Féile Chois Cuain recognises its responsibility to ensure that a safe environment is provided for all children and vulnerable adults taking part in its activities. This policy specifies how we will provide a safe environment and protect children and vulnerable adults while they are taking part in Féile Chois Cuain events. It also aims to protect Féile Chois Cuain committee members and volunteers from situations where they may feel threatened or open to suspicion or accusation. This policy covers the following Féile Chois Cuain activities:

  • Recruitment of freelancers and volunteers.
  • Adult, family and school events where volunteers or freelancers come into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Outreach projects with community groups and schools where freelancers or volunteers come into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults.

Code of Behaviour for Staff Following this code of conduct will allow Féile Chois Cuain staff and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults to avoid most situations in which they may be compromised. You should

  • Treat all children, vulnerable adults and young people equally
  • Listen to and respect children, vulnerable adults and young people
  • Involve children and young people in decision making (as appropriate)
  • Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability)
  • Use appropriate language
  • Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere
  • Offer constructive criticism when needed
  • Treat all children, vulnerable adults and young people as individuals
  • Respect a child’s, vulnerable adult’s or young person’s personal space
  • Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children, vulnerable adults and young people and their primary carers.
  • Encourage feedback from group
  • Use age appropriate teaching aids and materials
  • Lead by example
  • Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities.
  • Be cognisant of a child’s, vulnerable adult’s or young person’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example
  • Create an atmosphere of trust
  • Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation.

Good Practice

  • Make available Féile Chois Cuain Child Protection Policy and procedures to primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators if requested.
  • Be inclusive of children, vulnerable adults and young children with special needs
  • Plan and be sufficiently prepared both mentally and physically
  • Report any concerns to the Designated Person
  • Observe appropriate dress and behaviour.
  • Report any incidents and accidents.
  • Update and review policies and procedures on a regular basis.
  • Ensure proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age, abilities and activities involved.
  • Ensure clear communication between artist and Féile Chois Cuain committee.
  • Dont be passive in relation to concerns i.e. dont ‘do’ nothing
  • Don’t let a problem get out of control
  • Avoid being alone with children, young person or vulnerable adults e.g. taking them to the toilet
  • Avoid taking a session on your own. If this is not possible then it should be in an open environment with the full knowledge and consent of primary carers.
  • Avoid if at all possible giving a lift to a child/young person.
  • Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner.

Inappropriate Behaviour

  • Do not allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form.
  • Do not use actions or language that may cause a child, young person or vulnerable adult to lose self-esteem or confidence.
  • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people/vulnerable adult.
  • Do not hit or physically chastise children/young people/vulnerable adults
  • Do not socialise inappropriately with children/young people/vulnerable adults

Health and Safety

  • Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised
  • Manage any dangerous materials
  • Provide a safe environment

Reporting Procedures Aoife O’Toole has been designated as the person to contact if there is an issue or concern about any aspect of a child’s, vulnerable adult’s or young person’s safety and welfare. It is the responsibility of this person to support and advise Feile Chois Cuain committee about policy and procedures in relation to child protection and to ensure procedures are followed. Designated Person: Aoife O’Toole, Dooghmakeon,Louisburgh, Co.Mayo Tel: 0863502627 Deputy Designated Person:  John O’Toole, Thallabawn Louisburgh, Co. Mayo  Tel: 086 2459113 Reasonable Grounds for Concern

  • Specific Indication from the child, vulnerable adult or young person that s/he has been abused
  • An account by a person who saw the child/young person/vulnerable adult being abused
  • Evidence, such as an injury or behaviour, which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused another way.
  • An injury or behaviour which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse
  • Consistent indication, over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect.

Recording Procedures An incident book will be kept by Aoife O’Toole. Féile Chois Cuain Committee members should record the following information in relation to children and young people/vulnerable adults:

  • Suspicions
  • Concerns
  • Worrying Observations
  • Behavioural Changes
  • Actions and Outcomes

Procedure for dealing with a disclosure

  • Stay calm and listen to the child/young person/vulnerable adult, allow him or enough time to say what s/he needs to say.
  • Don’t use leading questions or prompt details
  • Reassure the child/young person/vulnerable adult but do not promise to keep anything secret.
  • Don’t make the child/young person/vulnerable adult repeat the details unnecessarily.
  • Explain to the child/young person/vulnerable adult what will happen next

Reporting Procedures

  • Actions and outcomes should be noted
  • Record all details, including the date, time and people involved in the concern or disclosure and the facts in the incident book. Information recorded should be factual. Any opinions should be supported by facts.
  • Inform the designated person or his/her deputy, if unavailable.
  • The most appropriate person should discuss the concern or consult with primary carers. Parents, carers or responsible adults should be made aware of a report to the HSE unless it is likely to put the child/young person/vulnerable adult at further risk.
  • The Designated Person may contact the Health Service Executive Duty Social Work Department for an informal consultation prior to making a report.
  • Information will be shared on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.

