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Valuing our Children

Parish of the Assumption, Dalkey: Child Safeguarding Policy Statement

As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland, we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children, are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being and will work in partnership with parents/ guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff and volunteers) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.

Our Parish Safeguarding Representative is Catherine Murtagh and is contactable through the Parish Office tel. 01 2859418.

If you have a concern about child abuse, please contact either:

Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS):

 Designated Liaison Person

Mr. Andrew Fagan, Director, Child Safeguarding and Protection Service,

Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe College, Dublin 3 Tel. 01-8360314

(Mon–Fri: 09:00 – 17:00)

 Deputy Liaison Person

Ms. Deirdre Donnelly, Safeguarding and Support Officer,

Child Safeguarding and Protection Service

Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe College, Dublin 3 Tel. 01-8360314

(Mon–Fri: 09:00 – 17:00).

OR

Tusla Area Office: Tel. 01 921 3400

Dun Laoghaire Garda Station: Tel. 01 666 5000

HSE (Vulnerable Adults) 1850 24 1850 or at mailto:[email protected]

If you would like access to the full Safeguarding Policy Statement of the Archdiocese of Dublin you can download it from www.csps.dublindiocese.ie/policies

Towards Healing: 1800 331 234

Childline: 1800 666 666

Safeguarding Guidelines for the use of  Zoom with teenagers in a parish/diocesan  setting 

For the purpose of clarity, a teenager is a person aged thirteen years of age and older. Zoom should not be used to engage with children under the age of thirteen.

Parishes/diocesan agencies should not use the free version of Zoom as it does not include the security measures that the subscription versions do. The subscription should be taken out by the parish and not by individuals. This should be managed by someone who understands the platform and who is appointed by the priest in charge.

Church personnel should NOT use a private Zoom account to contact teenagers. Teenagers should only use a parent/guardian Zoom account.

If for any reason a meeting is infiltrated from the outside (Zoom Bombed), that is, if somebody not invited to the meeting appears, the meeting should be terminated immediately. The breach should be reported to Zoom and in the event that the organisers feel that such a breach poses a threat of harm or abuse  of the teenagers taking part, this should be reported to the Diocesan Child  Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) without delay. Parents should also  be informed so that they can decide if they want their child to continue using the  platform going forward.

Consent Forms 

Parental Consent is required to participate in virtual youth programmes. [During  the Covid-19 Pandemic, this can be secured over a parent/guardian’s email. You  should also take measures to give them a call to ensure that it is the  parent/guardians permission that you have received. The standard Parental  Consent Form used in parishes is not sufficient for this. The group leaders must  use the specific form relating to Zoom.

The Code of conduct is included in the consent form. This must be read by both  teen and parent/guardian and signed off on.

Code of Conduct: 

1: Be kind and courteous

We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let’s treat  everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.

2: No hate speech or bullying

Make sure that everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn’t allowed, and  degrading comments about things such as race, religion, culture, sexual  orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.

3: No promotions or spam

Give more to this group than you take. Self-promotion, spam and irrelevant  links aren’t allowed.

4: Respect everyone’s privacy

Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Authentic, expressive discussions  make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. It should be explained  at the beginning of the meeting that the forum is not a suitable place for anyone

taking part to disclose that they themselves or someone they know is at risk of  abuse. Should anyone have a concern, they should be encouraged to contact the  relevant agencies. All leaders should be fully conversant with the reporting  procedures as set out in the “Child Safeguarding in the Archdiocese of Dublin: Statement, Reporting Procedures and Good practice Guidelines 2018”.  This document is available on the CSPS website.

At the beginning of each meeting, the code of conduct should be displayed so  each teen is aware of it.

Breaches to the code of conduct will result in the teen being removed from the  meeting. Incidents should be recorded with as much detail as possible  immediately after the meeting has ended.

Garda Vetting and Safeguard training

· All Youth Leaders must be Garda Vetted by their parish or diocesan agency. · All Youth Leaders must attend appropriate diocesan Safeguarding training

· All Youth Leaders should be trained in the use of Zoom; this includes being  trained in the role of Tech Host.

Tech Host 

Duties and responsibilities

Scheduling the meeting on zoom and passing on the link to the MC. A new link  should be set up each week to prevent teens passing on the link.

· Admitting people into the meeting

· Muting participant’s mics on entry

· Helping participants who are struggling with the technology · Sharing their screen if needed.

· Setting up/ opening breakout rooms. (Tech Host and MC should remain in the  main session at all times in cases where a participant drops off the call and tries  to join again or accidently leaves the breakout room).

Participants should know who the MC and Tech Host are so participants can  report any problems to them using the chat function.

