STONEY WOODS FESTIVAL CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Stoney Woods Festival Child Protection Policy Statement
The members of the Kiltyclogher Festival committee will do all in their power to create a safe environment for the children and young people who participate in the festival activities. The dignity, rights and welfare of the children is of paramount importance to us.
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults – Procedures
Committee Members must comply with the following;
1. Ensure that the person in charge of the young people performing at the event has a consent form for each young person, signed by the parent or guardian.
2. The committee must ensure that the person in charge of the young people performing at the event have contact details for parents or guardian.
3. An information session for all committee members regarding activities, policy, code of behaviour and procedures will be held.
4. The Chairperson of the Festival Committee will be appointed as the mandated person with whom young people can speak about their experiences and raise concerns if necessary.
5. Anyone becoming aware of a concern about a child will follow the reporting procedure (See appendix 1).
6. A code of conduct for all committee members and for young people will be followed (see appendix 2).
7. A complaints procedure will be in place, for use by young people, parents or guardians or committee members who are dissatisfied with any aspect of the festival organisation (see appendix 3).
8. Adequate record keeping processes which include;
a. Accident / incident forms (appendix 4)
b. Events checklist (appendix 5)
9. A clearly communicated incident / emergency plan will be available and followed in the event of an emergency during the festival (see appendix 6).
10. Photography/ imagery of young people that would be injurious to young people is forbidden.
REPORTING PROCEDURE IN RESPECT OF CONCERN ABOUT A CHILD
The Stoney Woods Festival Committee has put in place a standard reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse.
Definition and Recognising Child Abuse
Child abuse can be categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. A child may be subjected to one or more forms of abuse at any given time. Definitions of the four types of abuse, how to recognise abuse and an explanation of “reasonable grounds for concern” are included below, which is based on “Children First – National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children”.
Responsibility to Report Child Abuse
Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be experiencing abuse or have been abused in the past. This is an important responsibility for staff and volunteers when working with children and young people.
The guiding principles in regard to reporting children abuse are summarised as follows:
o The safety and well-being of the child or young person must take priority
o Reports should be made without delay to the HSE
o While the basis for concern must be established as comprehensively as possible, children or parents should not be interviewed in detail about the suspected abuse.
The reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse is outlined in the following steps:
• The committee member who has received a disclosure of child abuse or who has concerns of abuse, should bring it to the attention of the Chairperson immediately.
• The Chairperson may contact the HSE for informal advice relating to the allegation, concern or disclosure.
• After consultation with the HSE officials, the chairperson will then take one of two options:
o Report the allegation, concern or disclosure to the HSE or
o Not make a formal report to HSE but keep a record of the concerns on file. The reasons for not reporting the allegation, concern or disclosure will be clearly recorded. The committee member who made the initial report will be informed if a formal report is not being made to the HSE and it is open to him/her to make a formal report themselves, directly to the relevant authority if they feel this is necessary.
• Where a formal report is made the HSE will then liaise with An Garda Síochána. It is likely that the HSE will want to speak to the person who first made the report to clarify facts and the circumstances of the report.
In an emergency a report should be made directly to An Garda Síochána.
In making a report on suspected or actual child abuse, the individual must ensure that the first priority is always for the safety and welfare of the young person and that no young person is ever left in an un-safe situation.
Parents/guardians of the child will be informed of the allegation, concern or disclosure unless doing so is likely to endanger the child. Mandatory reporting obligations will be adhered to (Children First Act, 2015).
In matters of child abuse, a committee member should never promise to keep secret, any information which is divulged. It should be explained to the young person that this information cannot be kept secret but only those who need to know, will be told.
It is essential in reporting any case of alleged/suspected abuse that the principle of confidentiality applies. The information should only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis and the number of people that need to be informed should be kept to a minimum.
The Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998
This Act provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to the Child Protection Officer, the HSE or An Garda Síochána
Recognising Child Abuse
Definition and Possible Physical and Behavioural Indicators of Child Abuse
Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care. Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point.
Possible indicators of this type of abuse are:
o Frequent minor or serious injuries
o Untreated illness
o Hunger, lack of nutrition
o Inadequate and inappropriate clothing
o Lack of supervision
o Low self esteem
o Lack of peer relationships
Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a care-giver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms.
