Safeguarding

Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm

Saint John of God Community Services clg provides services and supports to children,  0 – 18 years of age with a mild, moderate & severe to profound intellectual disability and children and adolescents with mental ill health. Services provided to children include, Early Intervention, Education, Respite and Outpatient Services. Saint John of God Community Services clg provides services and supports to children and adolescents with intellectual disability at Dublin South East Services, Liffey Services, Kerry Services and North East Services. Services and supports are provided to children and adolescents with mental ill health at Saint John of God Community Mental Health Services, Lucena Clinics.

The Board of Community Services acknowledges that all children have the right to be safe and to live a life free from harm. The welfare of children is of paramount importance and all children have the right to be protected. Reporting of child protection and welfare concerns in relation to children is mandatory. Staff and services are supported and equipped to prevent harm to children through its practices and procedures. Risk assessment will mitigate the potential risk and where harm occurs immediate intervention will address the situation and prevent it from escalating.

Designated Liaison Person and Deputy Designated Liaison Persons, appropriately trained are appointed in each Regional Services as a resource to Staff and Volunteers who may have a child protection concern and who liaises with and reports to statutory agencies.

The name and contact details of Designated Liaison Person and Deputy Designated Liaison Persons are prominently displayed in each service.
The Board of Community Services and its Services will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is a of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations
  • recognise that the safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children
  • 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
  • acknowledge that children have a right to be heard, listened to and taken seriously. Taking account of their age and understanding, they should be consulted and involved in all mattes and decisions that may affect their lives
  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education and support of their children and
  • acknowledge that Child protection is a multiagency, multidisciplinary activity. Agencies and professionals must work together in the interests of children
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

Risk Assessment

We have carried out a risk assessment to identify any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services.  Below are a list of the areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.

1

Risk Identified

Saint John Of God Community Services clg recognises that it has a range of people involved in the provision of services which include Staff Members, Volunteers, Contractors, Members of Religious Congregations and Service Users,   and therefore  who could theoretically pose a risk of harm to children.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg have in place Human Resource Policies and Procedures which include requirements in relation to Garda Vetting, Recruitment, Supervision, Training, Education and Induction. Saint John of God Community Services clg have Programme Polices in place which relate to Risk Management & Assessment, Person Directed Planning and Intimate Care Policy.

The completion of this risk assessment process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg policies and procedures require review to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Children Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017. Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure implementation.

2

Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg recognise that they have policies & procedures in place for the reporting of allegations of abuse in line with Children First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017.  However they also recognise  that theoretically  there may be a Risk of Harm to children when  allegations are not reported or responded to appropriately as per the National guidance and organisational policy and procedures.

Retrospective Disclosures will be reported in the same manner to TUSLA if they meet the threshold for harm.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg ensures that all staff and Volunteers working with Children complete education relating to Children First Legislation Act 2015 and National Guidance 2017.

Safeguarding is included as part of Induction for all newly appointed staff and Volunteers. This training outlines the role and responsibility to report all allegations and Child Protection concerns.

Saint John of God Community Services clg have Designated Liasion Person’s & Deputy Designated Liasion Person’s in place who are trained within each region.

The completion of this Risk Assessment Process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg polices and procedures require review to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Children’s First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017. Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure implementation.

3

Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg acknowledge that while they have a range of policies and procedures in place to safeguard children, a risk of assault may theoretically be present due to staff and or volunteers not implementing polices in line with best practice which may result in the use of inappropriate practices for example; restrictive practices, or inappropriate administration of medication or procedures to manage absconsion in Saint John of God Community Services.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg have a range of policies and procedures to inform best practice across Children Services to include; Risk Management Policy and Assessment, Person Directed Planning, Person Directed Medication Management, Positive Behavior Supports, Restriction Reduction and Intimate Care. Local Procedures are in place relating to Absconsion. Saint John of God Community Services clg have the following Human Resource policies in place; Supervision Policy, Performance Management Policy, Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Staff underpinned by Trust In Care, HSE 2005 Policy and Grievance and Disciplinary Policy.

The completion of this Risk Assessment Process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg polices and procedures require review to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Children’s First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017. Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure.

4

Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg recognise that on occasion the services may engage or make a referral to an external agency, partners or sub contractors for the purpose of providing a service to a child whom is deemed to be in the care of Saint John of God Community Services and therefore, theoretically this may cause harm to the child should the external provider not be compliant with Children First Legislation Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg have a Supports Policy, Risk Management Policy, Person Directed Planning Guidelines and procedures in place to ensure appropriate referral and transitioning of children to external agencies.

The completion of the Risk Assessment Process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg policies and procedures require review to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Children’s First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017. Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure.

5

Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg recognise that they provide services in many locations both within the community and in campus based services which is co-located with Saint John of God Community Services, adult services. Given this, it recognizes that a risk of harm to a child may theoretically arise where a member of the public or individuals utilising the non children campus based settings have access to a child who is unsupervised.

SJOGCS also recognise the potential risk of harm or abuse to a child who is visiting a Service and is a not a Service User.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg have in place a range of polices to safeguard children both within and external to their service location. These include individual risk assessments & management, supervision policies and procedures and policies relating to absconsion. All staff are educated on Children First Act 2015 and Guidance Document 2017 and organizational Child Protection and welfare policies and procedures. Services supporting children have visitor sign in and out books.

The completion of the Risk Assessment Process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg policies and procedures require review to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Children’s First Act 2015 and Children First National Guidance 2017. Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure implementation.

6

Risk Identified

SJOG CS recognize the risk of harm to individuals due to access to online inappropriate material which may include explicit or violent contents.

Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified

Saint John of God Community Services clg have in place a range of polices to safeguard children within Service locations. These include individual risk assessments & management, supervision policies and procedures, Trust In Care Policy and policies relating to ICT usage. All staff have Contracts of employment which sets out their requirement to comply with appropriate behavior and codes of practice. All Staff are educated on Children First Act 2015 and Guidance Document 2017 and organizational Child Protection and welfare policies and procedures.

The completion of the Risk Assessment Process has identified that Saint John of God Community Services clg requires a centralized wifi prevention solution /policy to be progressed.

Monitoring is required to ensure compliance with policy and procedure implementation.

Risk Assessment Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children’s First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice.  In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:

A. Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct
against Workers/Volunteers of a child availing of our service

B. Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of Workers and Volunteers to work with children

C. Procedure for the provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm

D. Procedure for the reporting of child protection and welfare concerns to Tusla

E. Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons

F. Procedure for appointing a relevant person

All procedures listed are available on request.

Implementation

We recognize that implementation is an ongoing process.   Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service.   This Child Safety Statement will be reviewed 29th March 2019 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the Statement refers.