Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour for working with children/young people
- The Hombu Dojo 3
- the Hombu Dojo's commitment to child protection 4
- Promoting Good Practice in our Work with Children and Young People 5
- Recruitment, Training, Supervision and Support 8
- Keeping Parents and Guardians informed 10
- Procedures for Travel involving Children/Young People 11
- Activities involving Overnight Stays Away from Home 12
- Working in Partnership with Other Agencies 14
- Dealing with Challenging or Disruptive Behaviour 15
- Bullying 16
- Dealing with a Disclosure of Abuse 17
- Role of the Child Liaison Officer 18
- Reporting Procedure in respect of Child Abuse 19
- Action to be taken when an Allegation is made against a Staff Member 21
- Complaints Procedure in relation to Child Safety and Protection 23
- Record Keeping 24
- List of Appendices 25
Appendix 1: Parental/Guardian consent form 26
Appendix 2: Standard form for reporting child protection and/or
welfare concerns to the Health Service Executive 28
Appendix 3: Acceptance of Hombu Dojo Child Protection Policy 33
Appendix 4: Inter organisational form stating that Garda
vetting has been obtained 34
Appendix 5: Incident/accident report form 35
Appendix 6: Reference Form 37
Appendix 7: Recognising child abuse (Children First guidelines) 39
Appendix 8: Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 41
Appendix 9: Hombu Dojo Anti Bullying Policy when working with
children/young people 42
Appendix 10: Hombu Dojo Complaints Procedure in relation to working with children/young people 45
- The Hombu Dojo
Hombu Dojo Karate Ltd is a family-owned private limited company providing the best of Japanese Karate training in Ireland to over 450 students.
It is run by two Directors, Mr Scott Langley and Mrs Victoria Hockings. Mr Scott Langley is also the Chief Instructor and manages the organisation on a daily basis. Scott Langley is one of the youngest people ever to win the World Championships and has over 30 years
experience practising and teaching karate. Scott spent 5 years studying at the Japan Karate Shotorenmei World Headquarters in Tokyo and graduated from the infamous Instructors’ Course, one of only 5 foreigners to do so in its 55 year history.
We are committed to provide high standards of training and all the instructors have been carefully selected to upheld these standards.
A large amounts of our students are children and young people under the age of 18. As an organisation, we are fully committed to providing a safe place for children to learn our martial art and to operating in accordance with the current national policies and guidelines: the revised Children's First Guidelines and Our Duty to Care. We also have taken cognisance of the Code of Ethics and good practice for children's sport as well as other organisation's child protection policy.
Children First revised Guidelines (2011) state that 'All organisations (public, for profit etc) involved with children have an obligation to provide them with the highest possible standard of care in order to promote their well-being and safeguard them from abuse.. Organisations may also be legally responsible for their failure to provide adequate care and safeguards for children in their care. All statutory, voluntary and community organisations working with and in direct contact with children should have procedures and guidelines derived from and consistent with the current Children First: National Guidance for their staff and volunteers. The content of such local guidelines should not be at variance with the national guidance, but there may be particular specificity or elaboration appropriate to local circumstances.'
As a contact sport, we have adapted the national guidelines to make them relevant to the practice of our sport. We have therefore asked the HSE Children First Information and Advice Officers to review our policy. Their response was that we are fully compliant with all current legislation.
a child(ren)/ young person: any person under the age of 18.
staff: any person employed or contracted by the hombu Dojo
2. THE HOMBU DOJO S COMMITMENT TO CHILD PROTECTION
We at the Hombu Dojo are committed to good practice which protects children from harm in line with the revised children's first guidelines and Our Duty to Care. Staff and volunteers accept and recognise their responsibility to provide an environment which promotes the safety of the child at all times. To achieve this we will endeavour to;
- Develop an awareness of the issues which may lead to children being harmed.
- Create an open environment by identifying a ‘child liaison Officer/Designated person’ to whom the children can turn to if they need to talk.
- Adopt child centred and democratic teaching styles.
- Adopt child protection guidelines through codes of conduct for karateka and all adults working at the club. Adult workers include instructors and volunteers.
- Ensure careful recruitment, selection and management procedures.
- Have complaints and disciplinary procedures
- Share information about concerns with children and parents and others who need to know.
