Child Safeguarding Statement

Name of service:

The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre (Trading as The Ark).

Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm:

The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. We create opportunities for children, along with their families and friends or with their school, to discover and love art. Through our work with leading Irish and international artists children can enjoy performances in our unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions or participate in creative workshops.

The Ark is committed to the protection and welfare of children, and we recognise our obligation to create a culture of safety that promotes the welfare of children and young people who avail of our services. The Ark has policies and procedures that support best practice in child protection and welfare. We recognise that the safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility, and the best interests of the child are paramount.

Risk Assessment:

We have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services, including the area of online safety. Below is a list of the eight areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.

Risk identified Procedure in place to manage risk identified
1 People – The Ark’s staff & volunteers All staff members/employees/volunteers: • Are recruited through safe recruitment and selection procedures. • Undergo mandatory child safeguarding training, and always have access to information, and management support. • Are required to comply with The Ark’s Child Safeguarding Policy, Code of Behaviour and HR policy and procedures. • Are subject to supervision and review.
2 People – Contractors who provide services to children, and General Contractors. All Contractors who provide services to Children: • Are recruited through safe recruitment and selection procedures. • Undergo mandatory child safeguarding training, and always have access to information, and management support. • Are required to comply with The Ark’s Child Safeguarding Policy, Code of Behaviour and HR policy and procedures. • Are subject to supervision and review. General contractors: • Attend by agreed and scheduled appointment only. • Are always supervised by a member of The Ark’s staff. • Adhere to signing in/out procedure.
3 People – (Others) parents, guardians, carers, colleagues from other settings/services, visitors, and general public. • The Ark staff supervise attendees at all activities and events. • Access to The Ark’s building is monitored. • All visitors adhere to The Ark’s signing in/out procedure. • All children attending The Ark have an identified parent/guardian or other grown-up. • Parents/Guardians and other bookers are given all the information that they need to fulfil their role in The Ark’s safeguarding policy including expected supervision roles and to understand the activities being delivered. • CCTV is in place throughout The Ark. • All activities and events are risk assessed. • Communication and agreement always in place between The Ark and any offsite venue regarding child protection and welfare management.
4 Online activity & service delivery • Procedures and guidelines in place for Safe delivery of online services. • Online Services delivered by staff who are subject to the policies and procedure outlined against risk 1 above.
5 Supervision of children and young people who avail of services. • Risk assessment of all activities and events to establish any additional supervision or specific mitigations that may be required alongside those identified in The Ark’s Child Safeguarding Policy. • Provision of appropriate level of supervision by The Ark staff as informed by the risk assessment of that activity.
6 The Ark’s location and building (onsite activity) • The Ark staff supervise attendees at all activities and events, utilising two-way radios for communication. • Access to The Ark’s building is monitored. • All visitors adhere to The Ark’s signing in/out procedure. • All children attending The Ark have an identified parent/guardian or other grown-up. • CCTV is in place throughout The Ark. • Public spaces are designed to avoid isolated or unobservable locations. • Workshop space has security code door to control access.
7 Delivery of Activity Offsite • All offsite activities and events are risk assessed in line with The Ark’s Child Safeguarding Policy and risk management processes. • Communication and agreement always in place between The Ark and any offsite venue regarding child protection and welfare management. • Levels of supervision by The Ark staff alongside venue staff.
8 Inappropriate Programme/Activity Content All programme content is vetted by The Ark team in advance of being confirmed for programming to ensure suitability for the age range of the intended audience. • Extensive development, supervision and vetting process for new work commissioned by The Ark. • Guidance on age-appropriate content is provided. • Workshop plans are reviewed in advance, to ensure suitability for the intended age range. • Compliance with Child Safeguarding policy and procedures is required by contract.

Procedures

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 (2017), 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 service:

  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service;
  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children;
  • 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 the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons;
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person.

All procedures listed above are contained within our Child Safeguarding Policy, which is available here

Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an on-going process. 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 service.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed on 31/10/2021 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signatories of this statement: Al Russell, General Manager & Aideen Howard, Director

Name and contact details:

The Ark, 11a Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 670 7788.

For queries in relation to this Child Safeguarding Statement please contact
Al Russell, Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015, at the address above or al@ark.ie / 0867341017

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