Child Safeguarding Statement - Revised 2021
Midlands Regional Youth Service clg. Trading as Youth Work Ireland Midlands
Youth Work Ireland Midlands is a community-based youth work organisation operating an Integrated Youth Service Model providing services to young people in youth centres, community houses and facilities at the heart of the community in Counties Westmeath, Offaly and Roscommon.
1. The services we provide are as follows:
a. Youth Club Development & Volunteer Support: 18 volunteer led youth clubs work with children and young people across the region.
b. Community Youth Projects, UBU Your Place Your Space: 3 youth projects engage with the local community to identify and respond to the needs of young people in their area.
c. Youth Justice Work: 4 projects support young people to divert from crime and anti-social behaviour.
d. Youth Information Services: 1 Youth Information Service.
e. Education: Acorn Midlands Education & Training Service (AMETS) supports young people who are out of school and adult learners with access to educational programmes and is a QQI Accredited Provider.
f. One to One Support: For young people with additional needs, the organisation delivers tailored support on an individual basis where appropriate
g. Comhairle Na nÓg: Youth Work Ireland Midlands facilitates Comhairle Na nOg (Child & Youth Council) in Counties Westmeath & Roscommon and supports young people to participate in Comhairle na nOg in Co. Offaly.
2. Other Services: In addition to the services delivered directly to young people, Youth Work Ireland Midlands delivers the following services:
h. Community Employment Scheme: This scheme supports long term unemployed adults, including young adults to access supported employment, training and progression routes
i. Traveller Men’s Project: Supporting young Traveller men to participate in youth work activities and pre-employment programmes with a view to progression to education / employment.
j. Here4U: Non-judgemental listening and support service to young people experiencing anxiety through separation / divorce / bereavement.
k. International Programmes: Supporting young people to engage in development under the Erasmus+ programme including Transnational Youth Work activities, European Solidarity Corps and Youth Exchanges
3. Principles to Safeguard Children from Harm:
Youth Work Ireland Midlands is committed to the principles laid out in Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. These are:
- The safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.
- The best interests of the child should be paramount.
- The overall aim in all dealings with children and their families is to intervene proportionately to support families to keep children safe from harm.
- Interventions by the State should build on existing strengths and protective factors in the family. - Early intervention is key to getting better outcomes. Where it is necessary for the State to intervene to keep children safe, the minimum intervention necessary should be used.
- Children should only be separated from parents/carers when alternative means of protecting them have been exhausted.
- 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 matters and decisions that may affect their lives.
- Parents/carers have a right to respect, and should be consulted and involved in matters that concern their family.
- A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents/carers and families.
- Child protection is a multiagency, multidisciplinary activity. Agencies and professionals must work together in the interests of the children.
4. Risk assessment of potential harm to children whilst availing of our services:
Youth Work Ireland Midlands has included the risk of harm to a child as a new category in the organisations Risk Management Policy & Procedures. A comprehensive risk assessment has been conducted to identify potential areas of harm and to implement measures to reduce the risk as per the Risk Management Process.
Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 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 services.
Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers by a young person while availing of our service.
Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with young people.
Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla.
Procedure for maintaining a list of mandated persons.
Procedure for appointing a relevant person.
All procedures listed are available on request.
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 services.
This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or where practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.
Signed: Geraldine Lacey, CEO.
For queries please contact:
Geraldine Lacey, email@example.com / 086 1237142 / 090 6477075
Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015
Youth Work Ireland is a registered organisation with the Garda Central Vetting Unit and vets all staff and volunteers on our behalf.
Since the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 came into effect, it has become mandatory for persons working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Gardaí. The Act also provides for the use of "soft" information in regard to vetting. This is information other than criminal convictions where such information leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons. Under the Act the Garda Central Vetting Unit will become the National Vetting Bureau and the vetting procedures will be put on a statutory basis.
Types of employees vetted
The types of work or activities where people working with children and vulnerable adult will require vetting include include:
Childcare services – see also ‘Further information’ below
Hospitals and health services
Residential services or accommodation for children or vulnerable persons
Treatment, therapy or counselling services for children or vulnerable persons
Provision of leisure, sporting or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons
Promotion of religious beliefs
For any information or queries on Garda Vetting contact Regional Office on 090 64 77075.