- Ensure good and safe working/playing practices
- When appropriate, be involved in training made available through the various agencies and strengthen links with these agencies.
- Keep child protection policies under regular review.
- Develop procedures relating specifically to bullying, away trips and transport.
3. PROMOTING GOOD PRACTICE IN OUR WORK WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Children and Young people play a key part in the activities of the Hombu Dojo. The range of activities which they might be involved in include the following:
- weekly training with our instructors;
- representation of the club in national and international competitions;
- participation in grading, squad training and technical seminars;
- help the instructors with training of junior grades and other activities;
- contribution to fundraising, celebration and other activities organised by the Hombu Dojo;
This involvement may take a number of different forms. In some cases, children and young people travel to the Hombu Dojo itself or to other venues where the Hombu Dojo organises training. On some occasions the children or young people may travel with staff or other parents to a different part of the country or to another country. Our guidelines cover all the activities and the differing circumstances in our work with young people.
Everybody who works with children has a duty of care to them and this is a responsibility, which must be taken seriously. These guidelines aim to provide information and promote good practice for those involved in working with children in the Hombu Dojo so that staff will be aware of what to do in situations where the safety or welfare of a child may be at risk.
2.1 Good Practice Guidelines
Safe practice is essential in our work and we have put in place the following procedures to govern our work with children and young people:
- All staff and those assisting the Hombu Dojo in our work are aware of the good practice guidelines and are familiar with the overall child protection policy of the organisation;
- Children and young people involved with our work are informed of our guidelines and procedures;
- Parents of children involved with our work are also informed of our guidelines and procedures;
- The Hombu Dojo has appointed a ‘Designated Liaison Person’ and a Club Childrens Officer to deal with any complaints or issues arising which concern the safety or welfare of any child/young person who attends any events or meetings organised by the Hombu Dojo or with Hombu Dojo staff or volunteers. This person is appropriately trained and familiar with the procedures to be followed in the event of an allegation, concern or disclosure of child abuse;
- The Hombu Dojo has put in place a complaints procedure;
- the following information/documentation is requested by the Hombu Dojo in relation to each child/young person attending training/ events /activities organised by the Hombu Dojo:
- A Parental Consent Form – particularly for events involving long distance travel or overnight stays; (see sample in Appendix1)
- Contact details for the family/guardians, including emergency contact numbers;
- All relevant medical information;
- Information relating to any special needs which the child or young person may have in terms of access, diet, language assistance, etc.;
- An appropriate ratio of adults to young people (we aim for 1 adult per 20 young people as a maximum) is put in place for each training session or event held by the Hombu Dojo. The ratio may vary depending on the particular situation, the age of the participants and their dis/ability or other special needs.
- All adults working with young people directly, including those providing overnight supervision, will have received Garda vetting.
- Staff and facilitators show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of the children and young people;
- Inappropriate behaviour/language by the children/young people will not go unchallenged;
- A system is in place for recording any incidents or accidents while the child is in the care of the Hombu Dojo(see sample form at Appendix 5);
- A clear system of registration and departure of participants is in place at all events;
- There are clear channels of communication and access to staff in the office if parents/guardians or children/young people wish to voice their concerns if there is something they are not happy about;
- The Hombu Dojo will make every effort to ensure that during training and other events, the physical surroundings will be comfortable, fully accessible and appropriate for the work being undertaken;
- Employees and volunteers should not take one young person alone in a car on journeys. Where this is unavoidable, it should be with the full consent and knowledge of the parents/guardians and a senior member of the staff in the Hombu Dojo;
- While we recognise that sometimes it is appropriate for staff to work on a one to one basis with a child or young person, staff/volunteers should not spend excessive amounts of time alone with an individual child/young person. Where an adult needs to meet with a child/young person alone, the door should be left open and another adult informed of the meeting;
- While physical contact is a valid way of comforting, reassuring and showing concerns for children, it should only take place when it is acceptable to all persons concerned. There should be no unnecessary physical contact between an adult and a young person, other than the contact necessary for the safe teaching of Karate. Although there are times when for example, placing a hand on a distressed child/young person’s shoulder to comfort him/her would be appropriate. Physical contact should only be in the safe teaching of Karate and/or in response to the needs of the child and should be appropriate to the age and the level of development of the child.