Possible indicators of this type of abuse are:
o Unreasonable mood and/or behavioural changes
o Aggression, withdrawal or an ‘I don’t care attitude’
o Lack of attachment
o Low self esteem
o Attention seeking
o Depression or suicide attempts
o Persistent nightmares, disturbed sleep, bedwetting, reluctance to go to bed
o A fear of adults or particular individuals e.g. family member, baby-sitter or indeed excessive clinginess to parents/carers
o Panic attacks
Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child.
Possible indicators of this type of abuse are:
o Frequent bruising, fractures, cuts, burns and other injuries
o Torn clothing
o Bite marks burns or welts
o Bruises in places difficult to mark e.g. behind ears, groin
o Undue or unnecessary fear
o Aggressiveness or withdrawn
o Absconding frequently from home
Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others.
Possible indicators of this type of abuse are:
o Over affectionate or inappropriate sexual behaviour
o Age inappropriate sexual knowledge given the child’s age, which is often demonstrated in language, play or drawings
o Fondling or exposure of genital areas
o Hints about sexual activity
o Unusual reluctance to join in normal activities which involve undressing, e.g. games/
Indicators of Abuse are Not Facts
It is important to stress that no one indicator should be seen as conclusive in itself of abuse; it may indeed indicate conditions other than child abuse. A cluster or pattern of signs is likely to be more indicative of abuse. Signs must also be considered in the child’s social and family context as child abuse is not restricted to any socio economic group, gender or culture. It is important to always be open to alternative explanations for possible physical or behavioural signs of abuse.
Reasonable Grounds for Concern
The statutory authorities should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been abused, or is being abused, or is at risk of abuse. A suspicion that is not supported by any objective indicator of abuse or neglect would not constitute reasonable grounds of for concern.
The following examples would constitute reasonable grounds for concern:
i. specific indication from the child that s/he was abused;
ii. an account by the person who saw the child being abused;
iii. evidence such as injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in any other way;
iv. an injury or behaviour, which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse. An example of this would be a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indications of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour;
v. consistent indication, over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect.
A suspicion, not supported by any objective indication of abuse or neglect, does not constitute a reasonable suspicion or reasonable grounds for concern.
(Children First 1999, 4.3.2 and 4.3.3)
CONTACT NUMBERS IN THE EVENT OF CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATION
Gardaí Manorhamilton 071 9820620
Detective Inspector Declan Brady 01 6663430
National Bureau of Criminal Investigations 01 6663436
Túsla Community Services Marievicz House Sligo 071 9155133
Barnardos 01 4530355
The Samaritans 1850 609090
Childline 1800 666666
Parentline 1890 9277277
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR FESTIVAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Safeguarding Children - Code of Conduct
All committee members must comply with the following
• Young people and committee members will treat each other with courtesy, respect and dignity at all times.
• Committee members will nor consume alcohol, smoke or take non-prescriptive drugs while in the presence of young people.
• Bad language or offensive comments will not be permitted by committee members or young people.
• Committee members or young people will not engage in rough play or infringe on personal boundaries whereby physical integrity may be compromised.
• Committee members will not undertake any task of a personal nature (e.g. dressing/ undressing, assistance with using the toilet) with or for young people, except in case of a medical emergency when the welfare of the young person depends on it.
• All persons must refrain from inappropriate use of, or damage to property and must at all times endeavour to treat property with respect.
Name Position, Role, Skills or Duties Signature Date
Stella McGriskin Chairperson
Ciaran Rock Chairperson
Mary Kelly Treasurer
Fergus O’Dailaigh Singer Songwriter event co-ordinator
Joe Sheerin Website administrator
Carol Ann McGowan Designer
Anne Marie Meehan Committee member
Susan Carton Committee member
Roseann Gallagher Committee member
Rosella Keaney Committee member
Maureen Cullen Committee member
Paul Slattery Committee member
Loraine Cullen Committee member
Peter Randall Committee member
Rosaleen McManus Committee member
Tammy McFarlane Committee member
Adrian Keaney Committee member
COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE IN RELATION TO CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION
The Kiltyclogher festival committee is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all children/young people who attend the festival. We have put in place a complaints procedure to cover any situations which may arise, when children/young people or their parents/guardians are not happy with the way the children/young people were treated by the festival Committee. Complaints regarding the safety and welfare of children/young people should be directed to the chairperson of the festival committee.
