Contents
Policy Statement Aims & Objectives ....................................................................................................... 3
About Follow Your Dream Child Protection Policy ................................................................................. 4
Record Keeping ....................................................................................................................................... 4
Social Media ............................................................................................................................................ 5
Photographs ............................................................................................................................................ 5
Health & Safety ....................................................................................................................................... 5
Bullying .................................................................................................................................................... 5
Trips away from home & Residential Trips ............................................................................................. 6
Codes of Behaviour ................................................................................................................................. 6
Code of Behaviour for Children and Young People ............................................................................ 6
Dealing with Challenging or Disruptive Behaviour ............................................................................. 6
Code of Behaviour between Volunteers, Staff and Young People ..................................................... 6
Definitions of Child Abuse ....................................................................................................................... 8
1. Neglect ........................................................................................................................................ 8
2. Emotional Abuse ......................................................................................................................... 8
3. Physical Abuse ............................................................................................................................. 9
4. Sexual Abuse ............................................................................................................................... 9
Other Abuse ............................................................................................................................................ 9
1. Bullying ........................................................................................................................................ 9
2. Peer abuse................................................................................................................................... 9
3. Organised abuse ......................................................................................................................... 9
4. Fatal Child Abuse ....................................................................................................................... 10
5. New Technology and Abuse ...................................................................................................... 10
6. Unwelcome behaviour .............................................................................................................. 10
Recognising Child Abuse ....................................................................................................................... 10
Indicators of Abuse that require attention ........................................................................................... 10
Responsibility to Report Child Abuse .................................................................................................... 11
Procedures for Handling and Reporting a Disclosure or Suspected Abuse .......................................... 12
Handling the Disclosure .................................................................................................................... 12
Reporting Procedures ........................................................................................................................... 13
Standard reporting procedure .............................................................................................................. 13
Storage and Retention of Information .................................................................................................. 14
Dealing with Allegations against Staffs, volunteers or other members of Follow Your Dream ........... 14
Procedure where a complaint or allegation is made against a Staff Member ................................. 14
Procedure where an Allegation is made against a Volunteer .......................................................... 15
Procedure to be followed where an allegation is made against another young person ...................... 15
Confidentiality and the Exchange of Information ................................................................................. 15

 

Policy Statement Aims & Objectives
Follow Your Dream is committed to the safe guarding and well-being of children.
To ensure this we have a code of good practice and a child protection policy. Follow Your Dream also adheres to good practice recruitment and selection procedures for our staff/volunteers. We in Follow Your Dream are committed to the safety and welfare of the young people and those who work with them. Staff and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise the responsibilities to develop awareness of the practices which cause children harm. We strive to provide a Service which is welcoming, safe, acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of young people and empowers them to reach their potential. Follow Your Dream will endeavour to safeguard young people by following the procedures outlined in this policy
The welfare of the child is Paramount. Our aim is to protect the young people in our care from any harm. This is carried out by ensuring the following policy is adhered to by all in FYD.
• Insuring all staff/volunteers and members (including parents)are aware of the policy & procedures
• Having in place a designated person to deal with matters concerning child protection
• Good recruitment and selection procedures for our staff/volunteers.
• Ensuring all staff/volunteers undertake Child Protection Training (This training will be provided by Crosscare)
• Having procedures in place for reporting disclosures, allegations, suspicions and awareness of all forms of abuse to the authorities

