Child Protection Policy

Definition of “Child” and “Young Person”

For the purposes of protection, a child or young person is anyone under the age of 18.

Policy statement

We in the parish of St Michael’s, Blackrock, value and encourage the participation of children and young people in all parish activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development. We recognise the dignity and rights of all children and are committed to ensuring their protection and support. In keeping with this, we will work to do all in our power to create safe environments for children and young people. This is in order to secure their protection and enable their full participation in the life of the parish. Our parish adopts the Cork and Ross Diocesan Guidelines on child protection in its entirety. Copies of these Guidelines will be made available to all leaders working with children and young people. Any other interested person may also obtain a copy from the sacristy.

Procedures

In our parish activities we will work to have the following in place:

  • Signed parental consent for each young person, up to age 18.
  • Appropriate supervision ratios of adults to young people while maintaining the practice of ensuring that no young person is left alone with an adult. This will apply to both parish-based activities and any away-trips.
  • A duty roster of leaders to ensure adequate supervision of young people at all times.
  • A code of conduct for all adult leaders and young people.
  • Adequate record-keeping processes including:
    • Participant forms
    • Incident / accident report forms
    • Volunteer application forms
    • Declaration forms / Garda vetting for all adult leaders
    • Medical information and treatment permission as appropriate for allyoung people
    • Programme / attendance records
    • Training records.
  • Contact information for parents / guardians.
  • Procedures for recruitment and supervision of adult leaders working withyoung people.
  • A clearly communicated Accident / Emergency plan.
  • For away-trips, a pre-check on accommodation and transport arrangements.
  • Procedures concerning photography, ensuring parental consent is received prior to a photograph being taken and protecting the identity of a child in the event of a photograph being taken for programme / publicity purposes.
  • Information session for all young people and their parents.

Code of Behaviour

  • Young people will be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity.
  • Young people will not be permitted to consume alcohol or smoke whileparticipating in activities, in keeping with the civil law in Ireland.
  • Appropriate supervision ratios of adults to young people while maintaining the practice of ensuring that no young person is left alone with an adult. This will apply to both parish-based activities and away-trips.
  • Care will be taken to ensure that when working with mixed-sex groups, staff and adult volunteers of appropriate sex will work in pairs.
  • Leaders (18 + years of age) will not consume alcohol or smoke while having responsibility for, or in the presence of young people.
  • Bad language and offensive comments, by young people or leaders, will not be permitted.
  • Leaders will not engage in rough play with children or young people; this could compromise their physical integrity.
  • Leaders will not undertake any task of a personal nature with / for young people, except in cases of medical necessity when the welfare of the child depends on it.
  • Leaders will always engage with young people in an open manner and care will be taken not to show favouritism.
  • Each group will have clearly designated leaders, with whom young people can speak about their experience, and raise any concerns they may have.

If these concerns relate to Church based activities, the designated leader should then report to the Diocesan Designated Person. Otherwise the leader should follow statutory procedure by reporting to the HSE and/or the Gardaí.

Parish Child Protection Representative

The Parish Child Protection Representative for this parish is Desmond Keane. He may be contacted via the parish phone: 086-813 68 77.

Child Protection Contact Information

If you or anyone has a child protection concern or wishes to report an allegation directly to the statutory authorities, i.e. the local Health or Social Services (the Duty Social Worker) and the Garda Síochána. The contact details are:

Health Services Executive:

  • North Lee Community Centre, Blackpool (021) 4927000
  • South Lee Community Care, St Finbarr’s, Douglas Road (021) 4923000

An Gárda Síochána:

  • Anglesea Street, Cork Tel (021) 4522000

If you or anyone has a child protection concern or wishes to report a concern or an allegation in relation to any member of Church personnel directly to Church authorities, please contact the person delegated by the diocese:

Director of Child Protection:
Very Rev Canon Liam O’Driscoll

Address: Diocesan Director of Child Protection
Cork & Ross Offices, Redemption Road, Cork

Phone: Tel: 021-4301717 (Office) 021-4342728 (home)
Email: liam.odriscoll@corkandross.org

Our Parish