- Staff and volunteers should be sensitive to the risks involved in participating in contact sports and other activities,
- staff and volunteers should never physically punish or be in any way verbally abusive to a child nor should they ever tell jokes of a sexual nature in the presence of children.
- Staff and volunteers should be sensitive to the possibility to developing favoritism or becoming over-involved or spending a great deal of time with any one child;
- children should be encouraged to report cases of bullying or inappropriate behaviour to either a designated person or a staff/volunteer of their choice,
- The Hombu Dojo respects and promotes the principles of equality and diversity and works with all children in a culturally sensitive way within the context of the Irish constitution and law and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- RECRUITMENT, TRAINING AND SUPERVISION
Putting in place good procedures in recruitment and training practice is a central element in ensuring the safety and welfare of all adults and young people involved in the organisation.
In engaging staff (long term, short term or event based) or volunteers for the Hombu Dojo, the following procedures will be followed:
Staff of the Hombu Dojo
- A clear job description is developed outlining the responsibilities of the job and the reporting procedure;
- The applicant must supply information of previous, recent experience, particularly all experience relating to working with children/young people;
- Declaration: the applicant should be required to sign a declaration stating that there is no reason why they should be unsuitable to work with young people and declaring any past criminal convictions or cases pending against them.
- The applicant must supply the names of two referees who are relevant to the post (not family members). Referees will be contacted personally and may be asked to provide a written reference;
- Garda vetting will be sought by the Hombu Dojo;
- Every member of staff must have completed a Safeguarding One course;
- Staff will be given a copy of the Hombu Dojo Child Protection Policy and code of behaviour and will be asked to sign a document certifying that they have read it and agree to abide by its contents and that there is no reason why they would be considered unsuitable for working with children/young people (see App 3).
- Staff and volunteers from another agency/organisation
- Volunteers will be given the Hombu Dojo Child Protection policy and code of behaviour and will be asked to sign a document certifying that they have read it and agree to abide by its contents and that there is no reason why they would be considered unsuitable for working with children/young people (see Appendix 3);
- In cases of volunteers who regularly to the training of young people or to other activities of the Hombu Dojo, Garda vetting may be sought by the Hombu Dojo
All staff of the Hombu dojo (employees or contractors) will be expected to participate in relevant training from time to time. Those working directly with children/young people must have received some training on the issue of child protection.
Where young people, under 18 years, are assisting in the work of the Hombu Dojo, they will receive appropriate information on the Child Protection Policy and national child protection policy at a level suitable to their age and experience. These young people will always work in partnership with or under the supervision of an adult.
Induction training for any new staff will include training on the Hombu Dojo child protection policy.
- supervision and supports
A supervision system for workers and volunteers is in place as follows.
The volunteers and staff will be met at regular intervals by the Chief Instructor and given an opportunity to raise any questions that they may have, any problems they are experiencing, or any suggestions for change that they wish to make. It allows the Chief Instructor to assess the need for change in policies or practice, or for the provision of additional training.
A brief written record of the discussion that takes place during supervision or during performance review of workers will be kept .
For workers, the following will take place:
- an initial review: in addition to ongoing supervision, half way through the period ,a review should be conducted which should include an assessment of the workers understanding of our child protection policy;
- a review at the end of the trial period: to confirm the workers in post or to extend his/her probation period or to determine his/her services. Any decision made at this stage should not come as a surprise if regular supervision has been carried out;
- an annual review or ‘staff appraisal’: the purpose of this is to assess general performance and also to give an opportunity to review any relevant changes in the personal circumstances of workers, for example, whether they have acquired any criminal convictions or have developed any health problems.
Particular attention will be given during these reviews and supervision to the implementation of the child protection policy and code of behaviour, to development of relationships between workers and children and to any unusual incidents or activities that take place where workers may be putting themselves in vulnerable positions.
- KEEPING PARENTS AND GUARDIANS INFORMED
The Hombu Dojo will keep parents and guardians informed of all aspects of the programme that their child is involved in. It is our policy to share information relating to the programme of activities, trips away, transport to and from events, etc. with the parents/guardians. It is our practice to inform parents/guardians first in the event of a child disclosing an incident of abuse, unless this could put the child in danger.
