Aura Leisure | 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 safeguarding 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.

  1. 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.

Abuse can be categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. A youth may be subjected to one or more form of abuse at any given time.

  1. Aura Holohan Group Safeguarding Statement

In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, Aura Holohan Group is committed to providing a leisure and work environment that places the safety and welfare of youth above all other considerations. Aura Holohan Group 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 Holohan Group 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.

It is Aura Holohan Group’s policy to:

  • Recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • Fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • Fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
  • Recognise that the welfare of youth must always come first, regardless of all other considerations;
  • Develop a Youth Safeguarding 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.

The following procedures/measures are in place:

  • Aura Holohan Group will ensure all employees are fully vetted before commencement of employment
  • Aura Holohan Group will undertake to re-vet employees on an ongoing basis
  • Aura Holohan Group will appoint 2 youth protection officers per site (Safeguarding 2)
  • Aura Holohan Group appoint a group Designated Liaison Person

Aura Holohan Group has appointed the DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the safeguarding statement.

  • The above will be the first point of contact across the group for concerns by any staff member in relation to the safety of children
  • Further information can be obtained in our Youth Protection Manual

Aura Holohan Group has appointed a Safeguarding Committee consisting of the Group DLP, Group H&S Officer and Group Operations Director. This document shall be reviewed and released by this committee on an annual basis or as the need may arise.

4. References

  • Children First Act 2015.
  • National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.
  • A guide for the reporting of child protection and welfare concerns. Tusla.
  • Guidance on Developing a Child Safeguarding. Tusla.
  • 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).