Youth Protection Policy

1. Objective

Aura is first and foremost a family orientated organisation and the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults is a priority of the highest order.  The objective of our Youth protection manual and this policy is to provide guidelines on the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and all people working for Aura.  We are committed to the development of policies to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all persons who come to Aura Leisure Centre.

2. Definitions 

Valuing youth means valuing workers as well; insisting on safe practices, eliminating the necessity for staff to take risks and providing them with support will make for a healthier and safer organisation.

3. Responsibilities

Aura’s Youth Protection Policy Statement

Aura is committed to providing a leisure and work environment that places the safety and welfare of youth above all other considerations.  Aura acknowledges that our staff provide a valuable contribution to the positive experiences of young people.  We aim to ensure this continues and to safeguard the safety and welfare of all youth who come to our centres. All allegations of abuse will be dealt with promptly, seriously, sensitively and confidentially.

At Aura we work to create an environment in which youth are listened to; given a sense of belonging and kept safe; parents are supported and encouraged; and staff and volunteers who work with youth and young people are supported and protected.

Aura’s policy has been adapted from “Our Duty to Care” (Dept of health and children).

It is Aura’s policy to:

  • Acknowledge the rights of youth to be protected, treated with respect, listened to and have their own views taken into consideration;
  • Recognise that the welfare of youth must always come first, regardless of all other considerations;
  • Develop a youth protection policy that raises awareness about the possibility of youth abuse occurring and outlines the steps to be taken if it is suspected;
  • Adopt the safest possible practices to minimise the possibility of harm of accidents happening to youth and protect workers from the necessity to take risks and leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • Adopt and consistently apply clearly defined methods of recruiting staff and volunteers;
  • Develop procedures for responding to accidents and complaints;
  • Remember that early intervention with youths who are vulnerable or at risk may prevent serious harm from happening to them at a later stage;
  • Remember that a youth’s age, gender and background affect the way they experience and understand what is happening to them;
  • Provide youth protection training for workers. This should clarify the responsibilities of both organisations and individuals, and clearly show the procedures to be followed if youth abuse is suspected;
  • Develop a policy of openness with parents that involves consulting them about everything that concerns their youths, and encouraging them to get involved with the organisation wherever possible;
  • Co-operate with any other youth care protection agencies and professionals by sharing information when necessary and working together towards the best possible outcome for the youths concerned;
  • Make links with other relevant organisations in order to promote youth protection and welfare policies and practices.

4. References

  • Children First – National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Department of Health & Children, 1999)
  • Our Duty of Care – (Department of Health & Children)
  • The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998.- Child Care Act, 1991.
  • The Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport (update 2005).