Child Protection

Child Protection Policy


Incorporating Procedures:

Procedure for Reporting Issues Related to Child Protection and Welfare.
Procedure for Dealing with Allegations against Staff Procedure for Complaints and Comments Procedure for Accidents.

Implemented: 1st July 2003

Current Revision implemented 31st August 2019

1. Context Dublin School of Music deals with hundreds of children or young people per year, with many of them in close contact with Dublin School of Music staff on a one-to-one basis. Dublin School of Music shall ensure, as far as practicable, that each child availing of the service from the provider is safe from harm while availing of that service.
2. Purpose This policy is in place to ensure a safe environment for all children involved in Dublin School of Music activities.
3. Benefits A safe environment is provided to children.
4. Scope This policy applies to all Dublin School of Music related activities, staff, tutors, volunteers and any other adults who are involved in Dublin School of Music activities in any form.
5. Principles
5.1 We at Dublin School of Music are committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children and young people.
5.2 We at Dublin School of Music undertake to provide a safe environment and experience in which the welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
5.3 We at Dublin School of Music will adhere to the recommendations of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, published by the Department of Health and Children.
6. Definitions The Child Care Act 1991 defines a child as a ‘person under the age of 18 years other than a person who is or has been married.
7. Child Protection Policy
Child Protection Policy Statement: We at Dublin School of Music are committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children and young people. We undertake to provide a safe environment and experience, where the welfare of the child/young person is paramount. We will adhere to the recommendations of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, published by the Department of Health and Children. We have implemented procedures covering: Code of behaviour for all staff, volunteers and tutors; Reporting of suspected or disclosed abuse; Confidentiality; Recruitment and selection of staff, tutors and volunteers; Managing and supervision of staff, tutors and volunteers; Involvement of primary carers; Allegations of misconduct or abuse by staff; Complaints and comments; Incidents and accidents.

Signed:

Craig Wynne / Director
Date: 31st August 2019

Responsibility The Director of Dublin School of Music has the responsibility for the implementation and operations of this policy.
Document control Date of last revision: 31st August 2019 for the academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

Code of Behaviour for Staff, Tutors and Volunteers

The Code of Behaviour can be categorised under the following headings, which are detailed below:

(a) Child-centred approach.
(b) Best practice.
(c) Inappropriate behaviour.
(d) Physical contact.
(e) Health and safety.

(a) Child-centred Approach
At Dublin School of Music, we will:
(i) Treat all children and young people as equals.
(ii) Listen to and respect children and young people.
(iii) Involve children and young people in decision-making, as appropriate.
(iv) Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability).
(v) Use appropriate language (physical and verbal).
(vi) Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere.
(vii) Offer constructive criticism when needed.
(viii) Treat all children and young people as individuals.
(ix) Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space.
(x) Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children and young people and their primary carers.
(xi) Encourage feedback from children, young people, their primary carers and tutors and staff.
(xii) Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials.
(xiii) Lead by example.
(xiv) Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities, e.g., school or exams.
(xv) Be mindful of a child’s or young person’s limitations, due, for example, to a medical condition.
(xvi) Create an atmosphere of trust.
(xvii) Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation.

(b) Best Practice

At Dublin School of Music, we will:

(i) Register each child/young person (name, address, phone, special requirements, attendance, emergency contact.
(ii) Make primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators aware of the Child Protection Policy and procedures.
(iii) Have emergency procedures in place and make all staff aware of these procedures
(iv) Be inclusive of children and young people with special needs.
(v) Plan and be sufficiently prepared, both mentally and physically.
(vi) Report any concerns to the Responsible Person – see section 9 below - and follow reporting procedures.
(vii) Encourage children and young people to report any bullying, concerns or worries and to be aware of anti-bullying policy.
(viii) Observe appropriate dress and behaviour.
(ix) Evaluate work practices on a regular basis.
(x) Report and record any incidents and any accidents.
(xi) Update and review policies and procedures regularly, at a minimum every 24 months.
(xii) Keep primary carers informed of any issues that concern their children.
(xiii) Ensure proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age, abilities and activities involved.
(xiv) Don’t be passive in relation to concerns, i.e., don’t ‘do nothing’.
(xv) Don’t let a problem get out of control.
(xvi) Avoid if at all possible giving a lift to a child/young person and if you do then make sure that primary carers are informed.
(xvii) Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner. Also ensure that primary carers are informed.

(c) Inappropriate Behaviour

At Dublin School of Music, we will not:

(i) use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language.
(ii) single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism, ridicule or unwelcome focus or attention.
(iii) allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form.
(iv) hit or physically chastise children/young people.
(v) socialise inappropriately with children/young people, for example outside of structured lessons or activities.

(d) Physical Contact

At Dublin School of Music, we will:

(i) Seek consent of child/young person in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation).
(ii) Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch.
(iii) Check with children/young people about their level of comfort when doing touch exercises.

(e) Health and Safety

At Dublin School of Music, we undertake:

(i) Not to leave children unattended or unsupervised.
(ii) To manage any dangerous materials.
(iii) To provide a safe environment.
(iv) To be aware of accident procedure and follow accordingly.
Additional Safety measures have been put in place, namely:
(i) All doors in Dublin School of Music leading into tuition rooms have been fitted with glass windows, so the occupants are at all times visible from the outside to any and everyone else in the building.
(ii) Primary carers, parents and/or guardians are invited and welcome at all times to be present in the tuition rooms when their child or young person is enjoying their music lesson.

Confidentiality Statement

We at Dublin School of Music are committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that:

(i) Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the child/young person.
(ii) Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality.
(iii) We cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child or young person are at risk.
(iv) Primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if personal information is being shared and/or a report is being made to the Health Service Executive, unless doing so could put the child/young person at further risk.
(v) Images of a child/young person will not be used for any reason without the consent of the parent/carer (however, this does not preclude the use of cameras/videos at public performances).
(vi) GDPR compliant procedures are in place for the recording and storing of information and we continually monitor and update these procedures.

