Policies & Procedures
The Priests, the Parish Pastoral Council and the people of Balally value and encourage the participation of children and young people in liturgies and in activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development. We recognise the dignity and rights of all children and are committed to their protection and support.
In keeping with this, the Parish Pastoral Council and the Child Protection Representatives of the Parish, will work to do all in their power to create safe environments for children and young people in order to secure their protection and enable their full participation in the life of the Church.
“Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland (2008)” is the countrywide blueprint for standards and procedures in this area.
“Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy and Procedures in the Archdiocese of Dublin” outlines the application of this blueprint in the Dublin Archdiocese.
This policy document was updated in 2018 and is available for access here.
It was adopted as parish policy by Balally Parish Pastoral Council.
It contains the Child Safeguarding Statement of the Archdiocese of Dublin (2018) which may be accessed here.
Basic Procedures in Balally Parish
The “Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy and Procedures in the Archdiocese of Dublin” referred to above, apply in Balally Parish.
The following is a summary of our approach.
We safeguard our children by:
1. Adopting a child centered approach.
– Valuing children and showing our respect for them
– Listening to them and taking their views seriously
2. Obtaining parental consent for their participation in parish activities
– Providing details of the activity and the contact details of the responsible adults
– Obtaining details of any special needs of the children and contact details of parents/guardians
– Away trips require special information communication procedures
3. Carefully selecting those who work with children on behalf of the parish
– In accordance with diocesan policy, all staff and volunteers in Balally Parish are required to be garda vetted
– Ensuring that parish workers and volunteers behave appropriately in their dealings with children
4. Keeping good records, including
– Parish volunteer forms
– Garda vetting forms
– Parental consent forms (including contact information for parents/guardians and any special requirement information – e.g. medical or dietary)
– Attendance record forms (for both children and adults)
– Incident/Accident report forms
A code of behaviour, outlined below, gives detailed guidelines for adults working with children
– good, normal and appropriate behaviour such as listening to or praising them
– prohibited behaviour which is never acceptable such as striking a child
– good practice guidelines indicating generally acceptable behaviour but that may allow for exceptions,
such as being alone with a child in an emergency
– Any emergency requiring a departure from the code must be carefully recorded and parents informed
Note: Particular considerations apply when dealing with children with disabilities or other special groups. These are not included here.
– Treat all children with respect, and listen to them. Acknowledge and praise their efforts and achievements
– Provide them with a good role model – yourself
– Learn and work within both Church and State principles and guidelines for dealing with children
– Be visible to others when working with children, no closed doors
– Challenge and report abusive and potentially abusive behaviour (by other adults or by children)
– Develop a culture where children can speak openly, ask questions and express any worries or concerns they may have
– Respect each child’s boundaries and help him/her to develop an appreciation of her/his rights and responsibilities
– Work in partnership with parents and share information with them
It doesn’t make sense to
– Spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
– Take children alone in a car on journeys, however short.
– Take children to your home.
– Abuse a child in any way
– Physically chastise a child
– Place a child at risk
– Develop a relationship with any child or children to the exclusion of others
– Discriminate against a child or group of children
– Speak to a child or behave in a manner that is offensive, developmentally inappropriate or sexually provocative
– Engage in rough physical games or horseplay – apart from structured sports activities.
– Engage in sexually provocative games
– Make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child, even in fun.
– Ask a child to keep a secret
– Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
– Condone or fail to challenge inappropriate behaviour or language from a child
– Let allegations made by a child go unchallenged or unrecorded
(Always follow procedures – document using the Incident/Accident Report Form)
– Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do themselves
Tasks of a personal nature should only be carried out
– For very young children or children with disabilities.
– With the full understanding and consents of parents.
– In an emergency – parents should be fully informed afterwards.
All tasks of a personal nature must be undertaken with the utmost discretion and should, where possible, be carried out in the presence of another adult.
– Be in response to the need of the child.
– Not be done if the child objects or resists
– Avoid breasts, buttocks and groin.
– Be open and not secretive.
– Be governed by the age and developmental stage of the child.
In recreational activities
– Always work openly with children.
– If manual support is required it should be provided openly.
– If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure staff and volunteers of appropriate gender work in pairs.
– Where there are mixed groups away from home, a male and female member of staff or volunteer should always accompany them.
Away from home, ensure you have
– Adequate staffing/Volunteer Leaders.
– Programme prepared well in advance.
– Codes of behaviour for all taking part.
– Emergency plan in place.
– All Documentation prepared in advance.
– Incident Record / Accident Reporting forms.
Recommended supervision ratio The code of practice for the youth work sector recommends the following:
– The minimum adult to young person ratio should ideally be one adult per group of eight young people, plus one other adult, and allowing an additional adult for each group of eight thereafter.
– Local circumstances, the ages of the children, the experience of the volunteers and staff should be taken into consideration. Safety, ability/disability of young people and the nature of the activities being undertaken may require that these ratios be considerably lower.
– All leaders should draw up and comply with an appropriate duty roster to ensure adequate supervision of young people at all times.
|Gárda Síochána (Dundrum):||01-6665600|
|Dublin Diocese Child Protection Office:||01-8360314|
|Dublin Diocese Director of Child Protection Service:||01-8842590|
|Principal Area Social Worker (Area 2):||01-2680333|
|One in Four:||01-6624070|
|Emergency Numbers:||999 or 112|