- PROCEDURES FOR TRAVEL INVOLVING CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE
The responsibility or ‘duty of care’ remains with the parents/guardians until the time the young person is actually at the training event, competition or other activities organised by the Hombu Dojo.
If a parent wish for the child to travel to an event/competitions (outside normal training, e.g. Summer camp in Great Britain, winter camp in Japan, international competitions, etc.) without parental/guardian supervision, they have to make the necessary arrangements with other adults for the child to be adequately supervised during the event/competition. The Hombu Dojo cannot take responsibility for the supervision of the child, other than during the direct instruction of the child. Separate parental consent forms must be completed by parents/guardians for these events/competitions. If the parent/guardian does not wish/ cannot attend the event/activities with the child, the consent form should specifically state which adult is responsible for the supervision of the child for the course of the events/competition and a record must be kept of the emergency contact numbers supplied.
- ACTIVITIES INVOLVING OVERNIGHT STAYS AWAY FROM HOME
Where the activities involve staying away from home overnight a number of additional concerns need to be taken into account. In all cases of residential work with young people, the Hombu Dojo follows the guidelines below:
- Adequate and safe transport arrangements will be made;
- There will be adequate insurance cover for the activities being undertaken in the Dojo;
- Parent/guardian consent will be obtained for each participant, prior to the trip, including information on each participant about the following:
- Contact details of parent/guardian and another person named by the parent/guardian in the event of the parent/guardian not being available in an emergency
- if the parent/guardian is not travelling with the child, name of the adult who is going to be responsible for the supervision of the child during the trip
- All relevant medical information for the participant and consent for medical intervention, if necessary
- Any special needs which the participant may have, including diet, medical needs, support needs, etc;
- All relevant information including contact details, allergies, medicines, dietary needs etc. for the child or young person will be kept with an instructor/staff member on the trip.
- Parents/guardians will be fully informed of the programme or timetable for the event and will receive a copy of the programme;
- Parents will be given full contact details of the centre/hotel/accommodation and also of the staff member in charge of the event;
- The Hombu Dojo will ensure that the physical surroundings are safe, comfortable, accessible and appropriate for the work being undertaken;
- There will be an appropriate ratio of adults to young people at the event – this may vary depending on the age and ability of the group involved;
- Accommodation will be provided in single sex rooms, and dormitories will not be shared with non-group members;
- Garda vetting will be sought for all staff and volunteers of the Hombu Dojo who work on a residential event with young people;
- The Hombu Dojo have a system in place for recording any accidents or incidents while in the care of the Hombu Dojo (see incident report form);
- One staff person will be designated as the ‘key contact person’ for the event and parents/guardians and participants will be given contact details of this person. All complaints, concerns, etc should be directed to this person (with the exception of complaints in relation to the safety and welfare of the children/young people).
- Parents/guardians will also be given the contact details of the Hombu Dojo Designated Liaison Person and Childrens Officer. Complaints in relation to the safety and welfare of the children/young people should be made to the Designated Liaison Person in the Hombu Dojo).
Code of behaviour for events
- All staff/leaders will show respect and understanding for the children/young people involved;
- Inappropriate behaviour/language will not go unchallenged;
- the Hombu Dojo's rules as highlighted in the beginners handbook will be respected by all;
- The privacy of the participants will be respected at all times and particularly in dormitories, changing rooms, showers and toilets;
- Participants should be encouraged to report to a staff member any cases of bullying and the staff member in charge must be made aware of this;
- Staff/volunteers should avoid showing favouritism towards any one participant and should ensure that the relationship is constructive and aims to build the independence and autonomy of the participants.
Staff working on the event will have received full briefing in the following areas:
- The work of the Hombu Dojo;
- Particular skills training appropriate to the nature of the work and the specific event taking place;
- Child protection training.
- WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER AGENCIES
In many instances the Hombu Dojo will work collaboratively with other clubs, federations and organisations in organising events with children/young people involved. There are many different forms that this work may take. However, where the event is being run in the name of the Hombu Dojo, our Child Protection guidelines will apply. The staff/volunteer recruitment practices which apply are listed in Section 4.