About Follow Your Dream Child Protection Policy
Our Policy is in line with Children First Guidelines. We are affiliated to Crosscare & so have taken into account their policy & procedures in developing our policy. This Child Protection Policy was designed in conjunction with the FYD Committee/volunteers/Young People & designated Liaison Person. This policy is only for use of FYD & therefore only applicable to Activities/Events run directly by FYD (for example, a fundraising activity or a night of bowling/trips away with FYD). Because FYD only provides part financial assistance for the Childs/Young Persons activity which is not part of FYD (they are separate Organisations) Parents/Guardians & young people involved in FYD are made aware that they must abide by the Child Protection Policy & all other Policies of the Organisation that the young Person is involved (For Example their sports club policies on Child Protection, Health & safety Bullying etc). All reports/complaints & health & Safety issues while attending another Organisation (the Childs/Young Persons Activity) should be made directly to that Organisation. Therefore it is the parents/guardians responsibility to insure that the Organisation their child attends is covered by insurance, staff & volunteers are Garda vetted, that Child Protection Policies & Health & safety Policies are in place. If a parent feels their concerns are not being listened to they can liaise with FYD. FYD will seek/ask for the following information by way of form to be completed & returned by Organisations young people are attending to ensure the they are complying with Child Protection policies & procedures, Health & Safety Policies & that All staff & volunteers are Garda vetted. (Appendix 1)
Record Keeping
• An accurate record should be kept for each child and young person participating in activities, including, but not limited to, attendance, programme/event details and medical information. This record should include a copy of the consent form or letter signed by the parent or guardian. It should also contain details of emergency contact numbers. (Appendix 2a-d) (Appendix 13a-d)
• An Indemnity Form Must be Completed By Parents/Guardians of members of FYD. (Appendix 3)
• An Incident Report form should be completed in the event of an incident relating to a young person (for example theft of an Item). (Appendix 4)
• An Accident Report Form Should be Completed in the event of an accident relating to an accident (For example a slip, trip or fall). (Appendix 5)
• These records are kept up to date. Each year a new consent form is filled in with all the details provided by parents/guardians
• Each time FYD carries out an event Parents/Guardians & Young People are informed & asked to provide contact details if they have changed.
• Each Trip/Event should have a list of contact details for the young persons parents/guardians medical information & if a Parent/Guardian has given permission for their Child to go home unaccompanied the last column on Appendix 6 should be filled in (name of who gave permission). (Appendix 6)
• Records/List of FYD members will be kept & the organisation/Activity group they are attending – plus relevant contact details of the organisations. (Appendix 7)
• Complaints made against FYD – will be dealt with at board level. If someone wishes to make a complaint they will be provided with a complaint form & return to the person who gave it to them. (Appendix 8)
Social Media
• Follow Your Dream has a website to promote the work carried out by the Organisation. From time to time photographs of events organised by Follow Your Dream will be displayed on the website. Follow Your Dream will only use photographs of young people that parents/guardians have given written permission to do so. (Appendix 1)
• Follow Your Dream has an official Facebook page. Young people over 13 may ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the Facebook page only, i.e. they may not join the group. Again photographs may be used of young people from time to time & Parental Consent for this and for the Young Person to like or follow the Facebook page must be signed by parents/guardians (young people must be 13 and over). It will be used to promote activities, provide information & keep the young people involved in Follow Your Dream updated.
• There will be one person responsible for monitoring the Website & One for the Facebook Page. Therefore, any comments that are deemed in appropriate will be removed & the individuals spoken to. They may be removed from the Facebook Group & their parents informed. Follow Your Dream takes all bullying very seriously.
Photographs
• On occasions where photographs are taken of members of Follow Your Dream – for use on The Website/Facebook Page. They are to be taken on the Follow Your Dream camera. No Personal phones/Cameras should be used by Follow Your Dream staff/volunteers. Photos for the Archives will be Stored on a secure system such as a hard drive.
• Consent is obtained from parents and guardians regarding the taking of photographs, the making of video recordings and the generation of computer images of children and young people involved in Follow Your Dream, activities or events.
Health & Safety
• Follow Your Dream has a Health and Safety policy, which is updated regularly.
Bullying
• FYD has a zero tolerance Policy when it comes to Bullying. All incidents of bullying will be dealt with by the organisation & when necessary a meeting involving both the Bully & victim will take place to resolve the issue. If the bullying persists it will be dealt with by a Sub Group of the Committee to deal with each incident as it arises & is deemed necessary.

