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Carlow Cathedral Safeguarding Children

Carlow Cathedral Parish

Child Protection Policy


Reviewed 16th March, 2010



The Carlow Cathedral Parish values our children and young people and respects and upholds their worth and dignity as children of God.  Our Policy clearly acknowledges that the welfare of the child is of paramount importance.  Therefore we commit to do all in our power to safeguard any child under our care from spiritual, physical, sexual or emotional harm.


We encourage their active participation in all aspects of Parish life and in the activities that enhance their faith development as well as their personal and social development.


We recognise that we have a special duty of care both to the children and young people and to those in leadership roles with them, and therefore we have procedures and practices through which this care is put into effect.


Our policy is drawn in line with ‘Safeguarding Children’, the National guidelines for the protection and welfare of children and young people, and according to the recommendations of ‘Kildare & Leighlin Safeguarding Children’ the Policies and Procedures provided by the Irish Bishops’ Conference.  It is our policy in the parish to work in partnership with the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin and with all state agencies charged with the welfare of children and young people.  Our policy is to report all concerns to the Civil Authorities, through the person designated as parish child protection officer.


This policy document applies to all those activities which are organised directly by the Carlow Cathedral Parish relating to the pastoral care of children and young people.  When necessary, we will also work in co-operation with other community groups and agencies who deal with young people, recognising that they also have policies and procedures in place.


This document is designed to fit the requirements of those parish groups currently operating.  It will be reviewed and updated as necessary.  Input from interested parties within the parish will always be welcome.






Carlow Cathedral Parish  Draft Child Protection Policy..cont’d

Code of Conduct Basics:

All children and young people will be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity and will be obliged to treat each other and their leaders in the same way. Horseplay is considered inappropriate and will not be tolerated.  Inappropriate language will not be used by leaders or young people.  Parents and guardians will be expected to adopt the same attitudes of courtesy, respect and dignity with regard to the participation of their children in parish activities.  Any type of bullying[1] behaviour by anyone involved in parish activities is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  All those involved in parish programmes will be encouraged to report suspicions or incidents of bullying to a programme leader or directly to the Designated Person.


The physical integrity of children and young people should always be respected. Inappropriate physical contact or inappropriate conversation should never be engaged in. 


There must always be an adequate ratio of leaders to young people and adequate, gender appropriate and activity appropriate supervision at all times.  We suggest that 1:10 would be standard practice but where the situation demands, a ratio of 1:6 would apply. 


Those in leadership roles will not allow personal relationships or parental roles interfere with the running of the programmes.  Favouritism and unnecessary or unapproved contact with children outside the programme is to be avoided by leaders.


In the event of an allegation being made regarding parish activities, the protection of the child will be the immediate consideration.  The parish will provide support to all those affected by any allegation and the situation will be dealt with, promptly and carefully under advice from the Health Service Executive.





Carlow Cathedral Parish Draft Child Protection Policy..cont’d


Best Practice Guidelines

Safe Management of Activities:

  • Appropriate training will be given to all those engaged in organising youth ministry activities in the parish. 


  • All youth activities must have a current permission form from the parent/guardian of each child or young person involved in the activity.  This form will apply to all those under 18 years of age and must include parental consent and contact details, medical/other relevant information and whether younger children have permission to walk home.  Separate written permission is required for special activities (like outings etc.).  All written consent forms will be treated with appropriate confidentiality and will be stored with appropriate security measures.  Only delegated programme leaders and where necessary, the designated person and the Parish Administrator, will have access to this information. 


  • An attendance record for each child or young person participating in parish activities will always be kept.  These records will also be deemed confidential.


  • All youth activities must have at least two named adult supervisors in attendance at all times.  No-one will at any time work alone or travel alone with individual children who are participating in parish activities.  If an emergency situation arises, proper and sensible precautions must be taken – e.g. telephone notification of the need to bring a child to hospital and telephone verification of arrival at the hospital.


  • All common areas in the Cathedral are covered by CCTV.  Servers are required to remain in servers’ area before Mass.  Parents/guardians of servers are welcome to be with their child before and after Mass.


  • All groups using Parish property for youth activities will be required to provide their insurance details and Child Protection Policy as a matter of course.
  • Accurate records must be kept of any type of concern regarding a child or young person.  The Designated Persons will keep a confidential log of all concerns.



Carlow Cathedral Parish  Draft Child Protection Policy..cont’d


  • An Incident/Accident book will be provided for all parish activities and others will be kept in the Parish Centre, Youth Centre and the Sacristy.


Safe Recruitment and Selection Procedures:

  • All those who have contact with children or young people in parish activities will be asked to fill in an application form which will include a declaration of suitability and references.  These will be treated as confidential documents and stored with appropriate security measures.


Reporting of Concerns:

  • The Parish Designated Persons must be notified of all concerns.  These records must then be retained in case there is a need for future reference to them.  All records will be confidential and will be stored with appropriate security measures.


  • If there is any type of concern, this will not be discussed with anyone other than the Designated Persons, or the Parish Administrator.  This is to protect confidentiality for the children and young people and also for those in leadership roles.  In the event of a disclosure being made by child or young person the leader will explain that further help may be needed. Confidentiality must not be assured.


  • Parents will be notified and concerns discussed with them in all situations except those which the Designated Persons feel might cause risk to the safety or welfare of the child concerned.


The members of the Child Protection Committee are:

Fr John Cummins Adm.                            Mr Bernard Geraghty, Parish Manager, Designated Person. 

Fr Rory Nolan C.C.                                  Mr Mossy Kenny, Designated Person.                      

                                                                  Ms Sandra Byrne, Designated Person.

Sr Dolores Fitzgerald, Parish Sister.         Ms Clare Kenny, Designated Person.


Who can be contacted at:


Carlow Parish Centre 059 9164087


Carlow Presbytery      059 9131227


[1] Bullying can be defined as repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression conducted by an individual or group against others.  It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly in social environments such as schools, clubs and other organisations working with children.  It includes behaviours such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting or extortion behaviour by one or more children against a victim.  While more extreme forms of bullying would be regarded as physical or emotional abuse and are reportable health board or An Garda Siochana, dealing with bullying behaviour is normally the responsibility of the school or organisation where it is taking place.  Training for teachers and staff/volunteers in organisations working with children should include modules on raising awareness and developing techniques for dealing with bullying. – (ref: Children First)


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