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Connemara Creative Art Centre Child Safeguarding Policy

Child Safeguarding Policy

Child Safeguarding Policy

We at Connemara Creative Arts Centre are committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children and young people. We undertake to provide a safe environment and experience where the welfare of the child/young person is paramount. We will adhere to the recommendations of Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. This policy is informed by the Children First Act 2015.


Our board members will review our Child Safeguarding Policy annually during our AGM.



In devising our Child Safeguarding Policy, we have implemented procedures covering the following: 

- Code of behaviour for all staff

- Our reporting of suspected or disclosed abuse 

- Confidentiality

- Recruitment and staff selection

- Managing and supervising staff

- Involvement of primary carers

- Allegations of misconduct or abuse by staff

- Complaints and comments

- Incidents and accidents

Information including the following is included in our policy.

- Child Safeguarding Statement 

- Definitions of Abuse

- Tusla – Child and Family Agency contact details for the Galway area 

- Prompt Sheets for those working with children relating to Accident/Injury/Illness, Disclosure of Abuse and Group Contract 

- Anti-Bullying Policy


Code of Behaviour (Staff)

Child-centred approach

• Treat all children and young people equally

• Listen to and respect children and young people

• Involve children and young people in decision-making, as appropriate

• Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability)

• Use appropriate language (physical and verbal)

• Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere

• Offer constructive criticism when needed

• Treat all children and young people as individuals

• Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space

• Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children and young people and their primary carers

• Agree on the group ‘contract’ before beginning the session

• Encourage feedback from the group

• Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials

• Lead by example

• Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities, e.g., school or exams

• Be cognisant of a child’s or young person’s limitations due to a medical condition, for example

• Create an atmosphere of trust

• Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation


Good Practice

• Register each child/young person (name, phone, special requirements, attendance, emergency contact)

• Make primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators aware of the Child Safeguarding Policy and procedures

• Have emergency procedures in place and make all staff aware of these procedures

• Be inclusive of children and young people with special needs

• Plan and be sufficiently prepared, both mentally and physically

• Report any concerns to the Designated Liaison Person and follow reporting procedures

• Encourage children and young people to report bullying, concerns or worries and be aware of our anti-bullying policy

• Observe appropriate dress and behaviour

• Evaluate work practices regularly

• Provide appropriate training for staff and volunteers

• Report and record any incidents and accidents

• Update and review policies and procedures regularly

• Keep primary carers informed of any issues that concern their children

• Ensure proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age, abilities and activities involved

• Don’t be passive about concerns, i.e., don’t do anything

• Don’t let a problem get out of control

• Avoid taking a session on your own. If this is not possible, then it should be in an open environment with the full knowledge and consent of primary carers

• Avoid, if at all possible, giving a lift to a child/young person, and if you do, then make sure that primary carers are informed

• Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think something you said may have caused offence or upset, address it sensitively. 

• Ensure clear communication between staff who interact with children and Engage Art Studios

• Have a written agreement with any external organisation that is working with  children through Connemara Creative Arts Centre to state that they have read and agree to adhere to our Child Protection Policy


Inappropriate Behaviour

• Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people

• Don’t use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language

• Don’t single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism, ridicule, or unwelcome focus or attention

• Don’t allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form

• Don’t hit or physically chastise children/young people

• Don’t socialise inappropriately with children/young people, e.g., outside of structured organisational activities


Physical Contact

• Seek consent of child/young person concerning physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation)

• Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch

• Check with children/young people about their comfort level when doing touch exercises. 


Health and Safety

• Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised; 

• Manage any dangerous materials; 

• Provide a safe environment; 

• Be aware of accident procedures and follow them accordingly.



Reporting Procedure

The company contact about issues related to child safeguarding and welfare is decided at AGM (person name) has been designated as the person to contact if you have an issue or concern about any aspect of a child’s or young person’s safety and welfare. It is the responsibility of (person name) to support and advise staff about child safeguarding policies and procedures and ensure that procedures are followed. It is also the responsibility of (person name) to liaise with the TUSLA or Gardaí where appropriate.

(person name) can be contacted at or



Confidentiality Statement

We at Connemara Creative Arts Centre are committed to ensuring people’s rights to confidentiality. Concerning child safeguarding and welfare, we undertake that: 

• Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know basis to safeguard the child/young person

• Giving such information to others for the safeguarding of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality; In other words, we cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child or young person are at risk

• Primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if personal information is being shared and/or a report is being made to TUSLA unless doing so  could put the child/young person at further risk

• Images of a child/young person will not be used for any reason without the consent of the parent/carer (however, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be used by members of the public at public performances)

• Procedures will also be put in place for the recording and storing of information in line with our confidentiality policy

• A Photographic/ Media Consent Form for Children will be available for parents' or guardians signature.


Recruitment and selection policy statement 

We will ensure that staff are carefully selected and supervised to provide a safe environment for all children and young people by observing the following principles: 

• Roles and responsibilities will be clearly defined for every job (paid or voluntary)

• We will endeavour to select the most suitably qualified personnel

• Candidates will be asked to sign a declaration form;

• At least two references that are recent, relevant, independent and verbally confirmed will be necessary

• No person who would be deemed to constitute a ‘risk’ will be employed; Some of 

the exclusions include the following:

- any child-related convictions

- refusal to sign the declaration form

- insufficient documentary evidence of identification

- concealing information on one’s suitability to work with children

• In cases of long-term employment, there will be a relevant probationary period

• All staff will be required to consent to Garda Vetting, and where available, this will be sought.

• The Board of Management of Connemara Creative Arts Centre will appoint the relevant person as per the Children First Act 2015.



Policy statement on the involvement of primary carers


We are committed to being open with all primary carers. 

We undertake to: 

• Advise primary carers of our child safeguarding policy

• Inform participating primary carers and schools of event content, including all activities and potential activities

• Comply with health and safety practices

• Operate child-centred policies following best practice

• Adhere to our recruitment guidelines

• Ensure as far as possible that the activities are age-appropriate

• Encourage and facilitate the involvement of parent(s), carer(s) or responsible adult(s), where appropriate. 

If we have concerns about the welfare of the child/young person, we will: 

• Respond to the needs of the child or young person

• Inform the primary carers on an ongoing basis unless this action puts the child or young person at further risk

• Where there are child safeguarding and welfare concerns, we are obliged to pass these on to the Duty Social Worker and, in an emergency, the Gardaí

• In the event of a complaint against a staff member, we will immediately ensure the safety of the child/young person and inform primary carers as appropriate. 

As a child-centred organisation, we are committed to putting the interest of the child/young person first.


To that end, we will: 

• Contact local TUSLA and Gardaí where there is a child protection welfare concern

• Encourage primary carers to work in partnership with us under the guidelines set out by our organisation to ensure the safety of their children

• Have a designated contact person available for consultation with primary carers in the case of any concern over a child or young person’s welfare

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