Trips away from home & Residential Trips
Although FYD currently does not take young people on Residentials the following has been included for future reference. When taking young people away on trips, volunteers/workers should always be attentive to such matters as:
• Safety – activities, buildings, transport etc
• Up to date details for young people/parents/guardians
• Insurance cover should be adequate to cover all aspects of the trip
• Parental consent – written consent should be obtained from parents/guardians before taking young people under 18 away on trips
• Medical concerns – Medical information which might be relevant, e.g. allergies, etc should be made known to workers prior to leaving on a trip
• Sleeping arrangements – sleeping areas for males and females will be in separate quarters and supervised by two workers of the same sex as the group being supervised
• Workers will be respectful of the privacy of young people in dormitories, changing rooms, showers and toilets. When present in such areas, workers should not spend time alone with young people
• Quality standards and good youth work practice will be maintained on trips away from home

 

Codes of Behaviour
Code of Behaviour for Children and Young People

Follow Your Dream has devised a Code of Behaviour for Children and Young People. A copy of the Code is given to each child/young person when they join a group and the code is also explained to their parents/guardians. (Appendix 9)
Dealing with Challenging or Disruptive Behaviour
When dealing with a disruptive individual(s), it is recommended that where possible more than one worker/volunteer be present. Instances of disruptive behaviour which require the intervention of the staff/volunteer and which put at risk the safety and well-being of others are documented on an Incident Report Form. (Appendix 3)

 

Code of Behaviour between Volunteers, Staff and Young People
All Follow Your Dream staff and volunteers must complete the Children First E-Learning programme and child protection training facilitated by Crosscare.
Good practice will contribute towards raising the standards of youth work through the creation of a healthy and safe environment within which the children and young people may mature and develop. As far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that the following guidelines are observed.
In your behaviour and by your attitude towards people, respect the rights, dignity and worth of everyone.

Take care to ensure that the buildings and/or facilities used for activities with young people are suitable, safe and secure.

 

The use of alcohol or drugs is not permitted during youth work activities.
 

All volunteers must be carefully selected and Garda Vetted. Training in Child Protection must be completed by all volunteers and staff.
 

Make sure that adequate and appropriate supervision is in place before organising youth work activities. There must a ratio of one adult to every eight young people with a minimum of two for any activity.
 

Consent Forms must be obtained from parent/guardian before organising activities for young people ensuring that medical information and dietary requirements are included. Consent must also be obtained if contacting young people via mobile phones/computers and when taking photo's/videos.
 

Keep a record of the names, addresses and contact numbers of the parents/ guardians.
 

Ensure that Follow Your Dream's organised activities are covered under the public liability insurance arrangements through Crosscare.
 

Workers should be sensitive to the risks involved in participating in some contact sports with young people and exercise particular caution in areas such as swimming pools, showers etc.
 

Workers should be sensitive to the fact that jokes of a sexual nature may be offensive to others and should never be told in the presence of children.
 

Workers should be sensitive to the possibility of becoming over involved or spending a great deal of time with any one young person, e.g. whether the relationship is constructive in building up the independence and autonomy of the young person or is being used to satisfy some need or desire of the worker.
 

Where a worker has a concern about the nature of a particular relationship involving themselves or another worker, they should discuss it with the Chairperson of FYD (who will look at it with the Sub group appointed to deal with these concerns). Similarly, long term ‘helping’ or ‘support’ relationships that arise in one’s work should also be reviewed on a regular basis.
 

Follow Your Dream has devised an anti-bullying policy which is implemented consistently. All young people and workers should report any cases of bullying behaviour to the Chairperson of FYD (who will look at it with the Sub group appointed to deal with these concerns)
 

Workers should be sensitive to the potential risk to personal safety and false allegations which could arise when they meet alone with a young person in a room. Where it is reasonable, the door should remain slightly ajar or the worker should inform another colleague that they will be alone in the room with the individual in question.

