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 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.
The Board of Management of St. Conleth’s Infant School 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 Children and Family Service of the HSE. The HSE will then assess the situation and provide support for the child concerned. In our school the Designated Liason Person for dealing with Child Protection is Mrs. Margaret Harnett.
Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children may be accessed on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs ( www.dcya.ie) and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post -Primary Schools can be read on the Department’s website (www.education.ie).Parents/Guardians are also welcome to look through the procedures and Child Protection Policy here at the school.
Anne Marie O’Connor