Child Protection Policy

Mary Whelan Fox, School of Elocution, Speech and Drama

Information on our Child Protection Policy for Parents/Guardians

Mary Whelan Fox, School of Elocution, Speech and Drama are committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people. Children’s welfare and safety is our top priority. We comply with Children First: National Guidelines for Child Protection and Welfare. To help us achieve this, we have a Child Protection Policy and Procedures which guide our work. Copies of our Child Protection Policy are available (on our website /or from Mary, our designated Person for Child Protection).

What is a child protection policy?

A child protection policy is a statement of the organisation’s commitment to keep children and young people safe and to report any concerns about their welfare. The policy will contain procedures for how this is done in the organisation. These will usually include:

  • A code of behaviour for staff.
  • A safe recruitment policy.
  • A Designated Person who deals with child protection issues.
  • Procedures for reporting concerns to the HSE.
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers.
  • A confidentiality policy.
  • A complaints policy.
  • An accidents and incidents reporting policy.

Here at Speech and Drama , The Mary Whelan Fox School of Elocution, Speech, Drama & Communications want to make sure that all children and young people who come to our classes  are safe and are protected from harm. We call this our Child Protection Policy.

Children and young people have a right to:

  • Be safe.
  • Be listened to.
  • Be treated with fairness and respect.
  • Be free from bullying.
  • Get help and support if you’ve been hurt, neglected or badly treated.

 Everyone working for Our School respects these rights. This is part of our Code of Behaviour. Our Child Protection Policy says that if anyone is worried that a child or young person is being hurt, bullied or abused, they should talk to Mary Fox. She can be contacted at 087-8941197

Speech and Drama is committed to safeguarding the well-being of all the children and young people with whom our staff come into contact. Our policy on child protection is following “Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children” The principles of good practice for the protection for children and young people”. We are committed to promoting the rights of the child to be protected, be listened to and have their own views taken into consideration. 

1 All employees, and volunteers will be made aware of and be familiar with the childcare services child protection policy through an in-house induction.

The Designated Liaison Person (Mary Fox) acts as a liaison with outside agencies and a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns. The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions the Child and Family Agency Tusla or An Garda Siochana. 

We have put in place a standard reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, dealing with Child Protection and Welfare Concerns concerns or allegations of child abuse. 

Reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse

  1. The employee or volunteer who has received a disclosure of child abuse or who has concerns about a child should bring them to the attention of the Designated Liaison Person immediately. 
  2. Under no circumstances should a child be left in a situation that exposes him or her to harm or of risk to harm pending Tusla intervention. 
  3. Where the Designated Liaison Person considers that a child protection or welfare concern meets the reasonable grounds for concern criteria outlined below, then the Designated Liaison Person can refer to Tusla. Examples of reasonable grounds for concern are:

a specific indication from the child that he/she was abused an account by the person who saw the child being abused

evidence, such as an injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in another way an injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where corroborative indicators the concern that it may be a case of abuse. An example of this would be a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indications of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour.

Consistent indication over time that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect. See Appendix 1 or also visit: FAQ on  

If we have a child protection concern about a child, we are obliged to report it to a Duty Social Worker in the Health Service Executive (HSE), or in an emergency, to An Garda Síochána.

Reckless endangerment of children is a criminal offence under Irish law which could result in criminal prosecution and imprisonment for failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the appropriate legislation.

 What information will be passed on?

 >We will pass on the child’s name, address and age, your name and address and will say what the reason for concern is.

>We will also include the name of the person making the report. Anyone making a report of suspected child abuse, provided they act ‘reasonably and in good faith’ will have immunity from civil liability (Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998).