- DEALING WITH CHALLENGING OR DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR
Staff who deal directly with children and young people will be given guidance and support in dealing with difficult behaviour. The Hombu Dojo ensures that the safety and welfare of the children and young people is a priority and that staff will deal sensitively and professionally with any difficult issues that may arise. Where instances of challenging or disruptive behaviour occur with children/young people, a record will be kept of this where the instance requires the intervention of a worker or volunteer or where the safety and well being of others are at risk.
The Hombu dojo's rules are clearly explained to all students. In general, staff will follow the steps below when presented with challenging/difficult behaviour.
- Give the student a verbal warning explaining why the behaviour is not acceptable;
- if behaviour persists, ask the student to sit 2 minutes on the side of the dojo;
- if behaviour persists, ask the student to sit on the side for 5mn and explain that further misbehaviour will entail a week suspension;
- if the behaviour still persists, ask the student to sit on the side for the reminder of the class, fill incident form (see Appendix 5) and inform the student's parent of the 1 week suspension explaining the reasons;
- If a child who had a previous 1 week suspension engage in innappropriate behaviour again, the Hombu Dojo instructor may expel the child definitively after having given the child an opportunity to address his/her behaviour during that class by implementing step 1 to 3 again. Staff members who are present at the time, should complete the incident/accident report form (see Appendix 5). When appropriate, this report should be shared with the parents/guardian of the child(ren) concerned.
The incident reports should include:
- The programme or activity which was happening at the time;
- Date of Incident;
- A record of what happened;
- Details of who was involved;
- Details of where and when it happened;
- A record of any significant comments;
- A record of any injury to person or property;
- Details of how the situation was resolved or left.
Bullying behaviour can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological or physical which is conducted by an individual or group against others.
Examples of bullying include:
- Hitting (other than in the context of the safe practise of Karate)
The Hombu Dojo will not tolerate any bullying behaviour by children/young people or adults and will deal with any incidents immediately in partnership (if relevant) with the parents/guardians of the child(ren) concerned and if applicable, the relevant statutory agencies.
- DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE OF ABUSE
The Hombu Dojo values and encourages the full participation of children and young people in many aspects of our work and we strive to ensure that the experience of the child/young person in our work is a happy and productive one. In the event of a child/young person disclosing an incident of abuse it is essential that this is dealt with sensitively and professionally by the staff member/volunteer involved. The following are guidelines to support the worker/volunteer in this:
- React calmly;
- Listen carefully and attentively; take the young person seriously;
- Reassure the young person that they have taken the right action in talking to you;
- Do not promise to keep anything secret;
- Ask questions for clarification only. Do not ask leading questions;
- Check back with the child/young person that what you have heard is correct and understood;
- Do not express any opinions about the alleged abuser;
- Record the conversation as soon as possible, in as much detail as possible. Sign and date the record;
- Ensure that the child/young person understands the procedures which will follow;
- Pass the information to the Designated Liaison Person, do not attempt to deal with the problem alone;
- Treat the information confidentially.
- ROLE OF THE CLUB CHILDRENS OFFICER & DESIGNATED LIAISON PERSON
The Club Childrens Officer in the Hombu Dojo has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the child protection and welfare policy of the Hombu Dojo is promoted and implemented.
The role of the Club Childrens Officer involves the following duties:
- To be familiar with “Children First”, National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and “Our Duty to Care”, the principles of good practice for the protection of children & young people and to have responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the child protection and welfare policy of the Hombu Dojo;
- To receive reports of alleged/suspected or actual child abuse and act on these in accordance with the guidelines;
- To ensure that training is provided for all new and existing staff in the Hombu Dojo on the child protection policy;
- To build a working relationship with the Health Service Executive (HSE), An Garda Síochána and other agencies, as appropriate;
- To ensure that supports are put in place for the young person, employees or volunteers in cases of allegations being made;
- To keep up to date and undertake relevant training on child protection policy and practice, in order to ensure the relevance and appropriateness of the Hombu Dojo’s policy and procedures in this area;
- To review the Hombu Dojo policy and procedures on child protection on an annual basis and amend as appropriate;
- To ensure that systems are in place for recording and retaining all relevant documentation in relation to child protection issues.
