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Policy for the Protection of Children January 2010
Children, because of their dependency and immaturity, are vulnerable to abuse in various forms. Parents or guardians have primary responsibility for the care and protection of their children. However, Kilkenny Local Authorities has a responsibility to ensure the protection of children participating in any Council activities.
This policy extends to all staff. All employees must be sensitive to the vulnerability of children during the course of their duties and act in a responsible manner at all times. It is recognised that most staff members do not have expertise in this area; it is important to note that the investigation of suspected child abuse is the responsibility of the statutory authorities and shall not be undertaken by the Council's Child Protection Liaison Officer(s) or other Local Authority employees.
These Guidelines have been developed in accordance with government guidelines Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, a copy of which can be made available on request or can be found on the website of the Department of Health and Children - www.dohc.ie
Further to the appointment of the Child Protection Officer and the Deputy Child Protection Officer a sub-committee was formed with representatives from each of the key strategic service areas within the Council. The purpose of this committee was to assist in the preparation of these guidelines taking cognisance of the particular responsibilities and activities of Kilkenny Local Authorities which involve the participation of children.
These guidelines are directed at all those who have contact with children in the normal course of their duties, to provide guidance on appropriate behaviour around children and what to do if physical, sexual or emotional and neglect abuse is suspected.
This Policy is not a legal interpretation of the legislation.