Child Protection Training for Early Years Settings –

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

AUGUST 2020 – Training Update

Due to current Public Health advice, the Early Years specific Always Children First Foundation Level training is on hold.  We understand that there are many Early Learning and Care services that require training as certs are out of date, however in order to keep staff, children, families and communities safe we have taken this decision.  All staff, whether currently working or returning to work in the coming weeks are asked to complete the Tusla ELearning Programme prior to welcoming children back into their services.  The programme can be found here https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-e-learning-programme/

Further to this, there is a short revision presentation available for all staff on the First 5 CPD page – https://first5.gov.ie/practitioners/continuing-professional-development

Services can also refer to the Info Blasts that were circulated by trainers over the past couple of months.

Finally all services are asked to ensure that all staff are aware with their organisation’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and are familiar with their own role and responsibilities within the organisation should Child Protection or Welfare concerns arise.

Further information on Children First can be found on the Tusla website – https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

REQUIREMENT FOR EARLY LEARNING AND CARE SERVICES TO DEVELOP OR UPDATE A CHILD SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT UNDER THE CHILDREN FIRST ACT, 2015

(Template Update October 2020 – Child Safeguarding Statement ELC TEMPLATE

What is required in a Child Safeguarding Statement?

The Child Safeguarding Statement specifies the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed in order to ensure, as far as practicable, that a child availing of the service is safe from harm.

Why do Early Learning and Care Services need to have a Child Safeguarding Statement?

Under the Children First Act, 2015 all providers of “relevant services” are required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement. Services that meet both criteria below are legally required to have a  child Safeguarding Statement:

• An establishment which provides early years services within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991
And
• Employs one, or more than one other person whether through contract or otherwise. This means that if your service fits the definition of either a preschool service or a school age service under the Child Care Act 1991, you are required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement

The legal obligation to develop a Child Safeguarding Statement rests with the provider of the relevant service (e.g. the owner or the Board of Management).

When do services need to have a Child Safeguarding Statement?

This has been a legal requirement for existing services since 11th March 2018. New services established after this date have 3 months from opening to put a Child Safeguarding Statement in place.

Do I need to make the Child Safeguarding Statement available?

Yes, the Child Safeguarding Statement must be circulated to all staff members. It must be displayed publicly and made available to parents and guardians, young people, Tusla and members of the  public upon request.

I previously had a Child Protection and Welfare Policy. Do I need to develop a Child Safeguarding Statement?

Yes. All early learning and care services are legally required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement and accompanying Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. Your existing Child Protection  and Welfare Policy will now be called your Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures and will already contain many of the Policies and Procedures required.

What happens if I don’t have a Child Safeguarding Statement?

In line with the Children First Act 2015, Tusla has established and maintains a register of non-compliance for service providers who fail to provide a copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement to  Tusla when requested to do so. Any provider or member of the public can report information (unsolicited information or concerns about a service) to Tusla’s Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit, (CSSCU) regarding a relevant service which does not have a Child Safeguarding Statement in place or has a Child Safeguarding Statement which is not in line with the requirements of the Act.

Tusla’s CSSCU may contact any service which it has information about and may request a copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement at any time. If you fail to provide a copy of the Child  Safeguarding Statement to Tusla when requested to do so, steps will be taken in line with the Children First Act, which may result in your service being added to a Register of Non-Compliance which is a publicly held register.

Your Child Safeguarding Statement should include the following information:

  1. Name of services being provided to children and young people should be –  Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm: Your Child Safeguarding Statement should outline your principles to safeguard children and the various activities and services you provide to children and young people. It should state your commitment to keep children safe. (There are examples of these principles in the template below)

2. Risk assessment – Your Child Safeguarding Statement must include a written assessment of the risk of ‘harm’ to a child while availing of your service.
Harm in the Children First Act is defined as; • Ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development or welfare, or • Sexual abuse of the child

All risks identified and stated in the risk assessment must be accompanied by a list of procedures in place to manage those risks. The risk assessment contained in the Child Safeguarding Statement is solely for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Children First Act, 2015 and will not include risks to children that may occur in relation to general issues of health and safety.

3. Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures
The Children First Act lists a number of procedures which must be specified in your Child Safeguarding Statement:

• Procedure to manage any risks identified

• Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers

• 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 persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons

• Procedure for appointing a relevant person

Many of the policies and procedures required in a Child Safeguarding Statement will already be in operation in your service.

For further information on how to develop or update these policies and procedures see – Tusla Child Safeguarding; A Guide of Policy, Procedure and Practice

https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Tusla_-_Child_Safeguarding_-_A_Guide_for_Policy,_Procedure_and_Practice.pdf

4. Implementation and Review
Implementation of all Child Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Practices within your service should involve induction, training and supervision of all staff. Services should have an  implementation Plan which outlines; who will be responsible for ensuring the plan is effective. At a minimum, reviews must be carried out every 24 months, or sooner if there has been a material change in relation to any matter to which the statement refers.

Child Safeguarding Statement ELC TEMPLATE

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Always Children First Child Protection and Welfare Training for Early Years Services

Please be advised that a prerequisite of attending this training is that participants have completed the *Tusla E Learning Children First Programme (see note below).

If any staff in Early Years Services in Laois are interested in a place on this training, please:

  1. complete the booking form as they are sent to services
  2. and send a copy of the certificate(s) of e-learning (you should have received this via email upon completion of the e learning) at your earliest convenience to Sinead at s.brophy@laoischildcare.ie

and only then will places be confirmed.