Club Childrens Officer and Designated Liaison Person for the Hombu Dojo
rear of Cullenswood Park
Deputy Club Childrens Officer for the Hombu Dojo
rear of cullenwood park
087 969 3206
- REPORTING PROCEDURE IN RESPECT OF CHILD ABUSE
The reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse outlined in Children's first guidelines will be implemented.
Definition and Recognising Child Abuse
Child abuse can be categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. A child may be subjected to one or more forms of abuse at any given time. Definitions of the four types of abuse, how to recognise abuse and an explanation of “reasonable grounds for concern” are included in Appendix 7, which is based on “Children First – National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children”.
Responsibility to Report Child Abuse
Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be experiencing abuse or have been abused in the past. This is an important responsibility for staff and volunteers when working with children and young people.
The guiding principles in regard to reporting children abuse are summarised as follows:
- The safety and well-being of the child or young person must take priority
- Reports should be made without delay to the HSE
- While the basis for concern must be established as comprehensively as possible, children or parents should not be interviewed in detail about the suspected abuse.
The reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse is outlined in the following steps:
- The employee or volunteer who has received a disclosure of child abuse or who has concerns of abuse, should bring it to the attention of the Designated Liaison Person immediately.
- The Designated Liaison Person will assess and review the information that has been provided. The DLP may contact the HSE for informal advice relating to the allegation, concern or disclosure.
- After consultation with the HSE officials, the Designated Liaison Person will then take one of two options:
- Report the allegation, concern or disclosure to the HSE or
- Not make a formal report to HSE but keep a record of the concerns on file. The reasons for not reporting the allegation, concern or disclosure will be clearly recorded. The employee/volunteer who made the initial report will be informed if a formal report is not being made to the HSE and it is open to him/her to make a formal report themselves, directly to the relevant authority if they feel this is necessary.
- Where a formal report is made the HSE will then liaise with An Garda Síochána. It is likely that the HSE will want to speak to the person who first made the report to clarify facts and the circumstances of the report.
In an emergency a report should be made directly to An Garda Síochána.
In making a report on suspected or actual child abuse, the individual must ensure that the first priority is always for the safety and welfare of the young person and that no young person is ever left in an un-safe situation.
Parents/guardians of the child will be informed of the allegation, concern or disclosure unless doing so is likely to endanger the child.
Information required when making a report
The more information which is gathered and put together on the Standard Reporting Form which has been adopted by the Hombu Dojo (see Appendix 2) the easier it will be to assess an allegation, concern or disclosure of abuse. Reports, which are made anonymously, will be followed up but this may take longer and will make it more difficult for the professionals involved to assess the situation. If a person is unsure about the case, it may be useful to talk over the issue with the Designated Liaison Person or with a HSE worker before making an official report.
In matters of child abuse, an employee/volunteer should never promise to keep secret, any information which is divulged. It should be explained to the young person that this information cannot be kept secret but only those who need to know, will be told.
It is essential in reporting any case of alleged/suspected abuse that the principle of confidentiality applies. The information should only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis and the number of people that need to be informed should be kept to a minimum.
The Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998
This Act provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to the Designated Liaison Person, the HSE or An Garda Síochána [see Appendix 8 for further details]
- ACTION TO BE TAKEN WHEN AN ALLEGATION IS MADE AGAINST A STAFF MEMBER
Where an allegation of abuse is made against an employee of the Hombu Dojo, there are two procedures that the Hombu Dojo will put in place:
- The reporting procedure in respect of the child;
- The procedure for dealing with the employee.
In the case of the allegation being against an employee of the Hombu Dojo, child protection and Employment/contractual issues will be dealt with separately. The Designated Liaison Person will follow the normal reporting procedure in the Hombu Dojo. It will be the responsibility of the Chief Instructor to deal with a staff member against whom an allegation has been made.
If there is an allegation or suspicion in relation to the Chief Instructor, the Designated Liaison Person will deal with the allegation and reporting procedure in cooperation with the statutory authorities. The person and/or his parents/guardian making the allegation will also be informed of their right to report the incident to the local social work office or the gardai directly.
If an allegation is made against an employee or volunteer of the Hombu Dojo the following steps will be taken:
- The Hombu Dojo will deal with all aspects of the case relating to the employee.
