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’ noted 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 Children and Youth Affairs published ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, 2011′ for al schools in relation to protection and welfare. These guidelines promote the safety and welfare of all children and are to be welcomed.
The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Realt na Mara has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the ‘Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary Schools’. Consequently, if school staff suspect or are alerted to possible child abuse, they are obliged to refer this matter to the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE will then assess the situation and provide support for the child concerned.
‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’ may be accessed here on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Guidelines can be read here.
Any concerns with regard to child welfare should be reported to the Designated Liaison Person (Eileen Byrne, Principal) or Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Maude O’Doherty, Deputy Principal).