As there is a demand for this training, places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Places are limited and priority will also be given to services who have not yet completed any Children First Training.

PLEASE NOTE: Your place will NOT be confirmed, and you will NOT be able to take part in this training unless the e-learning has been complete.

*The Tusla E Learning Children First Programme

This is an online training session which takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.  If you have not already completed the online training please copy this link into your browser and scroll down to the blue box where it states “access the training”  http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-e-learning-programme.  You will be required to enter an email address and password.  At the end of the session the certificate will be emailed to the email address that you used to access the training. 

REMINDER for Early Years Service Providers: CHILD SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT 

(Template Update July 2020) 

If you are a pre-school or a school-age service who employs one or more persons you are legally required to have a Child Safeguarding Statement. Services must have their *Child Safeguarding Statement completed and displayed in their service.

*A Child Safeguarding Statement is a written statement that specifies the service being provided and the principles and procedures to be observed in order to ensure, as far as practicable, that a child availing of the service is safe from harm.   It includes a risk assessment, measures to manage any risks and a number of mandatory safeguarding policies and procedures.  Early years services (including preschools and school age services) who employ at least one other person will have a legal obligation to publish a Child Safeguarding Statement. Services will have 3 months from December 11, 2017 to comply.

The National Early Years Children First Programme, in conjunction with Tusla, have updated the Early Learning and Care, Child Safeguarding Statement Template and Information Sheet. Early Learning and Care services are encouraged to read the information sheet prior to updating their Child Safeguarding Statement.

The Template has been updated in line with all relevant Legislation and Policy and has been approved, as a template, by the Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit (CSSCU). It is imperative that services follow all instructions on the Template and that they ensure that the risks that are identified and the policies that are named to mitigate risks are specific to their service.

This Template has been taken and updated from the publication ‘Developing a Child Safeguarding Statement; A Guide for Early Years Services in Ireland’.  This document is also currently under review and we hope to publish the updated version in the coming months.

As always ELC services can refer to the relevant Tusla publications for support which can be found at the following links:https://www.tusla.ie/children-first/publications-and-forms/

JULY 2020 Template Updates: 

Please find below resources which have been developed for early years services on developing a Child Safeguarding Statement

Download

NEW JUNE 2019: Tusla_Child_Protection_Handbook2

Mandatory Reporting and Child Safeguarding Statements – New Requirements

There are new legal obligations for early years service providers in the area of child protection and welfare.  This article looks at what they are and what they mean for early years services.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse concerns and the requirement to publish a Child Safeguarding Statement are about to become law.  From December 11, 2017, when the Children First Act 2015 is fully commenced, there will be new legal requirements in the area of child protection for professionals and services with a key role in the lives of children and families.  Early Years services and the people who work in them will have new legal obligations under the act.

Mandated Persons

Mandated persons are people who have contact with children and families and who, because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm.  All persons carrying on or running a registered pre-school service and all who are employed in them as childcare staff are Mandated Persons.   Mandated Persons will have a legal obligation to report child protection concerns over a certain threshold to Tusla.

You are a mandated person if you are:

-A person carrying on a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991.

– A childcare staff member employed in a pre-school service within the meaning of Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991

New Children First National Guidance

Children First National Guidance for the Protection & Welfare of Children has been updated to include these new provisions and contains important information for professionals working with children and organisations providing services to children.  Everyone working in an early years service should read and be familiar with the new Guidance document.  All early years services will be provided with a copy over the coming weeks.

The Children First Guidance, the e-learning course and a number of other useful resources can be found at www.tusla.ie

These new requirements are a further, welcome step towards keeping children safe from harm by ensuring that all child protection concerns are passed to Tusla and that organisations providing services to children have taken all the measures necessary to protect the children in their care.

Commencement of Remaining Provisions of the Children First Act 2015

On 2nd October 2017 Minister Katherine Zappone T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced that the remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 will commence on 11th December 2017.

The Act will impose statutory obligations on key professionals to report child protection concerns over a certain threshold to Tusla and on providers of relevant services to children to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of their services and develop a Child Safeguarding Statement.

The Act includes provisions to:

  • Introduce mandatory reporting of child abuse
  • Place a legal obligation on organisations providing services to children to prepare and publish a Child Safeguarding Statement.

Early Years Services and the Children First Act, 2015

  • All persons carrying on or running a registered early years service and all who are employed in them as childcare staff are Mandated Persons under the Act and will acquire new legal obligations on Dec 11th, 2017.
  • Registered early years services who employ at least one other person will have a legal obligation to publish a Child Safeguarding Statement. Services will have 3 months from that date to comply with their obligations in relation to publishing a Child Safeguarding Statement.

Revised Children First Guidance

  • The revised Children First Guidance has been published and it includes the provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 it will come into operation on December 11th, 2017.
  • Early years services will be provided with a copy of the new guidance over the coming months.   The Guidance can be downloaded from www.tusla.ie/children-first/children-first-2017/

 

Laois County Childcare Safeguarding Statement is available to download here: LCCC Child Safeguarding Statement.docx

*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

The Garda Vetting webinar is now available on the National Child Safeguarding Programme website.  It can be found under the Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare section along with the supporting information.

Below is the direct link to the video on our YouTube channel which will bring you directly to the webinar

https://youtu.be/CPxeEAwuPuU

Find us on

View Laois County Childcare Committee facebook posts on this site

View posts

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience. By using this site you agree to our Cookie Policy Ok