Recruitment and Selection Policy Statement

We at Dublin School of Music will ensure that staff and tutors are carefully selected, trained and supervised to provide a safe environment for all children and young people, by observing the following principles:

(i) Roles and responsibilities will be clearly defined for every job and task.
(ii) We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that we select the most suitably qualified personnel.
(iii) At least two references that are recent, relevant, independent and verbally confirmed will be necessary.
(iv) Staff and tutors will be selected through an interview process.
(v) No person who would be deemed to constitute a ‘risk’ will be engaged in any capacity.
Such a person could be (but not limited to) a person with child-related convictions, a person with insufficient documentary evidence of identification, a person found or thought to have concealed information on their suitability to working with children.
(vi) All staff and tutors will be required to consent to Garda clearance and all staff and tutors will be Garda Vetted.

Managing and Supervising Staff, Tutors and Volunteers

To protect both staff, tutors and volunteers and children/young people, we undertake that:
New staff, tutors and volunteers will:

(i) Be made aware of the organisation’s Code of Conduct, Child Protection Procedures, and the identity and role of who has been designated to deal with issues of concern.
(ii) Undergo a probationary period.
All staff, tutors and volunteers will:
(i) Receive an adequate level of supervision and review of their work practices.
(ii) Be expected to have read the Child Protection Policy Statement.

Involvement of Primary Carers

At Dublin School of Music, we are committed to being open with all primary carers.
We undertake to:

(i) Advise primary carers of our child protection policy.
(ii) Inform primary carers and schools of all activities and potential activities.
(iii) Issue contact/consent forms where relevant.
(iv) Comply with Health and Safety practices.
(v) Operate child-centred policies in accordance with best practice.
(vi) Adhere to our recruitment guidelines.
(vii) Ensure as far as possible that the activities are age-appropriate.
(viii) Encourage and facilitate the involvement of parent(s), carer(s) or responsible adult(s), where appropriate.
If we have concerns about the welfare of the child/young person, we will:

(i) Respond to the immediate or urgent needs of the child or young person.
(ii) Inform the primary carers on an on-going basis unless this action puts the child or young person at further risk.
(iii) (Where there are child protection and welfare concerns) we are obliged to pass these on to the Duty Social Worker and, in an emergency, an Garda Siochana.
(iv) In the event of a complaint against a member of staff, we will take such steps as are necessary to ensure the safety of the child/young person and inform primary carers as appropriate.

As a child-centred organisation, we at Dublin School of Music are committed to putting the interest of the child/young person first.
To that end, we will:

(i) Contact the relevant Health Service Executive and an Garda Siochana where there is a child protection welfare concern.
(ii) Encourage primary carers to work in partnership with us under the guidelines set out by our organisation to ensure the safety of their children.
(iii) Have a designated contact person available for consultation with primary carers in the case of any concern over a child or young person’s welfare.

Procedures

Procedure for Reporting Issues Related to Child Protection and Welfare
The Director of Dublin School of Music, herein referred to as the Designated Person, has been nominated as the person to contact if you have an issue or concern about any aspect of a child’s or young person’s safety and welfare.
It is the responsibility of the Designated Person to support and advise staff, tutors and volunteers about policy and procedures in relation to child protection and to ensure that procedures are followed.

It is also the responsibility of the Designated Person to liaise with the Health Service Executive or an Garda Siochana where appropriate.
The Designated Person can be contacted confidentially at Dublin School of Music (01)4929998.

Procedure for Dealing with Allegations against Staff, Tutors and Volunteers
Two separate procedures must be followed:

(i) In respect of the child/young person, the Designated Person will deal with issues related to the child/young person.
(ii) In respect of the person against whom the allegation is made, the Designated Person will deal with issues related to the staff member, tutor or volunteer.
(iii) The first priority is to ensure that no child or young person is exposed to unnecessary risk.
(iv) If allegations are made against the Designated Person, then the Deputy Designated Person should be contacted.
(v) The reporting procedures outlined in this Child Protection Policy should be followed. Both the primary carers and child/young person should be informed of actions planned and taken. The child/young person should be dealt with in an age appropriate manner.
(vi) The staff member, tutor or volunteer will be informed as soon as possible of the nature of the allegation.
(vii) the staff member will be afforded the opportunity to respond.
(viii) The Director of the organisation should be informed as soon as possible, if this has not already taken place (the Director of Dublin School of Music is the Designated Person).
(ix) Any action following an allegation of abuse against a member of staff, a tutor or a volunteer should be taken in consultation with Health Service Executive and an Garda Siochana.
(x) After consultation, the Designated Person (or Deputy Designated Person where appropriate) should advise the person accused and agreed procedures will be followed.

Procedure for Complaints and Comments
In the event of complaints or comments, these complaints or comments will receive an initial response within two weeks.
The Director of Dublin School of Music has responsibility for directing complaints/comments to the appropriate person.
Verbal complaints will be logged and investigated.

Procedure for Accidents

Dublin School of Music will maintain an up-to-date register of the contact details of all children/young people involved in the organisation and any activities.
Children/young people’s details should be cross-referenced between the incident book and file.

Any and every external organisation with whom Dublin School of Music has dealings must provide proof that they have public liability insurance.
First-aid boxes should be available and regularly re-stocked, this is kept at reception.
The accidents/incident book is also kept at reception.
Children and young people must be advised of risks of dangerous material.
If any risky equipment is used, details of such equipment will be recorded and steps taken to minimise risk.
Take cognisance of responsibility for first-aid on off-site activities.