Workers should not give lifts in their cars to individual young people (unless consent from Parents – please record this – on the trip consent form or the attendance sheet & sign/date). (Appendix 6)

 

Workers should not use their personal mobile phones to contact any young person through text, email or phone call.
Physical contact of a comforting and reassuring nature is a valid way of expressing concern and care for children and young people, where such contact is acceptable to both persons concerned.

 

Workers must never physically punish or be in anyway verbally abusive to a young person.
 

Definitions of Child Abuse
Child abuse occurs when the behaviour of someone in a position of greater power than a child or young person abuses that power and causes harm to that child or young person. The common denominator of all child abuse is that it makes children and young people feel diminished or threatened, and that it causes them harm.

 

Child abuse can be categorised into four main types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. A child may be subjected to more than one form of abuse at any given time. The Children First National Guidelines have adopted the following definitions of child abuse.
1. Neglect: This type of abuse is normally described in terms of an omission or a failure to protect, where a child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, medical care, safety, supervision, intellectual stimulation or affection.
Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point. It is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs that is likely to result in significant harm.
Examples of neglect include:
Where a child suffers a series of minor injuries as a result of not being properly supervised or protected;
The consistent failure of a child to gain weight or height may indicate that they are being deprived of adequate nutrition;
Where a child consistently misses school, this may be due to bullying or deprivation of intellectual stimulation and support.
2. Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a caregiver 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. Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms.
3. Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental-injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child. Examples of physical injury may include: beatings, shaking, suffocation, deliberate poisoning and Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (where carers, often the mother, fabricate stories of illness about their child or by causing physical signs of illness).
4. Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others. Any form of sexual behaviour engaged in by an adult with a child or young person is sexual abuse, and is both immoral and criminal.

 

There may also be ‘indirect abuse’ of children, for instance, where children have been photographed, videotaped or filmed for pornographic purposes. Indirect abuse also includes the subjecting of children to gross and obscene language or indecent images. The use or possession of child pornography in any form is illegal and there is an obligation to report information concerning anyone possessing such material to on Garda Siochana.
Other Abuse
It is important to take account of a number of related issues in relation to child abuse. There are as follows:
1. Bullying: Bullying can be defined as a repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression conducted by an individual or group against others. The more extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reportable to the statutory authorities. However, dealing with bullying is normally the responsibility of the organisation in which it is taking place.
2. Peer abuse: In some cases of child abuse, the perpetrator will be a child either acting alone or sometime with other children. In such incidences, the standard child protection procedures should be followed both for the child abused and the alleged child abuser. If there is any conflict of interest between the welfare of the alleged abuser and the victim, the victim’s welfare is of paramount importance.
3. Organised abuse: Organised abuse occurs when either one person moves into an area or institution and systematically entraps children for abusive purposes (mainly sexual) or when a group of adults conspire to similarly abuse children using inducements. One of the features of organised abuse is that it occurs at the level of the ‘system’ i.e. more than one child, possibly a large number of children, are abused or are vulnerable to abuse. Another feature is that organised abuse can sometimes involve active or passive collusion of other adults involved in the care of children. Some of these adults may go on to become abusers themselves. Precisely because this form of child abuse is organised at the institutional or organisational level, it is particularly serious and needs to be reported to the statutory authorities without delay.

4. Fatal Child Abuse: This refers to the tragic circumstances where a child dies as a result of abuse or neglect. Here there are three important aspects to be considered: Criminal, child protection and bereavement aspects.
5. New Technology and Abuse: It is also important to remember that a child may be subject to any of the forms of abuse through the medium of technology, including the use of computers, e.g. internet and e-mail, and the use of mobile phones, e.g. texting.
6. Unwelcome behaviour: This can include favouritism, exclusion, sexual harassment and sexual innuendo, humiliating and embarrassing others, deprivation of basic rights and harsh disciplinary regimes.


