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Our Approach to Safeguarding Children. Mooncoin Parish has produced a user friendly child protection policy. It is hoped that each person in the parish.

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Presentation on theme: "Our Approach to Safeguarding Children. Mooncoin Parish has produced a user friendly child protection policy. It is hoped that each person in the parish."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our Approach to Safeguarding Children

2 Mooncoin Parish has produced a user friendly child protection policy. It is hoped that each person in the parish will take the time to read this policy. Our Aim is to communicate to all in our parish community, that each child will be protected and cared for. All practices and procedures within the brochure will be adhered to and implemented in the strictest possible manner, thus ensuring the wellbeing and safety of each child. We will do all in our power to ensure that the parish of Mooncoin will be a safe and healthy environment for all who live and partake in the life of the parish community. We pray, that all people in our community will be valued and treasured in the dignity and integrity that is inherently theirs, following the example and message of Jesus, Our Lord. 2

3  The Parish of Mooncoin is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in this parish.  The Parish of Mooncoin will fulfil its obligations and duties in line with legal requirements and national guidance including:  Children First – National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Dept. of Health & Children)  Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland  Diocese of Ossory Policy on Safeguarding Children  Best practice guidance through “Duty of Care” (Dept. of Health & Children) 3

4  The welfare of children is of paramount importance and as such, we are committed to the safeguarding and protection of children from abuse (physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect)  All who work or volunteer in our parish have a duty to share information (HSE GAR DD) when concerned that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse/neglect  We are committed to reporting our concerns to the HSE and/or Gardai as well as the designated person in the Diocese of Ossary  We are committed to cooperating with the HSE and Gardai when concerns of abuse are being addressed  Our parish is committed to the safe selection and recruitment of staff and volunteers in order to safeguard children  With regards to visiting priests, a letter of clearance will be required from their Bishop or Religious Superior 4

5  Raise Awareness about safeguarding children and child protection across the parish  Ensure all staff and volunteers who have access to and supervise children in parish activities will be Garda vetted and have regular training on child protection  Comply with best practice guidance when supervising children and young people  Not ignore concerns that are expressed by any parishioner or any other person 5

6 Describes a range of ways in which people harm children, the harm can be in the form of:  Physical injury  Sexual abuse  Emotional abuse  Neglect Children can also experience a combination of abuse 6

7  Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or arousal or for that of others. (Children First)  Examples include intentional inappropriate touching or molesting for the purpose of arousal or gratification, intercourse with a child, the sexual exploitation of a child including its recording (on film or other media) 7

8  Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child (Children First)  It is where a child is assaulted or injured in some way that is deliberate  It includes punching, kicking, shaking, suffocating, poisoning, drowning, burning and other forms of physical harm 8

9  Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a care-giver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. (Children First)  Examples include persistent criticism, hostility or blaming of the child, emotional unavailability by the child’s parent/carer, exposure to domestic violence 9

10  Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care (Children First)  Harm can be defined as the ill-treatment or the impairment of the health or development of a child 10

11  People who harm children appear just like anyone else – you can’t tell by looking  People who harm children come from all types of background  Sometimes strangers abuse children, but it is more often someone that the child knows, and is in a position of authority or trust over him or her  Children can be abused by other children and young people 11

12  If there is a concern that a child is being abused or is a at risk of abuse it is important to share that information with the HSE and/or the Gardai.  If there is a child protection concern in relation to any member of church personnel (priest,member of a religious order, staff member or volunteer in the parish) it is also possible, having informed the HSE/Gardai, to inform the Diocesan Delegated Persons  All contact details inc HSE phone no/website details, Diocesan Delegated persons details 12

13  The primary responsibility of the person who first suspects or is told of abuse is to report it and to ensure that their concern is taken seriously. The guiding principles in regard to reporting child abuse may be summarised as follows: ◦ the safety and well-being of the child or young person must take priority. ◦ reports should be made without delay ◦ the principle of natural justice should apply, which means that a person is innocent until proven otherwise ◦ the principle of confidentiality should apply, whereby only those that need to know should be told of a suspicion/allegation/disclosure of abuse and the number that need to be kept informed should be kept to a minimum. (Our Duty to Care – DOHC) 13

14  Keep calm; this will help the child  Make sure that the child is safe – if there is immediate danger to the child or risk of immediate harm call the Gardai  Listen carefully to what is said  Observe what you see around you  Reassure and support the child, if the child discloses to you  Get help as soon as possible 14

15  Children very rarely tell that they are being abused, for a number of reasons: ◦ They may have been bribed or blackmailed not to tell ◦ They may be very frightened of the abuser ◦ They may be afraid of being blamed or punished, or excluded from the organisation ◦ They may be afraid of getting the abuser into trouble ◦ Children with learning disabilities may not fully comprehend what is happening 15

16  If a child hints at or tells that he or she is being abused, it must be handled very sensitively, and in the following way: ◦ Stay calm and listen – give the child time to say what she or he wants ◦ Don’t ask leading questions or details, or make suggestions ◦ Don’t stop the child recalling significant events, but don’t make him or her repeat the story unnecessarily ◦ Reassure the child, but don’t promise to keep it a secret ◦ Explain what needs to be done next ◦ Record the discussion as carefully as possible 16

17 Sometimes people  Do not recognise it as child abuse  Do not know what to do for the best  Ready to accept a poor explanation as acceptable.  Do not want to antagonise others  Do not want to jeopardise relationships/friendships  Worried the family may be broken up  Worried that the children are put into care  May think the problem may go away  Do not know who to tell  Reluctance to share information – lack of understanding on requirements to share information  Think that official agencies will do not do anything with the information  Fear.  Nothing to do with me Our responsibility is to ensure the child is the most important person and our duty is to safeguarding children. 17

18  All staff and volunteers who have access to and supervise children are ◦ Interviewed to ensure they are suitable for the role ◦ Have to make a declaration stating that there is no reason why they would be unsuitable to work with young people, and declaring any past criminal convictions or cases pending against them. ◦ Have training on recognising child protection concerns and how to report concerns ◦ Have a successful Garda vetting check completed ◦ Have provided acceptable references ◦ Can prove their identify – e.g. Passport, driving licence ◦ Commit to the responsibilities/actions of the safeguarding children approach in Mooncoin Parish 18

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