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Information on our Child Protection Policy for Parents / Guardians

  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people. Children’s welfare and safety is of paramount importance. Rainbows Ireland adheres strictly to Children First: National Guidelines for Child Protection and Welfare 2011.
  • Parents/guardians are children’s primary carers. Rainbows Ireland works  in partnership with parents/guardians to ensure children’s safety in their participation of the Rainbows Programme. We ask you to take some time to read our guidelines and programme information contained in this website.
  • If you have any questions or concerns you can talk to National Director of Rainbows Ireland, the Designated Person for Child Protection.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

What is a child protection policy?
A child protection policy is a statement of the commitment to keep children and young people safe and to report any concerns about their welfare.

All Rainbows programmes take place at a Rainbows Site. All Rainbows Sites strictly adhere to the Child Protection Policy of their programme location e.g. School, Youth Project, Resource Centre.

Child Protection Policies will usually include:

  • A code of behavior for staff.
  • A safe recruitment policy.
  • A Designated Person at the place where the programme takes place.This person deals with child protection issues.
  • Procedures for reporting concerns to the HSE.
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers.
  • A confidentiality policy.
  • A complaints policy.
  • An accidents and incidents reporting policy.
What should I expect from the group my child takes part in?
  • You can expect your child’s safety and welfare to be the top priority.
  • You will be informed of the service of Rainbows and asked to consider your consent for your child’s participation in the Rainbows Programme.
  • You will be asked for some personal information, such as contact details and any information which is relevant for your child.
  • You can expect that staff or volunteers are carefully selected and suitable to work with children and young people.
What does confidentiality mean?
  • Confidentiality means that information in relation to you or your children will only be shared with people who ‘need to know’ if a Child Protection issue arises.
  • Personal information about your child given on the Application Form will be treated with respect and records will be securely stored.
Who does the organisation report to, if they have a child protection concern about a child or young person?
  • If we have a child protection concern about a child we are obliged to report it to a Duty Social Worker in the Health Service Executive (HSE), or in an emergency, to An Garda Síochána.
  • Reckless endangerment of children is a criminal offence under Irish law which could result in criminal prosecution and imprisonment for failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the appropriate legislation.
What information will be passed on
  • We will pass on the child’s name, address and age, your name and address and will say what the reason for concern is.
  • We will also include the name of the person making the report.
  • Anyone making a report of suspected child abuse, provided they act ‘reasonably and in good faith’ will have immunity from civil liability (Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998).
Do I have a right to any information about my child
  • A parent will be informed if a report is made to the Duty Care Social Worker only if that information does not put the child at further risk.
  • Rainbows has a Duty of Care to your child. If the programme is not meeting the needs of your child at the present moment, the Rainbows Coordinator at your child’s programme will inform you.
Is there a code of behaviour for staff, children and young people, volunteers, parents?
  • Yes. A code of behaviour for staff, including volunteers, is part of our child protection policy.
  • We have a code of behaviour for children and young people(discussed at the 1st session )
  • We have an anti-bullying policy.
  • We also ask parents/guardians to comply with certain measures to ensure their children’s safety (see below).
Who can I talk to if I have a concern about a child?
If you have a concern about a child or young person, you can talk to –

  • Rainbows National Director, the Designated Person under Child Protection for the Rainbows Programmes. She will listen to your concern and explain our Child Protection Policy to you.
  • The Rainbows Designated Liaison Person at the Rainbows site, usually the school principal/center manager.
  • Alternatively, you can contact a Duty Social worker in the HSE directly.
  • Yes. All organisations are required by law to have a safety statement and a health and safety policy. INSERT LINK HERE
  • Are staff vetted by the Gardaí and are references checked for all staff and volunteers?
  • References are checked for all staff and volunteers.
  • All Volunteers must be cleared by Garda Vetting before being eligible to deliver the Rainbows Programme
Does the organisation have a policy for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers?
  • Yes. Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers are part of the child protection policy.
Can I come and visit or stay and watch the activities if I want to?
  • No. It is the policy of Rainbows that no person can observe a group. The group is a place of trust to share feelings and emotions. Only the Facilitators of that group and the group Participants may attend.
  • No substitute Facilitators are permitted to take the group.
  • If the Facilitators are not available due to unforeseen circumstances, the group session is cancelled for that day.
Can I talk to the Facilitators of the group my child is attending?
  • No. It is the policy of Rainbows that Facilitators are trained listeners. They do not give feedback /comment /advice.
  • We ask you not to engage a Rainbows Facilitator in specific discussion on their child’s attendance at the programme. They will have to tell you that they are not at liberty to have any discussions.
Who can I talk to if I have an issue/problem?
  • You can talk to the Rainbows Site Coordinator (the person that manages the start and ongoing delivery of the programme or the manager /principal at the place where Rainbows is being delivered) and/or the Rainbows National Director who can be contacted in the National Office on 01 4734175 or ask@rainbowsireland.com