A policy is a collective agreed statement of beliefs. It exists to protect children, parents & staff. It is a course of action recommended or adopted by a service”

Incident / Accident Reporting Policy

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Incident / Accident Reporting Policy

Policy Statement

It is our policy to promote the health, well-being and safety of all the children in our service through the implementation of robust policies and procedures and by developing and regularly reviewing accident prevention procedures and fire safety. Although we adhere to all safety precaution and guidelines accidents may occur.

  • The safety and welfare of the child is always the first consideration if a child is injured or an accident / incident occurs.

  • We will ensure that all personnel are aware of emergency numbers and that they are prominently displayed.

  • We will ensure that all relevant personnel have up to date First Aid Training and that a complete first aid box is accessible.

  • After an incident / accident the incident / accident report form must be completed for all accidents / incidents and Management must be kept informed.

  • Parents / guardians must be kept informed about all accidents and incidents and each form has an area for parent / guardian signatures.

Procedures for responding to an Accident / Incident;

  • In the first instance ensure that the safety and welfare needs of the child are met.

  • The second member of staff should ring management to report the incident / accident. If no second member of staff is available management should be informed as soon as is safely possible.

  • First aid will be administered if needed.

  • Management will make the decision in relation to ringing parents and or additional medical assistance.

  • Staff must complete an incident / accident form as soon as possible. This form must be signed by parent / guardian and management.

  • There are many different types of incidents and accidents and staff must ensure all are reported to management and parents / guardians.

Examples of accidents / incidents that must be reported;

All accidents must be reported, i.e. falls, bumps, scratches. This must be completed even if the accident does not result in a physical injury / mark.

All incidents must be reported. i.e. biting, scratching, hair pulling etc. Social and emotional incidents must also be reported i.e. child portraying any behavioural issues, prolonged crying of 10 minutes maximum, on-going social isolation. These are just some examples and are not exhaustive list.

Social Media Policy

Our Communication policy in our staff handbook outlines all guidelines on social media. This includes phone usage, internet usage etc. Please refer to this policy for further details.

Appendix 1 Standard Report Form

(see http://www.tusla.ie/children-first/publicationsand-and-forms)

Or copies in the main office.

Appendix 2 Definitions/Signs & Symptoms (as per Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children)

Definition of Neglect

Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care.

Harm can be defined as the ill-treatment or the impairment of the health or development of a child. Whether it is significant is determined by the child’s health and development as compared to that which could reasonably be expected of a child of similar age.

Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point. For instance, a child who suffers a series of minor injuries is not having his or her needs met in terms of supervision and safety. A child whose height or weight is significantly below average may be being deprived of adequate nutrition. A child who consistently misses school may be deprived of intellectual stimulation.

The threshold of significant harm is reached when the child’s needs are neglected to the extent that his or her well-being and or / development are severely affected.

Definition of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a parent / care-giver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events. It occurs when a child's developmental need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms. Examples may include:

  1. The imposition of negative attributes on a child, expressed by persistent criticism, sarcasm, hostility or blaming;

  2. Conditional parenting in which the level of care shown to a child is made contingent on his or her behaviours or actions;

  3. Emotional unavailability of the child’s parent / carer;

  4. Unresponsiveness of the parents/carer and / or inconsistent or inappropriate expectations of the child

  5. Premature imposition of responsibility of the child

  6. Unrealistic or inappropriate expectations of the child’s capacity to understand something or to behave and control himself or herself in a certain way;

  7. Under-or over-protection of the child;

  8. Failure to show interest in, or provide age-appropriate opportunities for, the child’s cognitive and emotional development;

  9. Use of unreasonable or over-harsh disciplinary measures;

  10. Exposure to domestic violence

  11. Exposure to inappropriate or abusive material through new technology.

Emotional abuse can be manifested in terms of the child’s behaviour, cognitive, affective or physical function. Examples of these include insecure attachment, unhappiness, low self-esteem, education and developmental underachievement, and oppositional behaviour. The threshold of significant harm is reached when abusive interactions dominate and become typical of the relationship between the child and the parent/carer.

Definition of Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction or lack of interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or a person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. There may be single or repeated incidents.

Physical abuse can involve:

  1. Severe physical punishment;

  2. Beating, slapping, hitting or kicking;

  3. Pushing, shaking or throwing;

  4. Pinching, biting, choking or hair-pulling;

  5. Terrorising with threats;

  6. Observing violence;

  7. Use of excessive force in handling;

  8. Deliberate poisoning;

  9. Suffocation;

  10. Fabricated/induced illness;

Definition of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others. Examples of child sexual abuse include:

  1. Exposure of the sexual organs or any sexual act intentionally performed in the presence of the child;

  2. Intentional touching or molesting of the body of a child whether by a person or object for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification;

  3. Masturbation in the presence of the child or the involvement of the child in an act of masturbation;

  4. Sexual intercourse with the child, whether oral, vaginal or anal;
  5. Sexual exploitation of a child, which includes inciting, encouraging, propositioning, requiring or permitting a child to solicit for, or to engage in, prostitution or other sexual acts. Sexual exploitation also occurs when a child is involved in the exhibition, modelling or posing for the purpose of sexual manipulation, for those purposes, of the image by computer or other means. It may also include showing sexually explicit material to children, which is often a feature of the ‘grooming’ process by perpetrators of abuse;

  6. Consensual sexual activity involving an adult and an underage person. In relation to child sexual abuse, it should be noted,, that for the purposes of the criminal law, the age of consent to sexual intercourse is 17 years both boys and girls. An Garda Siochana will deal with the criminal aspects of the case under the relevant legislation.

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