- The allegation will be assessed by the Designated Liaison Person to establish if there are reasonable grounds for concern and whether a formal report will be made to the statutory authorities, at this point. The CPO may wish to contact the HSE for advice on the issue.
- The safety of the child is the first priority of the Hombu Dojo and all necessary measures will be taken to ensure that the child is safe. The measures taken will be proportionate to the level of risk.
- The Hombu Dojo will ensure that no other children/young people are at risk during this period and will inform other relevant agencies or parents/carers as appropriate.
- The measures which can be taken to ensure the safety of children and young people can include the following: suspension of duties of the person accused, re-assignment of duties where the accused will not have contact with children/young people, working under increased supervision during the period of the investigation or other measures as deemed appropriate.
- If a formal report is being made the employer will notify the employee that an allegation has been made and what the nature of the allegation is. The employee has a right to respond to this and this response should be documented and retained.
- The Hombu Dojo will ensure that the principle of ‘natural justice’ will apply, i.e. person will be given right to reply to what they are accused of and the person is considered innocent until proven otherwise.
- The Hombu Dojo will work in co-operation with An Garda Síochána and the HSE and any decisions on action to be taken in regard to the employee will be taken in consultation with these agencies.
- The person against whom the allegation is made will need support during this period and the Hombu Dojo will provide advice on how to access the relevant support services.
- A breach of the child protection policy and code of behaviour constitutes a breach of contract of employment. If, having liaised with the statutory authorities and having afforded a right to reply to the employee about the allegations made against them, the chief instructor becomes of the opinion that the Hombu Dojo's child protection policy and code of behaviour has been breached, he may decide to take any appropriate disciplinary actions, including the employee's dismissal.
In the case of an allegation being made against a volunteer within the Hombu Dojo the Designated Liaison Person will deal with the issue as outlined in the steps above.
- COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE IN RELATION TO CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION
The Hombu Dojo is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all children/young people with whom we work. The Hombu Dojo has put in place a complaints procedure (Appendix 10) to cover any situations which may arise, when children/young people or their parents/guardians are not happy with the way the children/young people were treated by the Hombu Dojo. Complaints regarding the safety and welfare of children/young people should be directed to the Designated Liaison Person in the Hombu Dojo. Other complaints should be directed to the person with whom the child/young person dealt with or to the Chief Instructor.
- RECORD KEEPING
The Designate Liaison Person and the Club Childrens Officer are responsible for keeping the following records related to Child Protection in a locked filing cabinet. The Designated Liaison Person, the Club Childrens Officer and the Hombu Dojo's other directors are the only officers who have access to these records:
- Any complaints about the safety and welfare of children/young people while working with the Hombu Dojo;
- Any disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse;
- The follow up to any complaints, disclosure, concerns or allegations, including informal advice from the HSE, reports to the HSE and informing parents/guardians;
- Any bullying complaints related to the Hombu Dojo work with children/young people and the follow up action;
- Signed acceptance forms of the Hombu Dojo Child Protection Policy by staff members (including contracted instructor) and volunteers
The administrator is responsible for keeping the following records in a locked filing cabinet. The administrator, the Designated Liaison Person and the Hombu Dojo's directors are the only officers who have access to these records:
- All Garda Vetting Forms;
- All Parental/Guardian Consent Forms.
All electronic version of the above documents will be adequately password protected and access to the electronic version is restricted to the same people as the hard copy version.
- LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix 1: Parental/Guardian consent form
Appendix 2: Standard form for reporting child protection and/or welfare concerns to a HSE
Appendix 3: Acceptance of Hombu Dojo Child Protection Policy
Appendix 4: Inter organisational form stating that Garda Vetting has been obtained
Appendix 5: Incident/accident report form
Appendix 6: Reference Form
Appendix 7: Recognising child abuse (Children First guidelines)
Appendix 8: Information on Protection of Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act
- Hombu Dojo Policies and Procedures
Appendix 9: Hombu Dojo Anti Bullying Policy when working with children/young people
Appendix 10: Hombu Dojo Complaints Procedure in relation to working with children/young people
Child Safety Officer
Susannah Lydon, Secretary 085 141 2828
If you have any concerns please get in touch or talk to your Sensei.