In our activities we value our children, young people and vulnerable adults. A culture of mutual respect between children/young people/vulnerable adults and those who represent the organisation in all its activities will be encouraged with adults modelling good practice in this context.
Craobh Naithí recognises that good child protection policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with our work, including teachers, branch officers, members and volunteers, as these policies can help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.
This policy document applies to all Craobh Naithí activities and has been designed to protect our children in line with current legislative requirements. We will endeavour to ensure that our policy documents are updated appropriately to reflect experiences, changes in circumstances and future changes in the regulatory and legislative environment..
Child Protection Responsibilities
The Children First Act 2015 sets out the responsibilities placed on Comhaltas and all organisations to keep children and vulnerable adults safe while availing of their services and activities.
• Have a Child Protection Policy formally adopted at a branch meeting and noted in the branch minutes
• Have appointed a Designated Liaison Person (DLP), who is responsible to liaise on child protection issues/concerns (if required) with both TUSLA & An Garda Síochána.
• Have all persons, including teachers, mentors and volunteers, who have regular access to children/vulnerable adults, vetted with the National Vetting Bureau (NVB). This has been mandatory since April 2016.
Under the Children First Act 2015 two further legislative requirements now apply. The Act states:
“The Act requires providers of relevant organisations to keep children safe from harm while availing of their services, to undertake a risk assessment to identify the potential for harm to a child who is availing of their service, and to prepare a child safeguarding statement which sets out the policies and procedures which are in place to mitigate the risks identified. The legislation makes provision for a Register of Non-compliance for those providers who fail, on request, to provide a copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement to the Child and Family Agency”.
Branch Safeguarding Statement 2019-2020
Craobh Naithí Contae Átha Cliath
1. Name of service being provided:
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann – Branch – Craobh Naithí
Craobh Naithí provides Irish traditional music classes in various instruments as well as singing classes. It organizes Céilí Bands and Grúpaí Ceoil among our members in a range of age groups and prepares them for competition.
2. Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm:
Craobh Naithí is a branch of Comhaltas, a voluntary based organisation. Its aims and objectives are stated in its Bunreacht (Comhaltas Constitution). The organisation is understood to be a key contributor to the informal music education sector, organising community based classes in traditional Irish music, song, dance, and other cultural activity. It also organises various public events and activities that promote cultural activity amongst children and adults.
Principles to safeguard children from harm.
The Branch has an appointed Designated Liason Person (DLP) for matters in relation to Child Protection and Guidelines and Procedures in respect of Branch Involvement with Children/Young persons and Vulnerable Adults.
All Craobh Naithí teachers and volunteers with regular access to children or vulnerable adults are required to apply for Comhaltas Garda Vetting.
In circumstances where the regular adult – e.g. volunteer teacher/tutor/ organiser/ activity leader is not available at short notice, Craobh Naithí will ensure that any replacement adult working with the children will be monitored by a Comhaltas vetted adult. (regular patrolling of class area).
Minors who may occasionally be placed in a position of supervising children, such as substitute teachers, can be Comhaltas Garda vetted, with consent from their parent/guardian. Craobh Naithí will ensure that these minors will be made aware of best practice in relation to working with Craobh Naití students.
Although the majority of branch activities are understood to be group activities, the situation will arise where a teacher finds himself/herself with a 1:1 adult-child tuition/activity situation. In such cases, the teacher must remain within sight of the glass insert in the classroom door in order to be visible to committee members as they patrol the classroom areas.
Branch teachers and mentors are fully aware of their role and responsibilities in respect of appropriate supervision of children while in their care and the general supervision practices of the branch. The class register/attendance sheet is maintained by the teachers and is an important element of Child Protection Policy implementation
Parents and guardians of children attending Craobh Naithí classes and activities are at all times notified of appropriate schedules, locations of activities.
Communication with Children
Craobh Naithí officers/mentors/teachers use the most efficient means of communicating details of activities relevant to their pupils, young members and participants. Parents/guardians are asked to provide their own mobile numbers/email addresses for this purpose. Communication is made only with parents. This is achieved by using the mobile numbers or email addresses which the parents have provided.
Craobh Naithí adults do not knowingly communicate directly with a pupil/minor using any means of digital or other communication including social media.
TUSLA eLearning Programme
Branch mentors, teachers and relevant personnel are recommended to complete the online TUSLA Access to Children First E-Learning Programme.
