Child Protection Policy

The Activ8 Management Team recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of Camp life and must be reflected in all of the Camp’s policies, practices and activities.

  • The Activ8 Management Team has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy.
  • The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Pauric Bolton.(or Manager of individual Camp)
  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Shaun Conaghan. (or designated Leader from individual camp)
  • In its policies, practices and activities, Activ8 Camps will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

The Camp will

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect; Included within this children will never be dealt with on a one to one basis.
  • Develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the camps at any given opportunity.
  • Fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

Policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection:

Prevention

  • Prevention: Each morning the manager will address the children to remind them of the Camp Rules. The following policies will be followed and adhered to by staff at all times to minimise the potential risk to children within our care.
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Health and Safety Statement

Procedures

All staff in this Camp will follow the recommendations for reporting concerns or disclosures as outlined in Department of Education and Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools

Staff are provided with copies of the Department of Education and Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools.

Practice

The staff and Management Team of this Camp have identified the following as areas of specific concern in relation to child protection. Following discussion and consultation the Activ8 staff and Management Team have agreed that the following practices be adopted:

Physical contact between Camp personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult.

While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child the following should be factors in determining its appropriateness:
•   It is acceptable to the child
•   It is open and not secretive
•   The age and developmental stage of the child

Camp personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.
Camp personnel should never engage in or allow:

  • The use of inappropriate language or behaviours; physical punishment of any kind; sexually provocative games or suggestive comments about or to a child; the use of sexually explicit or pornagraphic material.
  • All media products should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability.

Visitors / Guest Facilitators;

Visitors / Guest facilitators should never be left alone with pupils. The Camp Management have a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest facilitator and to ensure that the material in use is appropriate and that they are fully vetted by Gardaí.

Children with specific toileting/intimate care needs;

In all situations where children need assistance with toileting/intimate care a meeting will be convened between Camp Management and parents. The purpose of the meeting will be to ascertain the specific needs of the child and to determine how the Camp can best meet those needs.

The staff to be involved in this care will be identified and provision will be made for occasions when the particular staff involved are absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept by the manager.
Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care/toileting needs. Any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.

Toileting accidents

New underwear and suitable clothing will be kept in the Camp so that if a pupil has an ‘accident’ of this nature they will in the first instance be offered fresh clothing into which they can change.

If the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parents/guardians cannot be contacted the child will be assisted by members of staff familiar to the child. In all such situations two members of staff should be present.

A record of all such incidents will be kept by the manager and parents will be notified.

Accidents

While every precaution will be taken under our Health and Safety Statement to ensure the safety of children, we realise that accidents will happen. Accidents will be noted in our Incident book and will be addressed under our accident policy as part of Health and Safety.

One to one

Children will not be taken for activities on a one to one basis at Activ8 Camp.

Changing for Trips/Swimming

Children will be expected to dress and undress themselves for Trips/ Swimming. Where assistance is needed this will be done in the communal area. Under no circumstances will members of staff/ volunteers be expected to or allowed to dress/undress a child in a cubicle/private area. In such situations where privacy is required the parents/guardians of the child will be asked to assist the child.

At all times there must be adequate supervision of pupils.

Behaviour

Children are encouraged at all times to play co-operatively and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under our Code of Behaviour. If an incident occurs which we consider to be of a sexualised nature we will notify the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.

Bullying

Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive then the matter will be referred to the DLP (Manager).

Children travelling in staff cars

Members of the staff will not carry children alone in their cars at any time.

Induction of Staff

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new staff of the Child Protection Policy and Procedures in the Camp. All staff members will be fully briefed on the same at the Staff Training Day which will take place before Camp starts each year.

Visibility

Leaders will ensure that children are visible in the playground. Children will not be allowed to spend time in rooms or toilets where they would not be under adult supervision. They are not to leave the Camp grounds or to engage with adults who are outside of the Camp grounds.

The Management Team has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.

  • This policy has been made available to staff personnel and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available on the Camp website also.
  • This policy will be reviewed by the Management Team annually.