On December 11th 2017 the Children First Act 2015 commenced. The Act is the latest piece of Irish legislation relating to the safeguarding of young people in Ireland. To support the Act the Department of Children and Youth Affairs have issued the ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’.
As the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation (ICRF) moves forward this Act has wide ranging implications, not just for the ICRF itself, but also for all affiliated clubs and members.
The 2015 Act makes reference to ‘relevant services’ and Schedule 1 sets out what constitutes a relevant service under the following subsections:
- “Any work or activity which consists of the provision of:
(a) educational, research, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities to children;
(b) care or supervision of children, or
(c) formal consultation with, or formal participation by, a child in respect of matters that affect his or her life,
whether or not for commercial or any other consideration”.
- Any work or activity which consists of the provision of advice or guidance services (including by means of electronic interactive communications), a necessary and regular part of which consists, mainly, of the person having access to, or contact with, children.
- Any work or activity as a driver of, or as an assistant to the driver, or as a conductor, or as a supervisor of children using a vehicle which is being hired or used only for the purpose of conveying children who are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian.
The 2015 Act goes on to establish the role of a ‘mandated person’ and under Schedule 2 Subsection 15 (i) sets out the classes of persons who are specified as mandated persons for the purpose of the Act:
- (i). Safeguarding officer, child protection officer or other person (howsoever described) who is employed for the purpose of performing the child welfare and protection function of religious, sporting, recreational, cultural, educational and other bodies and organisations offering services to children;.
Irish Coastal Rowing Federation Safeguarding Statement
The ICRF provides sporting activities and opportunities for young people through participation in rowing activities at both club and national events. The ICRF and its affiliated clubs are committed to safeguarding children and the work of affiliated clubs under the guidance of the ICRF’s Safeguarding Policies.
All ICRF staff, clubs, club members and volunteers who work with young people throughout the Federation seek to create a safe environment for young people to participate in all rowing events.
The ICRF’s Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015 and the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedures and Practice.
As part of the ICRF’s Safeguarding Code and Policies the following procedures have been developed and implemented:
- Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct by staff or volunteers against a child availing of our activities;
- Procedures for the safe recruitment of staff and volunteers to work with children in our activities;
- Procedures for access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm;
- Procedure for reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities;
- Appointment of Safeguarding Officers and Relevant Persons at Club and National level.
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