Child Safeguarding & Welfare Policy
Child Safeguarding & Welfare Policy
About FIRE STATIONS ARTISTS’ STUDIOS (FSAS)
Located in north east inner city Dublin, Fire Station Artists’ Studios was established in 1993 to provide support for professional visual artists. FSAS provides subsidised combined living and working studios for Irish and international artists, large scale sculpture workshop facilities and training opportunities for artists. Fire Station Artists’ Studios training programme has expanded to include digital and film training and we continue to host technical training and master classes which incorporate critical reflection.
Fire Station Artists’ Studios is a residential place for artists, and engages with children and young people through programme activities such as workshops, events open to the public and festivals. The programme is developed by our permanent staff and is delivered by free-lance artists and educators. FSAS are positively disposed to involving children, parents and guardians in our services where projects involves contact with young people and children. All measures and procedures as recommended by Tulsa will be implemented.
We have carried out a risk assessment of any potential harm to children coming in contact with FSAS premises and programme.
Fire Station Artists’ Studios is committed to a child-centred approach in any of 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.
In addition to the procedures detailed in our risk assessment, our Child Safeguarding and Welfare policy highlights our approach and procedure.
The legal framework
We adhere to the recommendations of the Children First Act (2015), Children First: National Guidelines for the protection and Welfare of Children, published by the Department of Health and Children in accordance with the Children First Act 2015 (2017), and Tulsa: Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice. We consider the definition of a child to be any person under age 18 who is not married, and has not previously been married as defined in the Child Care Act 1991.
Our Child Safeguarding Contacts 2
Our Relevant Person is Helen Carey, Director of Fire Station Artists’ Studios.
The Designated Liaison Person dealing with child protection is Jennie Guy, Programme and Operations Manager at Fire Station Artists’ Studios. Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and she can be contacted on 01 855 6735
Florence Magee, Office Manager, is Deputy Designated Liaison Person and may be contacted on 01 8069010 or email@example.com
FSAS doesn’t have a mandated person as defined by the Children First: National Guidelines for the protection and Welfare of Children.
Our Child Safeguarding and Welfare Policy applies to all paid staff, volunteers, committee/ board members, interns and students on work placement within our organisation.
All committee board members, staff, volunteers and students must sign up to and abide by the policies, procedures and guidance encompassed by this policy declaration and our child safeguarding policy and accompanying procedures.
FSAS will ensure to the best of its ability that staff and volunteers are selected, and trained and supervised if necessary to provide a safe environment for children and young people. All recruitments follows the FSAS staff recruitment procedure.
The roles and responsibility of staff in FSAS are clearly defined. No persons deemed to be a risk to young people will be employed in a position requiring contact with children and young people.
Prospective staff and volunteers will be required to read and sign FSAS Child Safeguarding Policy, disclose results of existing Garda vetting to FSAS and any other unsuitability to work with children.
Garda Vetting will be required for Staff whose work requires contact with children and young people.
Exclusions to being hired by FSAS include: Refusal to sign the Child Protection Policy, any child-related convictions, insufficient evidence of identification, refusal to undertake Garda vetting, and any concealing of unsuitability to work with children.
All projects work in partnership must be organised with agencies who are fully compliant and have expertise in working with children.
Free-lancers and organisations engaged by FSAS on any programme elements with children will be required to provide evidence of their own Child Protection Policy, including Code of Behaviour, and also sign up to and abide by FSAS Child Safeguarding and Welfare Policy and Code of Behaviour.
All contractors when accepting and conducting work on FSAS programmes with children and young people, must agree to undergo Garda vetting or provide proof or the Garda vetting of their staff and volunteers. Any refusal to provide proof of Garda vetting or refusal to undergo Garda vetting will terminate the contract between FSAS and the contractor.
FSAS will complete Garda Vetting for relevant staff, volunteers or free-lancers coming in contact with children, young people or equivalent.
FSAS will require compliance with Garda vetting requirements from all partner organisations on programmes involving children and young people.
Staff, volunteers and contractors must disclose any unsuitability to working with children.
Vetting disclosures will be kept confidentially by FSAS along with HR files for the period designed by FSAS Data Policy.
Existing and new staff will sign and abide by FSAS Child Safeguarding policy. Evidence of this will be kept in FSAS HR files.
Existing and new staff will be given an induction to FSAS Child Safeguarding procedures.
Staff whose work requires regular contact with children will be required to complete Tulsa’s ‘Children First’ E-Learning Programme.
Supervision of Staff and Volunteers
FSAS ensures that it staff and Volunteers receive adequate supervision and training in their work with children and young adults. 4
Code of Behaviour
FSAS holds its staff, freelance staff, interns and all associated with its operation to the highest standards of behaviour. FSAS will implement these standards and implement procedures to deal with any breaches by referring to best practice guidelines.
See Appendix A for FSAS Children and Young People Code of Behaviour
Confidentiality is important for FSAS. But we recognise that in order to safeguard children and young people, we may need to forward information to others on a need to know basis in order to safeguard a child. This doesn’t constitute a breach of confidentiality when this is done for the protection of a child.
Therefore we cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child are at risk.
