Diocesan Child Protection Policy Statement
The Archdiocese of Armagh recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of all children and is committed to ensuring their safety and well being. The Archdiocese values and encourages the participation of children and young people in all parish liturgies and in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
Above all the Archdiocese recognises the need to protect childrenand young people and aims to do this in a way that promotes their human dignity, integrity and worth as children of God.
The Archdiocese of Armagh recognises that while child protection is everyone’s responsibility, all involved in working with young people have a special duty of care towards them. The Archdiocese has committed itself to engaging in a process towards putting procedures in place through which this care is put into effect.
The Archdiocese of Armagh:
· Values and encourages the active participation of children and young people in the life of the Church in ways that enhance their physical, emotional and spiritual growth within the safe, secure and welcoming environment of their Faith community. Each person should feel valued, encouraged and affirmed.
· Recognises and upholds the fundamental right of the individual child and young person to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected. The rights are embedded both in our Gospel values and civil legislation.
· Acknowledges and reaffirms its commitment to the care and protection of children and young people as ‘children of God’, with intrinsic dignity and worth.
· Believes that Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility,but accepts that all those working with children and young people in Church ministries have a special duty of care towards them.
· Is committed to ‘best practice’ in the area of Child Protection, including:
v The Development of effective structures for safeguarding children and young people.
v Responding to suspicions or allegations of child abuse, which includes cooperating with the relevant civil authorities.
v Providing pastoral support and training for all Church personnel.
· Is engaging in a process of working towards a set of policies and procedures for those who have responsibility for the protection of children and young people in the life of the Church.
· Is willing to listen to children and young people and involve them, where appropriate in decision-making.
· Promotes an ethos and approach which at all times gives paramount consideration to the welfare of the child and young person.
· Undertakes to inform parents/guardians/primary carers of our Child protection Policy.
· In the event of a concern about the welfare of a child or young person we will:
v Respond to the needs of the child.
v Inform the primary carers unless the action puts the child at further risk.
v If there are child protection concerns the Archdiocese is obliged to pass these on to the designated person and / or duty social worker.
v In the event of a complaint against a member of staff we will immediately ensure the safety of the child and inform the parent/guardians/primary carers as appropriate.
Diocesan Child Protection Basic Procedures
In order to support the Diocesan Policy it is necessary that the following procedures are implemented:
A clearly defined process for the recruitment and supervision of adults working with children and young people, which will include:
· Volunteer/employment application forms, to include Access NI/Garda Vetting Forms.
· Declaration forms for all adult leaders.
· Induction and training records.
· Attendance records.
· Applicants will provide proof of identification i.e. photo ID.
A duty roster of adults to ensure adequate supervision of children and young people at all times.
Appropriate supervision ratios of adults to children and young people, while maintaining the practice that no child or young person is left alone with an adult.
In our duty of care and protection for children and young people best practice will include the following procedures and record keeping.
v Record of activities and participants.
v A clearly communicated Accident and Emergency Plan
v Medical information and treatment permission as appropriate of all children and young people.
v Signed parental/guardian consent for each child and young person.
v Participant forms.
v Incident/Accident report forms.
v Attendance records.
v Contact information for parents/guardians.
v Named group leader/designated person who can be contacted in relation to any query about good practice procedures.
v A code of conduct for all adults, children and young people.
v For away trips and pilgrimages, the above procedures must be followed, and in addition, a pre-check on accommodation and transport arrangements must be made.
There will be a procedure in place to review policy on an annual basis.