for School Employees

Appendix 2: Reporting Procedures for DLP

Appendix 3: Letter to Parents regarding Child Protection Policy

Appendix 4: STANDARD FORM FOR REPORTING CHILD PROTECTION AND/OR WELFARE CONCERNS

Child Protection Guidelines Checklist for School Employees

 

Designated Liaison Person: _________________________________________

Deputy Designated Liaison Person: ___________________________________

If a child discloses information to you:-

  • Do not ask leading questions

  • Offer reassurance but do not promise not to tell

  • Explain that other adults may need to be told - DLP

  • Do not stop the child speaking

  • Do not over react or comment

  • Inform DLP - If you have a reasonable suspicion or reasonable grounds for concern that a child is at risk or has suffered abuse, the DLP should contact the Health Board for advice

  • At the earliest opportunity, record accurately what the child has said – Using the child’s own words. Record date/time and context of the disclosure. Use child’s registration number – Not child’s name

  • Facts only

  • Sketch signs of physical injury if appropriate

  • Retain records for a period of 21 years in keeping with the school’s Record Keeping Policy

The following should also be reported to the DLP:

  • An account from a person who saw a child being abused

  • Injury consistent with abuse

  • Dysfunctional behaviour

  • Implausible explanations for injury or behaviour

  • Consistent evidence over a period of time that a child is being emotionally or physically neglected

Health Board Response:

  • School is asked to monitor the situation

  • Formal report is requested , sent by DLP and on receipt case is allocated to Social Worker

  • Preliminary enquiry – Screening process

  • Initial assessment

Possible outcomes:

  • Case closed

  • Family support

  • Child Protection Plan (usually following a case conference)

Reporting Procedures for DLP

  • DLP receives report of child protection concern
  • DLP records the report – date/time/context. Child’s registration number is used for recording purposes

  • DLP makes decision on how to proceed based on information received

  • DLP informs Chairperson of Board of Management that initial contact is being made with Health Board

  • DLP makes contact with Health Board seeking advice (Do not give name of child at this point. Be very clear that you are seeking advice). Take the name of the person you spoke to and record conversation

  • Duty Social Worker makes recommendation. This may involve school continuing to monitor the situation. Record this decision and send written record of this decision to Health Board.Alternatively a formal referral made on standard reporting form may be recommended by Social Worker (Keep a copy on file in a secure place)

  • If Health Board not available and case warrants immediate response – Gardaí are informed

  • Decision made on informing/not informing parents - taking safety of the child into consideration as number one priority.A decision NOT to inform parent/s should only be made where there is a genuine concern for the safety of the child. Be transparent with parent/s and ensure that they are aware that you have a non-negotiable responsibility as DLP to actin the best interests of the child (Refer to Children First)

  • If DLP decides not to contact Health Board in relation to the case – person who made original report must be informed in writing

  • Continued monitoring of child should be recommended

  • Child Protection concerns that have been reported to the Health Board should be included in the Principal’s Report to Board of Management Meeting - Child’s name is not used

Re: Child Protection

Dear Parents,                                                 

The Department of Education & Skills has recently published Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools.  Ensuring the protection and welfare of children is the responsibility of all of us who work with children and young people. Child protection must be a priority for every school and must be at the core of all of our activities. There is an obligation on schools to provide children with the highest possible standard of care in order to promote their well being and protect them from harm.

Because of the close contact school staff members have with children they are well placed to observe changes in children’s behaviour, their lack of development or outward signs of abuse. In situations where any member of a school staff suspects that a child may be at risk of neglect or abuse, they must make sure that this is reported to the  to the HSE and An Garda Síochána.

This reporting is done by the Designated Liaison Person [DLP].

Every school must have a senior member of staff who fills this role.

In this school the Designated Liaison Person is James Tobin

In this school the Deputy Designated Liaison Person is Brianog Brady Dawson

Yours sincerely

Mary White.