Recognising Child Abuse
The ability to recognise child abuse depends as much on a person’s willingness to accept the possibility of its existence as it does on their knowledge and information. Workers should consider in a measured way, the possibility of child abuse if:
• A young person appears to have suffered a suspicious injury for which no reasonable explanation can be offered;
• A young person seems distressed without obvious reason or displays persistent or new behavioural problems;
• A young person shows unusual or fearful responses to an adult who is responsible for their care at any particular time.
• It is important to remember that many signs of child abuse are non-specific, and that alternative explanations for indicators should always be considered.
Indicators of Abuse that require attention
Young people will sometimes though not always disclose that they are being physically or sexually abused and are less likely to disclose emotional abuse or neglect. It is possible that workers will become concerned because of a young person’s behaviour, or because of something that is reported by another person. The following examples would constitute reasonable grounds for concern and should be reported to the Designated Liaison Person.
• Disclosures of abuse by a young person;
• Age-inappropriate or abnormal sexual play of knowledge;
• Specific injuries or patterns of injuries;
• Signs of injury for which there is no explanation, or which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in any other way;
• Absconding from home;
• Attempted suicide;
• Under-age pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection;
• Someone else (a parent, friend, co-worker) may disclose that a young person has told them they are being abused, or may have witnessed the abuse themselves
• A young person’s behaviour may raise concerns;
• A volunteer/Staff may personally witness abuse taking place;
• There may be consistent indication over a period of time, that a young person is suffering from emotional or physical neglect;
• Signs in one or more of the abuse categories at any one time.


Responsibility to Report Child Abuse
If we become concerned, have suspicions or received a disclosure in relation to child abuse, we have a duty to pass on that concern/suspicion/disclosure to the appropriate authorities, i.e. An Garda Siochana or TUSLA.


Children first clearly states that ‘any person, who suspects that a child is being abused, or is at risk of abuse, has a responsibility to report their concerns to TUSLA. It is also an important responsibility for staff and volunteers involved in sports clubs, parish activities, youth clubs another activities catering for children.’


Sometimes, people may have a concern about reporting suspected abuse without being absolutely definite that actual abuse is involved. Partially in response to this fear, The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act was enacted in 1998 and provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to designated officers of TUSLA or any member of An Garda Siochana. This means that, even if a reported suspicion of child abuse proves unfounded, a plaintiff who took an action would have to prove that the person reporting had not acted reasonably and in good faith in making the report. Giving information to appropriate persons for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality.


Furthermore, the Criminal Justice Act 2006 includes the offence of ‘reckless endangerment’ which refers to a situation whereby a person, having authority or control over a child or abuser, who intentionally or recklessly endangers a child by –
(a) Causing or permitting any child to be placed or left in a situation which creates a substantial risk to the child or being a victim of serious harm or sexual abuse, or
(b) Failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child from such while knowing that the child is in such a situation, is guilty of an offence.
The guiding principles in regard to reporting 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 to the statutory authorities. TUSLA can provide assistance and support in this regard.
• While the basis for concern should be established as fully as possible, children/young people, or their parents/carers, should not be interviewed in detail about the suspected abuse. This responsibility lies with the Civil Authorities.

Procedures for Handling and Reporting a Disclosure or Suspected Abuse
Handling the Disclosure

Youth work can provide a secure environment that enables young people to share their concerns. It is important that a young person who discloses abuse feels supported and facilitated in what may be for hem/her, a frightening and traumatic process. He or she may feel perplexed, afraid, angry, despondent and guilty. It is important that any negative feelings that the young person may have are not increased by the kind of response that the disclosure elicits. A young person who discloses abuse to a worker makes a profound act of trust and should be treated with respect, sensitivity and care. The following general guidelines should be observed. (Appendix 10)


