Statement of Intent
It is the policy of CyberSchool Limited to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm.
This organisation is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of CyberSchool Limited’s programmes, training events or workshops. Personnel should at all times show respect and understanding for individual’s rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of CyberSchool Limited.
Guidelines for all CyberSchool Limited staff.
ATTITUDES – Staff should be committed to
Treating children and young people with respect and dignity. Always listening to what a child or young person is saying Valuing each child and young person Recognising the unique contribution each individual can make Encouraging and praising each child or young person
BY EXAMPLE – Staff should endeavour to
Provide an example, which we would wish others to follow Use appropriate language with children and young people and challenge any inappropriate language used by a young person or child or an adult working with young people. Respect a young person’s right to privacy
ONE TO ONE CONTACT – Staff should
Not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children, away from others. In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child or young person make every effort to keep this meeting as open as possible. If privacy is needed, ensure that other staff are informed of the meeting and its whereabouts.
PHYSICAL CONTACT – Staff should never
Engage in sexually provocative or rough physical games, including horseplay. Do things of a personal nature for a child or a young person that they can do for themselves. If such an incident arises, for example, where a child or young person has limited mobility, CyberSchool Limited staff should seek a member of school staff or leader of the organisation to deal with such an incident Allow, or engage in, inappropriate touching of any kind.
GENERAL – Staff should
Be aware that someone might misinterpret our actions no matter how well intentioned. Never draw any conclusions about others without checking the facts. Never allow ourselves to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking situations such as tantrums or crushes. Never exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues or make suggestive remarks or gestures about, or to a child or young person, even in fun.
RELATIONSHIPS – Staff
Who are involved in relationships with other members of staff should ensure that their personal relationships do not affect their role within CyberSchool Limited or the work of CyberSchool Limited.
SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION AND GOOD PRACTICE WITH, CHILDREN AND STAFF
Good communication is essential in any organisation. In CyberSchool Limited every effort will be made to assure that, should individuals have concerns, they will be listened to and taken seriously. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that information is available to, and exchanged between all those involved in this organisation and its activities. Some information is confidential and should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis
Children and young people
Children and young people have a right to information, especially any information that could make life better and safer for them. CyberSchool Limited will act to ensure they have information about how, and with whom, they can share their concerns, complaints and anxieties.
When sharing information, CyberSchool Limited personnel will be sensitive to the level of understanding and maturity, as well as to the level of responsibility, of the people with whom they are sharing.
Parents / persons with parental responsibility are ultimately responsible for their children’s welfare at all times, and they should be assured that their children are involved with a credible organisation.
We achieve this by
Publicising information on all our primary, post-primary, youth and parenting work.
Publishing the named Designated Child Protection Person(s) and how to make a complaint on the internet site Cyberschool.ie Publishing a full copy of the Child Protection Policy on the internet site Cyberschool.ie
As an organisation, which offers support and guidance to children and young people, it is imperative that each member of the CyberSchool Limited staff is aware of their responsibilities under the Child Protection legislation and has a working knowledge of CyberSchool Limited’s procedures. Each member of staff will receive updated training in Child Protection.
A copy of our Child Protection Policy will be made available to any other appropriate body.
SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CONCERNS WITH AGENCIES WHO NEED TO KNOW AND INVOLVING PARENTS AND CHILDREN APPROPRIATELY
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
In any case where an allegation is made, or someone in CyberSchool Limited has concerns, a record should be made. Details must include, as far as practical:
- Name of child or young person
- Home Address (if known)
- Date of Birth (if known)
- Name/s and Address of parent/s or person/s with parental responsibility
- Telephone numbers if available
- Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of somebody else? If so, record details
- What has prompted the concerns? Include dates and times of any specific incidents
- Has the child or young person been spoken to? If so, what was said?
- Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, record details
- Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? e.g. school, designated officer, social services etc
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details
- Action taken must be record, signed, dated and stored.
DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION PERSONS
For reasons of confidentiality the only person(s) who need to know this information are the following Designated Child Protection Person.
Mr. John Forde
Designated Child Protection Person
The Designated Person(s) will inform the relevant outside organisation of the incident
Health Service Executive: www.hse.ie
Tusla – Child and Family Agency,
Heuston South Quarter,
Phone: 01 7718500
Garda – Garda Confidential No 1800 666 111
www.hotline.ie or Low Call 1890 610 710
Childline: www.ispcc.ie Support Line 01-6767960
- All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
- Only the designated Persons will have access to these files.
- Never guarantee absolute confidentiality, as Child Protection will always have precedence over any other issues.
- Listen to the child, rather than question him or her directly. Offer him / her reassurance without making promises, and take what the child says seriously.
- Allow the child to speak without interruption, Accept what is said – it is not your role to investigate or question. Do not overreact.
- Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgement
- Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass the information on. Explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.
- Record the discussion accurately, as soon as possible after the event, Use the child’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you have misconstrued what the child was trying to say.
- Contact one of the CyberSchool Limited Designated Persons for advice / guidance. The Designated Person may then discuss the concern / suspicion with the relevant organisation, and, if appropriate, make a direct referral.
- If either Designated Person is not available, or it is inappropriate to approach them, the volunteer / member of staff with the concern should make direct contact with the relevant organisation themselves
- Record any discussions or actions taken within 24 hours.
FOLLOWING CAREFULLY THE PROCEDURES FOR RECRUITMENT & SELECTION OF STAFF
CyberSchool Limited operates employment and supervision procedures that ensure highest priority is given to issues relating to child protection.
From March 2019 each new member of staff will be required to undergo a police check as part of our recruitment policy
PROVIDING EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR STAFF THROUGH SUPERVISION, SUPPORT & TRAINING
CyberSchool Limited encourages the development of staff through its ongoing support, supervision and training.
Each new member of staff is made familiar with CyberSchool Limited’s policies and procedures including the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour
Each new member of staff undergoes 1 month / 3 month and 6 month appraisals
Each new member of staff is assigned to a mentor for the duration of 1 year. This provides the new member of staff with opportunities to voice concerns and anxieties or to ask questions about their work or the environment in which they are working.
In CyberSchool Limited the management take responsibility for the training needs of staff and volunteers. The individual, however, also plays a part in identifying areas they feel they require training in. There are 3 set training periods per year.
There is an official annual appraisal system for each member of staff.