Dunhill Multi-Education Centre, Dunhill, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
Tel: (051)396934    Email: enquiries@dunhilleducation.com

Child Safeguarding Statement

1. Vision
Dunhill Multi-Education Centre (DMEC) is a community owned education, training & conference centre in east County Waterford. Guided by the principles of Access, Opportunity and Excellence, the mission of the centre is to provide a hub of learning excellence, to create opportunities for people to succeed and facilitate access to education for all groups. The centre places each child and young person and their best interests, in particular, their safety, protection and welfare, as its central and paramount consideration, whilst fostering the development of positive self- esteem and reliance.

2. Rationale
To comply with the new requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017 and Tusla: The Child and Family Agency guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements and to provide for best future reference for whole centre community, the Board of Directors, has agreed and ratified this Child Safeguarding Statement.

3. Liaison/Contact persons
The following centre personnel have been appointed, as relevant persons to liaise with outside agencies, to act as first contact and resource support in addressing any child or young person’s protection concerns: The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Helen Kavanagh
The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Marie Cox

4. Principles of best practice
The centre will:

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children and young people is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015, and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • fully co-operate with 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 to protect staff from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection and welfare matters.

5. Written Risk Assessment
In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, DMEC has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child or young person while attending the centre and/or participating in centre activities. A Written Risk Assessment setting out the areas of risk currently identified and the centre’s procedures for managing these is shown over.

“Harm” is that of the Children First Act, 2015, which defines “harm” in relation to a child or young person as follows: –

  • (a) assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development or welfare, or
  • (b) sexual abuse of the child,

whether caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances or otherwise;

In undertaking this Risk Assessment, DMEC, in consultation with the tutors, staff and parents, has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to our centre and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage and reduce the likelihood of such risks occurring.

While it is not possible to foresee, identify and remove all potential risk of harm, the centre has in place the procedures listed in this Risk Assessment, to manage and reduce any risks identified to the greatest possible extent.

The Centre has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities:

  • Risk of harm not being recognised by centre personnel
  • Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly by centre personnel
  • Risk of child or young person being harmed in the centre by a member of centre personnel, a member of staff of another organisation, or other person while child or young person participates in off-site activities e.g. site visits
  • Risk of child or young person being harmed in the centre by volunteer or visitor to centre
  • Risk of harm due to bullying
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of child or young person in centre
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision during off-site activities
  • Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationships/communications between child or young person and another child, young person or adult
  • Risk of harm due to children or young person inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices while at the centre
  • Risk of harm to child or young person with Special Education Needs (SEN) who have particular vulnerabilities
  • Risk of harm to child or young person while waiting to receive intimate care e.g. medical treatment
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate code of behaviour
  • Risk of harm in one-on-one tutoring or coaching situation
  • Risk of harm caused by member of centre personnel communicating with children/young people in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
  • Risk of harm caused by member of centre personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner

 6. Procedures/Measures to support the safeguarding of Children/Young People

The centre has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment –

  • All centre personnel are provided with a copy of the centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Centre personnel and all tutors are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015
  • The centre has an Anti-Bullying Policy which is fully adhered to by centre personnel and tutors
  • The centre has a supervision policy to ensure appropriate supervision of children or young people during class, breaks, and in respect of specific areas such as toilets
  • The centre adheres to its Health & Safety policy
  • The centre adheres to the requirements of the Garda vetting legislation in relation to recruitment and Garda vetting
  • The centre has codes of conduct for centre personnel (tutors and staff Centre Handbook)
  • The centre complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for all staff and tutors
  • The centre:
    • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the centre’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training, including ‘Children First’
    • Maintains records of all staff and board member training
  • The centre has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of First Aid
  • The centre has in place a code of behaviour for learners
  • The centre has in place an ICT policy in respect of usage of ICT by learners
  • The centre has in place a policy and procedures for the use of external tutors
  • The centre has in place a policy and clear procedures for one-on-one learning and other activities

Investigations
Where any member of staff is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any alleged act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the centre, the centre will adhere to the relevant procedures.

Reporting
In reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla: The Child and Family Agency, all centre personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, as mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015. DMEC has appointed the above named DLP and Deputy DLP as the “relevant person”, defined in the Children First Act 2015, to be the first points of contact in respect of this Child Safeguarding Statement.

Important Notice: It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk.

7. Communication
This Child Safeguarding Statement is published on the centre’s website and has been provided to all members of the centre’s personnel, and is readily available to parents, guardians, and Tusla on request.

Page One only, is prominently displayed in reception.

8. Roles and Responsibilities
All tutors employed by the centre are “mandated persons” for the reporting of child protection concerns, normally through the DLP.

DMEC is responsible for carrying out a Written Risk Assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the centre’s procedures for managing those risks. They are also responsible for ratifying the Child Safeguarding Statement and overseeing its implementation and regular review.

The Manager is responsible for the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement, acting as Deputy DLP and for providing confidentially to DMEC, a Child Protection Oversight Report, containing information details of any:

  • Allegations of any abuse made against members of centre personnel
  • Any other child protection concerns in respect of children or young people in the centre (i.e. concerns that do not involve any allegation of abuse against a member of centre personnel)
  • Any Child protection concerns arising from alleged bullying behaviour amongst children or young people, and
  • Reporting summary data

The wider centre community also have a role to play in supporting the social, personal and health development of children or young people and in reporting any alleged child protection concerns.

Parents play a very important role in supporting the centres efforts through, for example, involvement in centre activities and events.

Dunhill Multi-Education Centre - Education, training & conference centre in Dunhill, Co. Waterford.    Website by: Déise Design