TechFoundHer recognises its responsibility to ensure that a safe environment is provided for all children and vulnerable adults taking part in its activities. This policy specifies how we will provide a safe environment and protect children and vulnerable adults while they are taking part in TechFoundHer events and projects.
It also aims to protect TechFoundHer staff and volunteers from situations where they may feel threatened or open to suspicion or accusation.
This policy covers the following TechFoundHer activities:
- Recruitment of freelancers and volunteers.
- Adult, family and school events where volunteers or freelancers come into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults.
- Outreach projects with community groups and schools where freelancers or volunteers come into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults.
Code of Behaviour for Staff
Following this code of conduct will allow TechFoundHer staff and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults to avoid most situations in which they may be compromised.
- Treat all children, vulnerable adults and young people equally
- Listen to and respect children, vulnerable adults and young people
- Involve children and young people in decision-making (as appropriate)
- Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability)
- Use appropriate language
- Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere
- Offer constructive criticism when needed
- Treat all children, vulnerable adults and young people as individuals
- Respect a child’s, vulnerable adult’s or young person’s personal space
- Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children, vulnerable adults and young people and their primary carers.
- Encourage feedback from group
- Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials
- Lead by example
- Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities.
Be cognisant of a child’s, vulnerable adult’s or young person’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example
- Create an atmosphere of trust
- Respect differences in ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation.
- Make available TechFoundHer Child Protection Policy and procedures to primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators if requested.
- Be inclusive of children, vulnerable adults and young children with special needs
- Plan and be sufficiently prepared both mentally and physically
- Report any concerns to the Designated Person
- Observe appropriate dress and behaviour.
- Report any incidents and accidents.
- Update and review policies and procedures on a regular basis.
- Ensure proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age, abilities and activities involved.
- Ensure clear communication between artist and TechFoundHer organisers.
- Don’t be passive in relation to concerns i.e. don’t ‘do’ nothing
- Don’t let a problem get out of control
- Avoid being alone with children, young person or vulnerable adults e.g. taking them to the toilet
- Avoid taking a session on your own. If this is not possible then it should be in an open environment with the full knowledge and consent of primary carers.
- Avoid if at all possible giving a lift to a child/young person.
- Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner.
- Do not allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form.
- Do not use actions or language that may cause a child, young person or vulnerable adult to lose self-esteem or confidence.
- Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people/vulnerable adult.
- Do not hit or physically chastise children/young people/vulnerable adults
- Do not socialise inappropriately with children/young people/vulnerable adults
Health and Safety
- Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised
- Manage any dangerous materials
- Provide a safe environment
If you have any concerns, please contact a member of the event staff immediately. They can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case of a conflict of interest, you can individually contact:
- Mairin Murray
- Vicky Twomey-Lee
Event staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist any attendee to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.
Emergency services number: 112
Reasonable Grounds for Concern
An incident book will be kept by Mairin Murray .
TechFoundHer members should record the following information in relation to children and young people/vulnerable adults:
- Worrying Observations
- Behavioural Changes
- Actions and Outcomes
Procedure for dealing with a disclosure
- Stay calm and listen to the child/young person/vulnerable adult, allow him or enough time to say what s/he needs to say.
- Don’t use leading questions or prompt details
- Reassure the child/young person/vulnerable adult but do not promise to keep anything secret.
- Don’t make the child/young person/vulnerable adult repeat the details unnecessarily.
- Explain to the child/young person/vulnerable adult what will happen next
- Actions and outcomes should be noted
- Record all details, including the date, time and people involved in the concern or disclosure and the facts in the incident book. Information recorded should be factual. Any opinions should be supported by facts.
- Inform the designated person or his/her deputy, if unavailable.
- The most appropriate person should discuss the concern or consult with primary carers. Parents, carers or responsible adults should be made aware of a report to the HSE unless it is likely to put the child/young person/vulnerable adult at further risk.
- The Designated Person may contact the Health Service Executive Duty Social Work Department for an informal consultation prior to making a report.
Information will be shared on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.
We in TechFoundHer are committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that
- Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the child/young person
- Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality.
- We cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child /vulnerable adult or young person are at risk.
- Primary carers, children and young person have a right to know if personal information is being shared and/or a report is being made to the HSE, unless doing so could put the vulnerable adult/child/young person at further risk.
- Images of a child/young person/vulnerable adult will not be used for any reason without the consent of the parent/carer ( however, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be used at public performances)
- Procedures will be put in place in relation to the use of images of children/young people.
- Procedures will also be put in place for the recording and storing of information in line with our confidentiality policy.
Use of photographic/filming equipment
TechFoundHer will request all relevant consent in advance of any filming or photography of children or vulnerable adults and will adhere to the following guidelines:
- Will provide a clear brief about appropriate content and use of image
- Will not permit unsupervised access to children
- Avoid using names of children if image is used
*Parents / guardians will be asked to fill in a consent form and all consent forms will be stored in line with data protection legislation.
Volunteer Management Policy Statement
New volunteers will be made aware of TechFoundHer’s code of conduct, child protection procedures and the identity and role of who has been designated to deal with issues of concern.
It is our policy that volunteers do not have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults as per the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016
In the event of complaints or comments:
- Mairin Murray has responsibility for directing complaints/comments to the appropriate person.
- Verbal complaints will be logged and responded to.
- Children and young people/vulnerable adults must be advised of risks of dangerous materials.
- The location of incident/accident books must be made known to staff.
- TechFoundHer events are hosted at venues that has members of staff trained in First Aid.
- Location of First Aid Boxes: All venues are regularly reviewed to determine location of first aid boxes
Child Safeguarding Statement
1. Name of organisation
2. Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm
TechFoundHer is a 1 day event which takes place on May 2 in the Mansion House, Dublin. The organisers recognise their responsibility to ensure that a safe environment is provided for all children taking part in their activities. This Child Safeguarding Statement specifies how we will provide a safe environment and protect children while they are taking part in TechFoundHer events and projects.
3. Risk Assessment
We have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. Below is a list of the areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.
Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), and Túsla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice.
We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our services.
This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.
Last updated by TechFoundHer on Wed 26 April 2023