Child Safeguarding Statement

Name of service:

The Ark, 11a Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Nature of service provided:

Established in 1995, 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. We commission, produce and present work for, by and about children, from the ages of two to twelve years old. We do so in our architecturally award-winning home in the heart of Dublin’s Temple Bar. We also work off-site and on tour in Ireland and abroad. 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. We also curate specific professional development opportunities for teachers and artists.

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

Principles to safeguard children from harm:

Below are The Ark’s principles and procedures which should be observed to ensure, as far as possible, that a child is safe from harm while availing of our services both within our building and off-site.

  • All Ark staff and regular artists/facilitators/volunteers are Garda vetted.
  • All Ark staff have undertaken Tusla online Child Protection Training – Children First E-Learning.
  • All child protection or welfare concerns will be reported to Tusla/Gardaí in a timely manner.
  • Children are always accompanied by a parent/guardian, teacher or member of The Ark staff while in the Ark venue.
  • When the Ark is open to the public there is always a member of staff on duty in reception to record all those entering the building.
  • A child in need of personal support because of illness, physical needs or any form of distress, shall be referred in the first place to his/her parent/guardian or teacher. In the absence of a guardian, the staff member who is working with or supervising that activity will provide such support. A parent/guardian or teacher should inform a member of staff if there are any specific needs required during a child’s participation at an Ark event.

Risk Assessment:

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

  Risk identified Procedure in place to manage risk identified
1 Non-compliance with The Ark’s Child Protection Policy All staff and volunteers are provided with the Child Protection Policy.
Any breach of the Child Protection Policy will be reported to the relevant line manager.
The Child Protection Policy is reviewed every 2 years.
2 Delay in making referrals to Tusla All staff and regular volunteers are trained and supported to ensure they can act promptly and not delay in contacting the Mandated Person or Tusla when they deem a referral may be required.
3 Receipt of complaints of alleged child abuse where a member of The Ark is the alleged perpetrator. All staff know the procedures to make a referral to the Mandated Person or directly to Tusla.
Internal disciplinary processes are in place where the issue concerns an employee.
4 Receipt of complaint of alleged child abuse where a parent, guardian or teacher is the alleged perpetrator. All staff know the procedures to make a referral to the Mandated Person or directly to Tusla.
The school will be notified.
5 Child makes a disclosure to a member of staff All staff know the procedures to make a referral to the Mandated Person or directly to Tusla.
6 A suspicion of child abuse is determined by a member of staff. All staff know the procedures to make a referral to the Mandated Person or directly to Tusla.

Procedures

The Ark’s Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, and the Children First: National Guidance, 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 services:

  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our services
  • 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 or the Gardaí as appropriate
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are ‘Mandated Persons’ as defined under the Children First Act 2015
  • Procedure for appointing a Mandated Person.

All procedures listed are available upon request.

Implementation

The Ark recognises that implementation is an ongoing 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 Statement will be reviewed on 27 February 2020 or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signatories of this statement: Amy O’Hanlon, 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 Aideen Howard, Director & Mandated Person, at the address above or email aideenhoward@ark.ie

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