Complaints Procedure in relation to children/young people attending the festival
This complaints procedure aims to cover any situation which may arise, when children/young people or their parents/guardians are not happy with the way the children/young people were treated by the festival Committee.
Who can make a complaint
Complaints can be made by:
• Children/young people attending the festival;
• Their parents/guardians;
• Other advocates on behalf of children/young people.
How to make a complaint
1. If the complaint is in relation to the safety and welfare of children/young people the complaint should be made to the chairperson of the festival committee
Information you need to provide
Complaints can be made orally or in writing. By providing the following information you can help to speed up the investigation of your complaint.
• The name and address of the child/young person affected
• If the complaint is being made by a parent/guardian or other adult, the name and address of the parent/guardian or other adult;
• Exactly what you are dissatisfied with;
• The name of the committee members who dealt with you.
• If your complaint is complicated, you may find it best to put it in writing so that no important detail is overlooked. Remember to send us copies of all relevant documentation/correspondence that you may have.
• If there is anything which may affect your ability to make a complaint, please let us know at the earliest opportunity. We will make every effort to assist you.
Our standards for dealing with complaints
• If the complaint relates to the safety and welfare of a child/young person, it will be examined in accordance with good practice in relation to the safety and welfare of children/young people;
• We will treat your complaint properly, fairly and impartially and in the best interests of the child/young person;
• A committee member other than those originally involved will examine your complaint;
• We will examine and review your complaint and send a reply to you within 20 working days of the receipt of your complaint. Where it is not possible to meet this target, we will inform you and continue to do so until the matter is resolved;
• We will apologise for any mistreatment of the child/young person, explain what happened and put it right wherever possible;
• We will change the way we do things to avoid making the same mistake in future.
Incident/accident report form
Name of event where the incident/accident occurred _______________________
Briefly describe what happened _________________________________________________
Who was involved ___________________________________________________________
Any injury sustained? _________________________________________________________
Who dealt with the situation? ___________________________________________________
How was it resolved/dealt with? ________________________________________________
Any follow up required? ______________________________________________________
Please attach any additional information if required _______________________________
Name (block letters): _________________________________________
Stoney Woods Festival Event Checklist
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults
This checklist should be completed in advance the festival. Please ensure that you have read and understood the Stoney Woods Festival Child Protection Policy on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults in advance of completing this form.
Please Complete Y,N, or N/A as appropriate
Name of Event
Stoney Woods Festival
Brief Description of Event Three-day festival of music, song, dance and family fun
Expected No. of Children Expected No. of Vulnerable Adults
If persons under 18 are performing in the festival – have their guardians the appropriate child protection measures in place?
Child Protection Policy signed by all participating Committee Members
HEALTH AND SAFETY
First Aid Kit and defibrillator available (ensure up to date and fully stocked)
Availability of trained First Aid provider (contact details readily available)
Check appropriate insurance is in place to cover all activities, including transportation to and from the event
PHOTOGRAPHIC, MOBILE EQUIPMENT AND VIDEO
Permission obtained in writing from guardian/parent for the taking of photos
Permission obtained from participant
Notices visible for spectators and participants regarding photography
PROCEDURE FOR WHEN A CHILD IS REPORTED MISSING
If someone reports that a child is missing, the following information will be obtained by the committee member who receives the report:
Name of Child
Age of Child
Physical Description of Child (height, colour of hair, clothing etc.)
Where the Child was last seen
The time the child was last seen
The committee member will alert the other committee members, Kiltyclogher locals and members of the public to request assistance
Committee members will perform a thorough check of all areas including buildings, toilets, shop, bars, the Heritage centre, playground.
Once a sufficient check is made, if the child is not found, the chairperson of the committee will be informed immediately and will be responsible for initiating contact with An Garda Síochána.
A written statement of events will be recorded by the staff member who initially received the report of the missing child. This statement will be retained by the Chairperson of the committee.