Child Protection Policy
PARISH OF KILMEGAN ALTAR SERVERS
Altar servers serve the worship of God and the people during liturgies by
1. Leading the people in the responses and prayer
2. Preparing for the celebration of the liturgy (usually Mass)
3. Helping the other ministers during liturgies (usually Mass)
WHO MAY BE ALTAR SERVERS?
Altar Servers must:
1. Be in the Primary Six year or older
2. Be trained
3. Have the written support of parents or guardian
4. Always be in time, be neat, clean and tidy.
Altar Servers serve until the end of Key Stage 3 i.e. Fourteen years of age, and may continue to serve with the permission of the parish priest.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALTAR SERVERS
Altar Servers should:
1. Arrive in the church 15 minutes before the liturgy
2. Sign the Altar Servers’ Book in the priests’ sacristy
3. Put on robes, and prepare the sanctuary for the Mass or the Liturgy
4. Be prepared to join in the prayers before and after Mass
5. The Senior or oldest server assigns the tasks
6. After the liturgy or Mass the sanctuary and church should be left tidy
7. Robes should be hung up in the Servers’ sacristy
8. Servers should greet the priest before leaving the Church
9. Bullying of children / young people by their peers will not be tolerated.
CODE OF CONDUCT
FOR LEADERS / THOSE TRAINING ALTAR SERVERS
1. Adults will treat children and young people with courtesy, respect and dignity.
2. There will be an adequate ratio of leaders to children / young people at all times.
3. Leaders should avoid being alone with children / young people. If this is not possible the leader should ensure that they can be seen by anyone passing i.e. the door of the room should be left open or the door into the room has a window.
4. Physical contact between children / young people and leaders will be appropriate at all times. Leaders will not engage in rough play or undertake any task of a personal nature with / for children / young people except in cases of medical necessity when the welfare of the child / young person depends on it.
5. Leaders will always engage with children / young people in an open manner and care will not be taken to show favouritism.
6. The leader will bring concerns to the appropriate authorities; i.e. The Down & Connor designated Child Protection officers, the PSNI. Social Services or the NSPCC.
KILMEGAN PARISH CHILD PROTECTION POLICY STATEMENT
The parish of Kilmegan values and encourages the participation of children and young people in parish liturgies and in activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development.
The parish recognises the dignity, diversity and rights of the children and young people and is committed to their protection.
The parish undertakes to do all in its power to create a safe environment for children and young people in order to ensure their protection and enable their full participation in parish activities.
CORE PROCEDURES FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ENGAGED IN PARISH ACTIVITIES
The parish of Kilmegan undertakes to have the following in place:
1. A Parish Care Committee to disseminate Down & Connor Child Protection Policies and procedures within the parish and to ensure all requirements of these are met.
2. In all parish activities that involve children and young people each organisation will have:
· A code of conduct for all leaders and children/young people.
· Signed parental consent for each child/young person.
· Appropriate supervision ratios of adults to children/young people while maintaining the practice of ensuring that no child/young person is left alone with an adult.
· That notification will be given to all parish groups of the need to have procedures in place to ensure the protection of all children and young people for all trips including day trips.
· Adequate record keeping processes including:
a) Membership lists for leaders and members
b) Incident/Accident Report forms
c) Medical information and treatment permission as appropriate for all children and young people
d) Contact information for parents/guardians
e) Programme/attendance records
f) Volunteer Application forms
g) Declaration Forms for all adult leaders
h) Volunteer training records
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ADULTS WORKING WITH CHILDREN
AND YOUNG PEOPLE ENGAGED IN PARISH ACTIVITIES
Adults will treat children and young people with courtesy, respect and dignity.
There will be an adequate ratio of leaders to children/young people at all times whether away or at home.
Leaders should avoid being alone with a child or young person. Two adults should be present.
Care will be taken to ensure that when working with mixed gender groups staff and adult volunteers of appropriate gender will work in pairs.
Leaders (18+) will not consume alcohol, smoke or take drugs while having responsibility for or in the presence of children or young people.
Bad language or inappropriate language by leaders will not be permitted.
Physical contact between children/young people and leaders will be appropriate at all times. Leaders will not engage in rough play or undertake any task of a personal nature with/for children/young people except in cases of medical necessity when the welfare of the child/young person depends on it.
Leaders will always engage with children/young people in an open manner and care will be taken not to show favouritism.
There will be clearly designated leaders with each group with whom children/young people can speak about their experience and raise any concerns should they arise.
The leader will bring concerns to the appropriate authorities; i.e. The Down & Connor designated Child Protection officers, the PSNI, Social Services or the NSPCC.
Bullying of children/young people by adults working with them will not be tolerated.
The parish requires all groups to have a specific code of conduct for all away trips including day trips, where children/young people are unaccompanied by parents/guardians. Written permission for trips should be sought from parents/guardians and this should include personal details.
Children/young people will not be permitted to consume alcohol, smoke or take drugs while participating in activities in keeping with civil law in Ireland.
Bad language or inappropriate language by children/young people will not be permitted.
Bullying of children/young people by their peers will not be tolerated.
KILMEGAN PARISH CARE COMMITTEE
The role of the Parish Care Committee is to carry out the following:
· Make the parish aware of the existence of the Down & Connor Child Protection Policy and Procedures and liaise with the Diocesan Designated Officer.
· Identify the existing activities within the parish where children, young people and vulnerable adults are involved.
· Arrange for the adults responsible for children’s activities to undergo required child protection training as part of our ongoing care and support for parish volunteers.
· Ensure that all staff / volunteers who work directly or indirectly with children, young people and vulnerable adults are vetted as required under current legislation.
· Guide and assist groups/activities in the recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers, ensuring that best practice regarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is implemented.
The current membership:
Patricia Cowan, Roisin Howell, V. Rev. Sean Cahill P.P., Anthony King
KILMEGAN PARISH CHILD PROTECTION
USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS
Child Protection Office (Down & Connor) Tel. 028 9049 2783
Down & Connor Diocesan Designated Officers for Child Protection
Mrs. Barbara McDermott
Mrs. Bernadette Brown
Tel. 028 9049 2783
PSNI EXCHANGE: 0845 600 8000
PSNI Newtownards CARE Unit 44 615011 extension 31139 or 31125
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 or 90 351135
Social Services Down Lisburn Trust;
Office hours 92 665181 and ask for the Duty Officer
Out of office hours 90 565444 and ask for the Duty Social Worker
Nexus Helpline for adult survivors of abuse 90 326803
Kilmegan Parish office 437 78259