Chairperson

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

STANDARD FORM FOR REPORTING CHILD PROTECTION AND/OR WELFARE CONCERNS

In case of Emergency or outside Health Board office hours, contact should be made with An Garda Síochána

 

A. To Principal Social Worker : ____________________________________________________

     

Details of Child:

Name: _________________________________                    

Male:                                     Female:

Address: _______________________________

________________________________________                  

Age/D.O.B.: ________________________

______________________________________                  

School: __________________________

1a.          Name of Mother: ________________________                    

Name of Father: ___________________

Address of Mother if different to Child:                            

Address of Father if different to Child:

_______________________________________                    _______________________________________

_____________________________________                   ____________________________________

________________________________________                   ____________________________________

Telephone Number: _____________________                    

Telephone Number: _________________

1b.          Care and Custody arrangements regarding child, if known:_________________________________               _________________________________________

1c.           Household Composition:

Name

Relationship to Child

Date of

Birth

Additional Information

e.g. School/Occupation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: A separate report form must be completed in respect of each child being reported.

2.             Details of concern(s), allegation(s) or incident(s) dates, times, who was present, description of any observed injuries, parent’s view(s), child’s view(s) (if known).

 

Please state reason for referral:

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.   Details of person(s) allegedly causing concern in relation to the child:

Name: _________________________________             Age: ____________          Male:                                     Female:

Address: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Relationship to Child: _______________________________________________________________________

Occupation: ________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

  1. Name and Address of other personnel or agencies involved with this child:

    Social Workers: _______________________________                                School: ___________________________

    ______________________________________________                             __________________________________

    Public Health Nurse: __________________________                 Gardai: ___________________________

    ______________________________________________                             __________________________________

    G.P.: _________________________________________                              Pre-School/Crèche/Youth Club ______

    ______________________________________________                             __________________________________

    Hospital: _____________________________________                Other, Specify e.g. Youth Groups, After

    ______________________________________________              School Clubs: ____________________

           
     

     

     

     

     

     

 

5a.   Are Parents/Legal Guardians aware of this referral to the Social Work Department?  Yes               No

     

5b.  Are the Parents/Legal Guardians supportive    Yes             No 

  

6.   Details of Person reporting concerns: (Please see Guidance Notes re. Limitations of confidentiality)

 

Name: ____________________________________

Occupation: ______________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Telephone Number: _________________________________________________________________________

Nature and extent of contact with Child/Family:

______________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

7.    Details of Person completing form:

Name: _____________________________________                  

Date: ________________________________

Occupation: ________________________________                   

Signed: ______________________________

Guidance Notes:

Health Boards have a statutory responsibility under the Child Care Act, 1991, to promote the welfare and protection of children in their area. Health Boards therefore have an obligation to receive information about any child who is not receiving adequate care and/or protection.

                           This reporting form is for use by:

  1. Health Board Personnel

  2. Professionals and individuals in the provision of child care services in the community who have service contracts with the health boards

  3. Designated person in a voluntary or community agency

  4. Any professional, individual or group involved in services to children

    who becomes aware of a child protection or welfare concern, or to whom a child protection or child welfare concern is reported.

    Please fill in as much information and detail as is known to you. (Health Board personnel should do this in consultation with their line manager). This will assist the Social Work Department in assessing the level of risk to the child, or support services required. If the information requested is not known to you, please indicate by putting a line through the question. It is likely that a social worker will contact you to discuss your report.

    Health Boards aim to work in partnership with parents. If you are making this report in confidence you should note that the Health Board cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality as:

  5. A Court could order that information be disclosed.

  6. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 1997, the Freedom of Information Commissioner may order that information be disclosed.

    You should also note that in making a ‘bona fide report’ you are protected under the Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998.

If you are unsure if you should report your concerns, please telephone the duty social worker and discuss your concerns with him/her.

Duty Social Work Office,

Waterford Community Services,

Cork Road,

Waterford

051 842827/051 842880