MC 

Duties and responsibilities

· Sending and receiving the consent forms

· Communication with parents (emailing the link to the meeting out) · Highlighting the code of conduct

· Record Attendance

· Welcome the young people and lead the session

Small Group Leaders 

Duties and responsibilities

If you are planning on using the breakout room facility, there needs to be at  least 2 leaders in each meeting room. E.g. If you have a group of 24 and you  break out into 3 meeting rooms, you should have 6 leaders plus the tech host  managing the tech in the background and MC.

· Help guide discussion in a safe and respectful manner.

· Help participants who may struggle with the technology

· Save the chat when the breakout room has ended.

Waiting Room 

When participants join a meeting, place them in a waiting room and require the  host to admit them individually. Enabling the waiting room automatically  disables the setting for allowing participants to join before host.

Video 

Encourage participants to have their cameras on and their first names  displayed, however if they are not comfortable with their camera on they can  leave it turned off too.

Microphones 

Tech Host should mute participant’s mics when they start the call.

Ask participants to mute their mic when not speaking (otherwise, with  background noise it can get crazy)

There is the option of using the “Raise your hand” feature to talk next if there is  a lot of people on the call. This would mainly be used in the main session.

Chat Function 

This is a great tool for participants who may feel too shy to say something. It  allows them to engage in conversation in a way that they will feel more  comfortable with.

Tech host has responsibility for chat feature. The chat feature can be saved both automatically or manually. The Tech host should review the chat directly after each zoom meeting in order to make sure that nothing untoward happened during the meeting. The chat should be immediately deleted after review unless there is a concern.

Zoom has two security features which should be used on calls with under 18’s:

You should prevent participants from saving the chat, this means only the tech  host and M.C can save the chat.

You should prevent participants from sending each other private chats.

Screen Share 

This is a great function for showing PowerPoints, videos etc.

Zoom has the option to allow participants to share their screens. This should  never happen on calls with under 18’s. The only person that should be able to  share their screen is the Tech Host.

Breakout Rooms 

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions.  The tech host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these  separate sessions automatically or manually.

Great function for small group discussions.

Tech host can set a timer for the rooms. When the time is up, the breakout  rooms automatically close and send all participants back into the main session.  The tech host can also choose to close the breakout room early if needed.

Minimum 2 Leaders per breakout room

Leaders should never be on their own in a breakout room with someone under  18.

*Meetings on zoom with under 18’s are never to be recorded! All Leaders  should remain in the meeting until all participants have left.

 

 Safeguarding Guidance for the use of “online audio and web  conferencing platforms” including Zoom, with Parents/Guardians and  children (12 years old or younger) in a parish/diocesan setting 

It is Diocesan policy that parish/diocesan groups should never engage with  children under the age of thirteen, using “online audio and web conferencing  platforms” including Zoom, other than in the presence of a parent or guardian.

Where a parish group such as a Family Mass Group or Sacramental Preparation  group, wishes to engage with families (a parent/guardian always visibly present  in the meeting) using these platforms, the following guidance should be adhered  to.

➢ Parents should be informed of the format of the meeting, prior to it taking  place. This allows them to make an informed decision as to whether they  wish to take part or not.

➢ Parishes/diocesan agencies should not use the free version of Zoom as it  does not include the security measures that the subscription versions do. The subscription should be taken out by the parish and should be  managed by someone who understands the platform and who is appointed  by the priest in charge.

➢ Church personnel should NOT use a private Zoom account to engage  with children or vulnerable persons.

➢ If for any reason a meeting is infiltrated from the outside (Zoom  Bombed), that is, if somebody not invited to the meeting appears, the meeting should be terminated immediately. The breach should be  reported to Zoom and in the event that the organisers, parents or  guardians feel that such a breach poses a threat of harm or abuse of the children taking part, this should be reported to the Diocesan Child  Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) without delay.

➢ All leaders should be fully conversant with diocesan safeguarding policy  as set out in the “Child Safeguarding in the Archdiocese of Dublin:  Statement, Reporting Procedures and Good Practice Guidelines 2018” and the parents and guardians should be made aware of the Diocese’s  commitment to the safety and welfare of their children.

➢ The usual child protection procedures apply whenever concerns for the  safety and welfare of children are identified during these meetings,  including reporting of such concerns to the diocesan and civil authorities. The diocesan safeguarding policy document is available on the CSPS  website: www.csps.dublindiocese.ie/policies/

Garda Vetting and Safeguard Training 

All church personnel engaging with children and their parents/guardians using  online conference platforms are exercising “Public Ministry” and consequently:

• Must be Garda Vetted by their parish or diocesan agency, • Must have completed appropriate safeguarding training,

• Should be competent in the use of whatever live platform they are using.