Louisburgh  Garda Station: 098-66065 Westport Garda Station: 098-50230 Child and Family Agency/Social Work Team, Dept St Mary’s HQ Castlebar  094-9042284  Confidentiality Statement We in Féile Chois Cuain are committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that

  • Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the child/young person
  • Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality.
  • We cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child /vulnerable adult or young person are at risk.
  • Primary carers, children and young person have a right to know if personal information is being shared and/or a report is being made to the HSE, unless doing so could put the vulnerable adult/child/young person at further risk.
  • Images of a child/young person/vulnerable adult will not be used for any reason without the consent of the parent/carer ( however, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be used at public performances)
  • Procedures will be put in place in relation to the use of images of children/young people.
  • Procedures will also be put in place for the recording and storing of information in line with our confidentiality policy.

Volunteer Management Policy Statement

  • New volunteers will be made aware of Féile Chois Cuain code of conduct, child protection procedures and the identity and role of who has been designated to deal with issues of concern.

It is our policy that volunteers do not have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults as per the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 In the event of complaints or comments:

  • Aoife O Toole has responsibility for directing complaints/comments to the appropriate person.
  • Verbal complaints will be logged and responded to.

Accidents Procedure

  • Children and young people/vulnerable adults must be advised of risks of dangerous materials.
  • The location of incident/accident books must be made known to staff.
  • Committee members trained in First Aid: Aoife O Toole.
  • Location of First Aid Boxes: All venues are regularly reviewed to determine location of first aid boxes


  1. Name of organisation

Féile Chois Cuain

  1. Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm

Féile Chois Cuain is a four-day festival which takes place annually on the May bank Holiday Weekend in the town of Louisburgh, County Mayo. Ancillary events and outreach programmes also take place throughout the year. The Féile Chois Cuain committee recognises their responsibility to ensure that a safe environment is provided for all children taking part in their activities. This Child Safeguarding Statement specifies how we will provide a safe environment and protect children while they are taking part in Féile Chois Cuain events and projects.

  1. Risk Assessment

Féile Chois Cuain has completed an assessment of the potential for harm to children and young people that are engaged in the Féile and maintains a risk register in relation to this. Harm in this context is related to assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child or young people that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child or young person’s health, development or welfare, or sexual abuse of the child or young person. This register identifies all risks of harm and lists the procedures , policies, programmes and practices that help reduce or eliminate these risks. Below is a list of the areas of risk identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.

Risk Identified Workshop leaders, artists and volunteers unsuitable for working with children
1 Workshop leaders, artists and volunteers unsuitable for working with children ●        Implement procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workshop leaders, artists and volunteers to work with children.

●        Garda vetted committee member to be present at events/projects

●        Code of Behaviour & Child Protection Policy given to those working with children in advance of event

2 Workshop leaders, artists and volunteers ill-equipped to safeguard children from harm ●        Implement procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information
3a Child unsure about how or to whom to report an issue 3b Person unsure as to how or to whom to voice a concern about a child at risk ●        Ensure reporting procedures are accessible and easily available at every event

●        Child Protection Policy published on website

●        Child Protection Policy available at every event

●        Procedures outlined in Volunteer Handbook, at volunteer training and in Volunteer Management Policy

4. Inappropriate use or dissemination of children’s images or information ●        Ensure all staff and volunteers adhere to social/media procedures including consent sought for the taking and use of images

●        Consent forms given to parents at workshops/events as per Child Protection Policy

  1. Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), and Túsla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice. In addation to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following  Feile Chois Cuain procedures support our intention to safe guard children and young people while they are availing of our services;

  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection staff andvolunteers to work with children
  • Procedure forprovision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurance of harm;
  • Procedure for the reporting of Children Protection or welfare concerns to Tusla;
  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct, against staff or volunteers, of a child or youngperson availing of our services.
  1. Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our services. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed in February 2020, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signed: ____________________________________

Aoife O’Toole

Contact: 086 3502627

Designated  Child Protection Officer

Address: Doughmakeon Féile Chois Cuain, Louisburgh, Co.Mayo

Download Child Protection & Safeguarding Statement here