Under the Children First Act 2015, certain people who work with children have additional legal obligations. These are known as Mandated Persons. All teachers are 'Mandated', and they are obliged to report to Tusla social work department any knowledge, belief, or reasonable suspicion that a child has been harmed, is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed. The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools 2017 give clear direction and guidance to school management and school personnel in relation to meeting the statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the continued implementation within the school setting of the best practice guidance set out in the updated Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
Children First promotes the protection of children from abuse and neglect, by setting out what individuals and organisations need to do to keep children safe, and how to deal with concerns about a child’s safety or welfare. Society has a duty of care towards children, and everyone should be alert to the possibility that children they are in contact with may be abused or at risk of abuse or neglect. If you are concerned about a child or young person, you should contact Tusla social work department. Organisations classed as providers of relevant services under the Children First Act 2015 are required to complete a risk assessment and must have a Child Safeguarding Statement in place. More information on keeping children safe in our communities is available at gov.ie/childrenfirst
Each school has a Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP). If in the unlikely event that Ms Slacke and Mrs Doherty are both absent Regina Riordan is next in line to support the staff/children.
In St Patrick's NS Aoife Slacke is the DLP and Joanne Doherty is the DDLP. If any staff member, parent or child has a concern they bring it to the DLP, or DDLP in the DLP's absence. It is not the role of the DLP or DLP or any mandated person to investigate any concerns raised, however the are obliged to make a report to Tusla.
Each school is legally obligated to teach the 'Stay Safe' programme in schools.
The CAPP programme (Stay Safe) is a primary school based approach to the prevention of child abuse. The aim of the programme is to reduce vulnerability to child abuse and bullying through the provision of a personal safety education programme for children at primary school level, continuing professional development for teachers, training for Boards of Management and information sessions for parents.
The Stay Safe programme itself is a personal safety skills programme designed for use with primary school children from Junior Infants through to 6th class. The programme seeks to enhance children’s self-protective skills by participation in lessons on safe and unsafe situations, bullying, inappropriate touch, secrets, telling and stranger danger.
The programme aims to give children the skills necessary to enable them to recognise and resist abuse/victimisation and teaches them that they should always tell (an adult that can help) about any situation which they find unsafe, upsetting, threatening, dangerous or abusive.