In recent years, as a society, we have become very aware of the problem of child abuse through neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Each one of us has a duty to protect children and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) notes that teachers, who are the main care givers to children outside of the family, are particularly well placed to observe and monitor children for signs of abuse.
In response to this, the Department of Education and Skills published Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (2011) in relation to child protection and welfare. These procedures promote the safety and welfare of all children and are to be welcomed.
As part of these procedures, we are obliged to teach Stay Safe in accordance with Circular 65/2011.
The Board of Management of St. Columba’s N.S. has adopted these procedures as school policy. Consequently if school staff suspect or are alerted to possible child abuse (neglect, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse) they are obliged to refer this matter to the Social Work team in the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA, originally the Child and Family Service of the HSE). Social workers will then assess the situation and provide support for the child and family concerned.
In our school, the Designated Liaison Person for dealing with Child Protection is Susan Carpenter.
Please click on the links below to access our Child Protection Policy, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.