Child Protection Policy

The Ark is committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children and young people. The Ark provides its services, to, for and by children. It is central to the philosophy of The Ark that children are unconditionally respected and kept safe from harm while using our services.

It is important to ensure that normal practices and behaviour within our organisation actively promote delivery of excellent services to children as individuals in a safe engaging environment, where the welfare of the child/young person is paramount. We will adhere to the ‘Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children’ by having and implementing child protection policies and procedures.

Procedures

We have implemented procedures covering:


    •    Code of Behaviour
    •    Reporting Procedures and responsibilties
    •    Confidentiality statement
    •    Safe recruitment & selection procedures
    •    Safe management of all staff (paid or unpaid)
    •    Parental/guardian involvement and sharing of information
    •    Incidences of poor practice and allegations against staff
    •    Complaints and comments procedure
    •    Accidents procedure

Mutual protection

In order to ensure mutual protection, staff/volunteers/interns/artists and other organisations working in the Ark will be made familiar with The Ark’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures, Code of Behaviour and Health and Safety guidelines in relation to participation in children and young people’s activities.



Parents, guardians and teachers

Children are usually in the care of a parent/guardian or teacher when using the services of The Ark. It is normal practice that an Ark member of staff will be present at all workshops, events and performances. For public workshops/events where parents are leaving the building we would ask they leave a contact telephone number with Box Office if they need to be contacted for any reason. Parents/guardians must accompany children under six years old to all public workshops/events. We provide many all family experiences where we encourage parents/guardians to participate also. Teachers must accompany schools groups and remain in attendance at all times whilst in The Ark or at Ark related events.


Duty of care

The Ark’s duty of care means, we must protect children first and foremost. Children have the right to privacy and should not be exposed to unnecessary risk, so any taking or use of image in any medium must have parental/guardian (primary carer) consent. Artists, volunteers, students and staff under contract cannot take images for personal or external use. Images may only be taken by designated Ark staff or by the media (or media collection agencies) with the agreement of The Ark and with parental/guardian consent. Artist requesting use of images must apply to The Ark for permission for any use, permission is granted at the discretion of The Ark. The general public will be asked to refrain from using photographic devices of any medium whilst in The Ark. The Ark adheres to the Arts Council’s guidelines for taking and using images of children and young people in the arts sector. The Ark uses images for promotional, archive and appropriate child-centred publication purposes.



Contact

For any information on The Ark’s Child Protection Policy & Procedures, please contact Avril Ryan, General Manager (Child Protection Officer) at avrilryan@ark.ie