Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre, Ennis Lane, Lissenhall, Swords, Co. Dublin
Telephone: (01) 8700050 Fax: (01) 8408248 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Protection Policy
Emmaus Retreat Centre wants to make sure that all children are protected and kept safe while they are guests at our centre.
The following guidelines are written according to: Code of Good Practice, Child Protection for the Youth Work Sector 2003; Our Children, Our Church Child Protection Policies and procedures for the Catholic Church in Ireland, 2005: Children First, National Guidelines for the protection and Welfare of Children, 1999
Codes of Behaviour between community Members, Volunteers, Employees and Young People
1. Community members, volunteers and employees should be sensitive to the possibility of becoming over involved or spending a great deal of time with any one young person. They need to be clear about the purpose and nature of the relationship with any young person e.g. whether the relationship is constructive in building up the independence and autonomy of the young person or is it being used to satisfy some need or desire for the worker.
2. Community members, volunteers and employees 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.
3. Community members, volunteers and employees should be sensitive to the risks involved in some contact sports with young people.
4. Where a community member/volunteer/employee has a concern about the nature of a particular relationship involving themselves or another employee, volunteer or young person, they should discuss it with it with a supervisor or experienced colleague. It should also be brought to the immediate attention of the Director so that appropriate action can be taken. Similarly, long term ‘helping’ or ‘support’ relationships that arise in one’s work situation should be reviewed on a regular basis.
5. It is recommended that community members/ volunteers/employees should be sensitive to the potential risk to personal safety and false allegations which may arise when they meet alone with a young person in a room. Where it is feasible they should leave the door ajar and as a minimum inform another colleague that they will be alone with the individual in question
6. Community members, volunteers and employees are not to give lifts in their cars to individual young people at any time.
7. Physical contact of a comforting and reassuring nature is a valid way of expressing concern and care for children, where such contact is acceptable to all persons concerned. Training should indicate what physical contacts are inappropriate and enable community members, volunteers and employees to become aware of actions that might be misunderstood and situations which might render them vulnerable. Community members, volunteers or employees must NEVER physically punish or be in any way verbally abusive to a young person.
8. Any allegations that a child makes must be properly recorded on a disclosure form. The report must be written and clearly detail the concerns of the incident; including a note of what was said, what happened, when and where it occurred, who was present and any action taken. The Director as the designated person must then inform the statutory organizations of An Garda Siochana and the HSE of allegations or suspicions of child abuse.
Under NO circumstances should an employee have ANY contact with any child that they have met through their work at Emmaus outside of the designated retreat or leadership time at the centre. This contact should not be made face to face or via electronic means such as email, internet or social media. Should a child attempt to make contact with a community member, volunteer or employee The Director should be notified IMMEDIATELY so that the school principal can be notified.
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