• Remain calm
• Listen carefully and attentively; take the young person seriously;
• Reassure the child/young person that they have done the right thing in telling;
• Do not make false promises, particularly regarding secrecy. However, you can reassure the child/young person that the information will be treated as confidential and will be shared only with those who have a right to hear it;
• Do not ask the child/young person to repeat the story unnecessarily;
• Do not express any opinions about the alleged abuser;
• Ask questions only for the purpose of clarification. Be supportive, but do not ask leading questions or seek intimate details beyond those volunteered by the child.
• Check with the child/young person to ensure that what has been heard and understood by you is accurate;
• The steps that are likely to follow should be explained to the child or young person;
• Offer him/her reassurance that they have done the right thing in talking to you and tell him/her that you are willing to give help and support. Reassure the young person that your feelings towards him/her have not been affected in a negative way as a result of whats/he has disclosed.
• Record the conversation as soon as possible, in as much detail as possible. The record should be clear, factual and concise. Avoid giving personal opinions or interpretations of the facts presented. Sign and date the record. (Appendix 11).
• Once this is done you should not subsequently change the contents of the report in anyway. If you wish to amend or add information, it is best to write a separate addendum to the report which includes the new or changed information, sign and date the addendum, and finally attach it to your original report.
• Pass the information on to the designated person, who will in turn report it to the Statutory Authorities for investigation.
• Treat the information confidentially, sharing it only with persons who have a right to hear it.
• The parents/guardians of a child or young person affected by suspected or disclosed abuse should be notified as soon as possible, unless doing so places the child in danger. (The Designated Person for Follow Your Dream will consult with TUSLA as to how to do this)

Under no circumstances should any individual attempt to deal with a disclosure alone.
In the event of a worker having reported concerns about a suspected abuse incident to the Designated Liaison Person and subsequently being unhappy with the response, he/she has the right to pass on his/her concerns to the statutory authorities directly.


Reporting Procedures
Responsibility to report suspected or actual child abuse

A worker/volunteer who knows or suspects that a child/young person has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed has a duty to convey this concern to the Designated Liaison Person, who will in turn report the information to TUSLA. TUSLA will in turn notify An Garda Siochana. In an emergency, a report should be made directly to An Garda Siochana. The Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to TUSLA or an Garda Siochana.
In making any report, workers need to take the following into consideration:
• That the protection and safety of the child/young person is of paramount importance;
• Reports should be made without delay to TUSLA;
• 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 of people that need to be kept informed should be kept to a minimum.
Standard reporting procedure
If child abuse is suspected or alleged, the following steps will be taken by the Designated Liaison Person:
A report will be made to TUSLA through the online reporting portal;
Go to: https://www.tusla.ie/
Click on ‘Our Services’
Click on ‘Concerns’ highlighted in blue
Click on Mandated Persons (DLP/DDLP)
Click on ‘Report a Child Protection and Welfare Concern’ via secure web portal
The Designated Liaison Person for Crosscare will be informed that there is a child protection report being made.

In the event of an emergency or the non-availability of TUSLA staff, the report will be made to an Garda Siochana.