We recognise that primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if their information is being shared.
All staff, freelance contractors, interns and volunteers must adhere to FSAS Communication and Social Media procedures, including consent sought for the taking and use of images of Children and Young People.
Reporting concerns and disclosure of abuse
All staff at FSAS, including have a responsibility to safeguard children and young people and to report any concerns that they may have for the safety and welfare of a child/young person. Reporting of concerns regarding children and young people or disclosure of abuse is mandatory for FSAS staff and volunteers.
Jennie Guy, Programme and Operations Manager, has been designated as the Liaison Person and Florence Magee, Office Manager, as the Deputy Liaison Person. It is also the responsibility of the designated person to liaise with the Health Services Executive or Garda where appropriate
All concerns must be reported to the Designated Liaison Person or in her absence the Deputy Designated Liaison Person. If a concern relates to the Designated Liaison Person, it should be reported to the Director. 5
All concerns are to be recorded in an Child Safeguarding log book, which will be kept confidentially in the office with restricted access to the Director, Programme and Operation Manager and Office Manager. Reports should include the date, time and the name of people involved, as well as the nature of the disclosure or concern. Any information shared is to be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
The Dedicated Liaison Person will report concerns which meet the threshold of ‘reasonable grounds for concern’ to Tusla following the reporting procedure set out in Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017).
All persons involved in this process will maintain the appropriate levels of confidentiality
Recognising abuse and Reasonable ground for concern
Staff and volunteers at FSAS will be provided with and are required to read page 7-13 of Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017) detailing types of abuse and circumstances which may make children more vulnerable to harm.
Reasonable grounds for a child protection or welfare concern include:
– Evidence, for example an injury or behaviour, that is consistent with abuse and is unlikely to have been caused in any other way
– Any concern about possible sexual abuse
– Consistent signs that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect
– A child saying or indicating by other means that he or she has been abused
– Admission or indication by an adult or a child of an alleged abuse they committed
– An account from a person who saw the child being abused
Allegation against staff or volunteers
In the event of an allegation against FSAS staff or volunteers, the Designated Liaison Person will deal with issues relating to the child while the Director will deal with allegations against the staff or volunteer.
The Designated Liaison person will follow the reporting procedures as outlined above. The priority is to ensure that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk. If an allegation relates to the Designated Liaison Person, it should be reported to the Director. Both the primary care givers and the child should be information of actions planned and taken.
The staff member will be informed as soon as possible of the nature of the allegations and will be given an opportunity to answer. The matter will be brought to the attention of the 6
chairperson. Any action following allegations of abuse will be taken in conjunction with HSE and Garda. During the reporting and investigating, the staff may be given alternative duties. HR procedures will be followed to conduct investigation and any resulting actions.
Retrospective disclosures and allegations
FSAS recognises that disclosures and allegations can be made retrospectively and will respond to those as advised by Tulsa.
Complaints and comments procedure
Complaints or comments received by FSAS will be responded to in writing within two weeks.
Florence Magee, Office Manager, has responsibility for directing complaints and comments to the director.
Verbal complaints will be logged and responded to in the same manner as written complaints.
A confidential log book will be kept in FSAS office with access restricted to Helen Carey, Jennie Guy, and Florence Magee
Incidents and accidents procedure
It is the responsibility of the Designated Liaison Person to liaise with the Health Services Executive or Garda where appropriate should an incident or accident occur involving a child or young person.
All incidents are to be managed following FSAS Comments and Complaints (Appendix B).
FSAS code of behaviour includes health and safety points that aim to promote the safety of children visiting or engaged on programmes at FSAS. Accident will be managed and reported following FSAS Accident procedure.
Incidents and accidents procedure follow best practice guidelines according to the attached procedure outline (Appendix c).
FSAS recognise that implementation is an on-going process. Our child safeguarding statement and accompanying child safeguarding policies and procedures will be reviewed every 2 years or sooner if necessary, due to service issues or changes in legislation or national policy. 7
Dated: 23/02/2021 8
FSAS Children and Young People Code of Behaviour
In its work with Children and Young People, FSAS staff and volunteers will:
– Treat all children and young people equally
– Listen to and respect children and young people
– Provide encouragement, support and equal praise
– Use appropriate language
– Encourage a positive atmosphere
– Treat all children and young people as individuals
– Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space
– Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials
– Work within a child’s or a young person’s limitations
– Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation
FSAS staff and volunteers will behave appropriately and follow best practice. The following guidelines must be observed at all time:
– Don’t spend time alone with children/young people without the knowledge of other staff members
– Never use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language
– Never single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism, ridicule, or other forms of unwelcome attention
– Never socialise with children/young people outside of structured activities
– Never allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form
– Avoid physical contact with child/young person (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation)
– Never hit or physically chastise a child/young person
– Never verbally chastise a child/young person in an aggressive manner
– Never engage in horseplay
Health and Safety
No unaccompanied children are allowed on the FSAS premises
Children must remain at all times with parent/guardian/workshop leader/adult in charge
FSAS Accident procedure must be followed should an emergency occur.
Any complaint concerning a breach of this code of conduct will be made following FSAS complaint procedure.