Simply Music Child Protection Policy

  1. Child Protection Policy Statement

    Simply music is committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children1 and
    young people. We undertake to provide a safe environment and experience, where the
    welfare of the child/young person is paramount. We will adhere to the recommendations
    of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011),
    published by Tusla, Child and Family Agency.

    We have implemented procedures covering:

    1. Code of Behaviour for staff / workshop personnel
    2. Child-Centred Approach
    3. Reporting Procedures
    4. Confidentiality Statement
    5. Recruitment & Selection Policy Statement
    6. Staff Management Policy Statement


    2. Code of behaviour for staff

    Child-centred approach

    • Treat all children and young people equally
    • Listen to and respect children and young people
    • Involve children and young people in decision-making, as appropriate
    • Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability)
    • Use appropriate language (physical and verbal)
    • Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere
    • Offer constructive criticism when needed
    • Treat all children and young people as individuals
    • Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space
    • Encourage feedback from group
    • Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials
    • Lead by example
    • Be cognisant of a child’s or young person’s limitations, for example, due to a medical
    condition
    • Be inclusive of children and young people with special needs
    • Create an atmosphere of trust
    • Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation
    Workshop Procedure – Pre-planning
    • Request the name of the Designated Person at the school / arts / community
    organisation with responsibility for reporting and recording incidents
    • Request information on emergency procedures and make yourself familiar with
    emergency access and egress within school / arts / community organisation
    • Use artists checklist to Ensure clear communication between artist and
    organisations; have guidelines and a prompt sheet for artists;
    • Notify the school / arts / community organisation if you intend to use video or
    photography during the workshop or performance;

    1 The Child Care Act 1991 defines a child as a ‘person under the age of 18 years other than a person who is or has been married’
    (S.2.1).

    • Abide by the school / arts / community organisation’s procedures in relation to the
    use of such material
    • Ensure a written agreement is in place with the school / arts / community
    organisation prior to commencing the workshop (see Appendix A)

    Guidelines for Artist’s – Workshop Procedures

    • Advise the School / arts / community organisation’s Designated Person of any
    concerns or issues you have in relation to the children and report and record any
    incidents and accidents
    • Be aware of accident procedure and follow accordingly.
    • Ensure proper supervision (1:15) and request, where necessary teachers to remain
    in the classroom during the workshop session for this ratio to be maintained
    • Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised;
    • Avoid taking a session on your own. If this is not possible then it should be in an
    open environment with the full knowledge and consent of the school / arts /
    community organisation authorities;
    • Provide a safe environment and advise children, young people of what is required in
    relation to instruments and use of;
    • Provide children / young people with instruments appropriate to their age, ability and
    activity involved
    • Don’t let a problem get out of control;
    • Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that
    something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a
    sensitive manner;
    • Images of a child/young person will not be used for any reason without the consent
    of the parent/carer (however, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be
    used during public performances..
    Inappropriate behaviour
    • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people;
    • Don’t use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language4.
    • Don’t single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism,
    ridicule, or unwelcome focus or attention;
    • Don’t allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form;
    • Don’t hit or physically chastise children/young people;
    • Don’t socialise inappropriately with children/young people, e.g., outside of structured
    organisational activities.
    Physical contact
    • Seek consent of child/young person in relation to physical contact (except in an
    emergency or a dangerous situation)

    3. Reporting Procedures

    Recording procedures
    Report and record any concerns about the protection of children and young people on the
    Simply Music Incident Sheet. These records are kept within the offices of Simply Music and
    are accessed only by the Director and his Deputy.
    • Record all details, including the date, time and people involved in the concern or
    disclosure and the facts (in the incident book).
    • Information recorded should be factual. Any opinions should be supported by facts;
    • Inform the Director or his deputy, if unavailable;
    Dealing with a disclosure
    • Stay calm and listen to the child/young person, allow him or her enough time to say
    what s/he needs to say;
    • Don’t use leading questions or prompt details;
    • Reassure the child/young person but do not promise to keep anything secret;
    • Don’t make the child/young person repeat the details unnecessarily;
    • Explain to the child/young person what will happen next (explanation should be ageappropriate).
    Reporting procedures – Designated Person Simply Music
    • Ensure that the reporting procedure should be known and accessible to all staff;
    • Ensure that the person who expressed the concern is involved and kept informed;
    • Actions and outcomes should be noted;
    • Discuss the concern or consult with the Designated Person in the school / arts /
    community organization


    4. Confidentiality Statement

    Simply Music committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in
    relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that:
    • Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the
    child/young person;
    • Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a
    breach of confidentiality;
    • We cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child or young
    person are at risk;
    • Primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if personal
    • information is being shared and/or a report is being made to the Health Service Executive,
    unless doing so could put the child/young person at further risk;
    • Images of a child/young person will not be used for any reason without the consent of the
    parent/carer (however, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be used at public
    performances);
    • Procedures will be put in place in relation to the use of images of children/ young people;
    • Procedures will also be put in place for the recording and storing of information in line
    with our confidentiality policy.


    5. Recruitment and Selection Policy Statement

    Simply Music will ensure that staff are carefully selected, trained and supervised to provide a
    safe environment for all children and young people, by observing the following principles:
    • Roles and responsibilities will be clearly defined for every job (paid or voluntary);
    • We will endeavour to select the most suitably qualified personnel;
    • Candidates will be asked to sign a declaration form;
    • At least two written references that are recent, relevant, independent and verbally
    confirmed will be necessary;
    • No person who would be deemed to constitute a ‘risk’ will be employed;
    • Some of the exclusions would include:
    i. any child-related convictions;
    ii. refusal to sign application form and declaration form;
    iii. insufficient documentary evidence of identification;
    iv. concealing information on one’s suitability to working with children;
    • There will be a relevant probationary period;
    • All staff will be required to consent to Garda clearance, and where available, this will be
    sought.


    6. Staff Management Policy Statement

    To protect both staff (paid and voluntary) and children/young people, Simply Music
    undertakes that:

    New staff will:
    • Take part in a mandatory induction training session;
    • Be made aware of the organisation’s code of conduct, child protection procedures and the
    identity and role of who has been designated to deal with issues of concern;
    • Undergo a probationary or trial period.

    All staff will:
    • Receive an adequate level of supervision and review of their work practices;
    • Be expected to have read and signed the Child Protection Policy Statement;
    • Be requested to undergo child protection training, if not already received.

     

    Signed:

    Paul Maher, M.Sc in Education & Training Management (E-Learning),
    Director
    Simply Music

    Date: 12th January 2021