Storage and Retention of Information
Access to information on a reported disclosure or suspected incident should only be shared on a need to know basis. For this reason, it is important that any written information or documentation be stored in a secure and safe place.
Access to these facilities should be allowed only to those who have placed information in it or to those with a legal right to such access e.g. HSE personnel or Gardai.
Dealing with Allegations against Staffs, volunteers or other members of Follow Your Dream
There are two procedures to be followed when allegations of abuse are made against Staffs and volunteers:
The reporting procedure in respect of the child.
The procedure for dealing with the alleged abuser.
The Designated Liaison Person will have responsibility for the young person. He or she will also have responsibility for dealing with allegations made against a volunteer/staff member. The Chairperson & Sub group elected by the Board of Management to deal with staff/volunteer issues will have responsibility for dealing with allegations made against a staff/volunteer.
Procedure where a complaint or allegation is made against a Staff Member
If an allegation is made against a member of Staff, the matter should be reported to the Chairperson. Action taken in reporting an allegation against a Staff member should be based on an opinion formed reasonably and in good faith. All allegations will be assessed promptly and carefully. It will be necessary to decide whether a formal report should be made to the HSE; this decision should be based on reasonable grounds for concern. The following steps will be taken:
• The first priority will be to ensure that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk. The chairperson should as a matter of urgency take any protective measures. These measures should be proportionate to the level of risk and should not unreasonably penalise the Staff financially or otherwise, unless this action is necessary to protect children. Legal advice will be sought if necessary.
• Follow Your Dream will report all allegations made to Crosscare (Designated Liaison Person).
• If a decision is made to report the matter to TUSLA, the Designated Liaison Person will follow that standard reporting procedure in respect of the young person.
 The Chairperson will inform the Staff that an allegation has been made and explain the nature of that allegation. The Staff member will be afforded the right to respond in accordance with the grievance procedure. The response will be noted and passed on to TUSLA if a formal report is being made. The chairperson will also notify TUSLA of any other organisation working with children with which the alleged abuser is thought or known to be involved.
• The parents/guardians of the young person should be informed as soon as possible of the complaint against the Staff. Advice will be taken from the statutory authorities about how best to do this.
• The follow-up on an allegation of abuse against the Staff/volunteer will be made in consultation with TUSLA and An Garda Siochana. An immediate meeting will be arranged with these two agencies for this purpose.
• After these consultations have taken place and when pursuing the question of the future position of the Staff, the Chairperson will advise the Staff/volunteer of the situation and will follow the agreed procedures.
• Any actions undertaken in this regard will not undermine or interfere with any investigations being conducted by the Statutory authorities. Close liaison with the relevant authorities will be maintained to facilitate this co-operation.
• The Staff accused will need support pending an investigation and the relevant external services will be accessible to the Staff for this purpose. This will be sought & offered through the support of agencies.


Procedure where an Allegation is made against a Volunteer
If an allegation is made against a volunteer, the matter should be reported to the designated person who will follow the same procedure as outlined for dealing with Staffs above.
Procedure to be followed where an allegation is made against another young person
If an allegation is made against another young person, it should be considered a child protection issue for both the young people involved and child protection procedures should be adhered to for both the victim and the alleged abuser. The parents/guardians of the young people involved should be informed immediately. Advice will be taken from the statutory authorities about how best to do this. Decision regarding the future participation in Follow Your Dream of the person alleged to have committed abuse will be made at management level.


Confidentiality and the Exchange of Information
The following are key principles which should guide practice on confidentiality and exchange of information in regard to child protection and abuse issues.
• The legal principle that ‘the welfare of the child or vulnerable adolescent is paramount’ means that considerations of confidentiality should not be allowed to override the right of children/young people to be protected from harm.

• All information regarding of concerns of possible abuse should only be shared on a ‘needs to know’ basis in the interests of the child or young person. The test is whether or not the person has any legitimate involvement or role in dealing with the issue.
• Details of disclosure, suspicion and allegation should be disclosed only to those who have a right to such information, e.g. Designated Liaison Person, TUSLA, Garda Siochana.
• No undertakings regarding secrecy can be given. Workers working with children and their families should make this clear, while endeavouring to be as supportive as possible.
• Personal information concerning the family of a child/young person who is the subject of an alleged or suspected incident should be kept confidential and should only be communicated to appropriate people if this information has a bearing, directly or indirectly, on the incident.
• It must be clearly understood that information which is gathered for one purpose must not be used for another without consulting the person who provided that information.
• Any worker who is submitting a report to TUSLA or an Garda Siochana should inform a parent/guardian, unless doing so is likely to endanger the child or young person, or place the child or young person at further risk. A decision not to inform a parent/guardian should be briefly recorded together with the reasons for not doing so.
• It is not the responsibility of Follow Your Dream personnel to make enquiries of parents or guardians. This is a matter for the statutory authorities.

Follow Your Dream CLG

Bawnogue

93 Ashwood Road

Clondalkin

Dublin 22

 

 

00 353 0(1) 457 1792

Copyright 2014 Follow Your Dream CLG. Registered Charity Number 20042141. Registered Address RIchardstown, Ballyboughal,, Co. Dublin. All rights reserved.