Publication of photographs/ video/ recordings
Photographs and recordings of children will only be published on the Craobh Naithí website or Facebook page and only with the explicit consent of parents/guardians. Such consent,which is entirely voluntary, is obtained at registration.
(The Craobh Naithí registration form contains an option to provide or refuse consent which must be completed at registration).
Other Use of photographs/ video/ recordings
Recordings of artists, whatever age, are very much part of the intergenerational transmission of Irish traditional music.
In addition, parents/guardians are informed that any use of social media by their child, including sharing of digital files, is not the responsibility of Craobh Naithí. It should be noted that Craobh Naithí’s policy in respect of mobile phones/recording devices is that they may only be used in class to record tunes for the purposes of learning and always at the discretion of the teacher.
Responsibility for children between classes
The Branch shares the use of a school premises with other organizations but has no control over these organizations.
In the Branch setting children/minors participate in a number of classes/activities which often do not run consecutively. Craobh Naithí provides a waiting area for parents which, although overseen by the Craobh Naithí committee members, parents/guardians remain responsible for their children’s welfare between such activities. Parents/guardians should make themselves aware of the scheduling of the activities which their children are engaged in.
From a Health & Safety and Child Safeguarding perspective, the branch has given careful consideration to the lay-out of the building it uses, and the facilities within that are accessed by children and adults, during any Branch activity.
Continuous Review of Safeguarding Policy
Craobh Naithí ensures that that Child Protection and Safeguarding are standing items on the agenda of each Branch Committee meeting to ensure continued awareness and to allow for continued updating and review. It also conducts a formal review of its safeguarding policy at least annually.
3. Risk Assessment
In line with Comhaltas guidelines, Craobh Naithí has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. Below is a list of the areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.
Procedure to manage identified risk
Challenges/specific issues relating to the building(s)/ facilities used for Craobh Naithí classes / events to ensure adequate safety and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adult
Teachers are provided with a Teachers book for recording attendance. Teachers are made aware of appropriate access and exit, class register etc. and evacuation procedures. Teachers are responsible for bringing children to assembly points in the event of an emergency/evacuation) A general check is performed during regular patrols by committee members of the facility to ensure that there are no hazards in the facilities being used and to ensure that all fire escape routes are free of obstructions) Where the need for a one-to-one teaching situation arises, all teachers are required to remain visible at all times from the glass insert of the door of classroom. All teachers and committee members are made aware of and encouraged to take the TUSLA Child Protection Course on the TUSLA website.
A ‘substitute’ teacher/mentor who is engaged due to need but who does not have Comhaltas Garda vetting.
If such a teacher/mentor is engaged to teach a class / coordinate a branch activity on a once-off basis, such a teacher/mentor will remain visible at all times from the glass insert of the door to the classroom.
(Committee members patrol the classroom areas on a regular basis).
Clarifying responsibility in terms of the care of branch junior members outside of weekly classes.
Responsibility for the safety and supervision of children outside of class times is outlined in the class Registration Form which is signed by parents/guardians.
Inappropriate use of electronic devices including mobile phones/ smart phones/iPads by pupils during Branch activities
Mobile phones/electronic devices to be used in classes only for the purpose of recording tunes and at the discretion of the teacher.
Use of images in Comhaltas publicity material
Craobh Naithí has a policy of requesting appropriate consent regarding the use of images of minors/vulnerable adults used in promotional-publicity material/communications. (Consent is sought at enrolment).
Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with the following policies and procedures:
- Comhaltas Child Protection Policy and Guidelines & Procedures in respect of branch involvement with children/young persons and vulnerable adults
- Appointing a Branch DLP
- Obligatory Comhaltas Garda Vetting for all Comhaltas personnel with regular access to children and vulnerable adults.
- Carrying out a risk assessment based on the local provisions and setting.
- Completing the Branch Child Safeguarding Statement which is considered and adopted by the branch committee.
Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla is outlined by the Comhaltas Child Protection Policy and during training seminars facilitated by Tomás Ó Maoldomhnaigh, Comhaltas National Child Protection Liaison.
The statutory requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice, are core documents which inform the above and are available on Tusla’s website.
Attendance at the training seminars presented by Tomás Ó Maoldomhnaigh, National Comhaltas Child Protection Liaison also provides ongoing guidance to Comhaltas units and personnel.
We recognise that implementation is an on-going process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Branch Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service.
This Branch Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed on _______________, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.
Signed:___________________________ Branch: ____________________________
For queries, please contact Branch DLP: __________________________________