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Guidance for Dealing with & Reporting Allegations or Concerns of Abuse

The Camogie Association is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all young people who participate in our Games and activities. We shall take all practical steps to protect young people from discernable forms of abuse – from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment and shall respect their rights, wishes and feelings.

The Camogie Assocation believes that the welfare of the child is paramount and recognises that all children have the right to be safe and that this fundamental principal takes precedence over all other considerations.

‘Children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence; they must be kept safe from harm, and they must be given proper care by those looking after them’ (Article 19: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

The Camogie Designated Person

All Clubs and County Boards shall appoint a Designated Person who on behalf of the Club or County shall be responsible at an initial stage for dealing with any concerns relating to the possible abuse of children as reported or made known to them.

These appointments form an essential part of the Camogie Child Welfare and Protection strategy to ensure that in so far as is practically possible we provide a safe environment for children, young people and also for the adults who assist our underage members at Gaelic Games and other Association activities.
The Camogie Association is committed to taking appropriate action where allegations or suspicions of abuse are made known to us and to sharing such information with the relevant statutory authorities in accordance with legislation and relevant guidelines.

In our work with children and young people we are directed by appropriate legislation within the jurisdiction in which we operate. Within the Camogie Association our Guidance for Dealing & Reporting Allegations or Concerns of Abuse and our Code of Behaviour (Underage) act as further guidance in all such matters.

For further guidance please contact the Camogie National Designated Liaison Person, Roberta Farrell at 086 7502988 or by e-mail at nationaldlp@camogie.ie

Children First Act

The Children First Act 2015 was enacted on 19th November 2015.

It is important to note that although this Act has been enacted, it has not been fully commenced. Part 5 of the Act “Miscellaneous” was commenced on the 11th of December 2015.

The responsibilities and principles outlined in “Children First, National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children” 2011 and any additional guidance issued by the Minister continue to apply to all in relation to the safeguarding of children. The policy intent is that the legislation will operate side-by-side with the existing non-statutory obligations provided for in Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011).

Children First, National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children” 2011, is currently being revised and updated to reflect the legislation. This is to ensure that the Guidance will continue as a primary reference for all citizens to report concerns and includes the new legislative obligations. This will provide clarity between the legislation and the existing non-statutory obligations which will continue to operate for all sectors of society.

The full text of the Children First Act 2015 is available HERE and a background to the Act can be found at www.dcya.gov.ie

Young People

As a young person you have the right to be kept safe from harm, and it is the responsibility of your parents and guardians to make sure that they protect you. We here in the Camogie Association also have a responsibility to ensure, as far as is practically possible, that we provide safe and enjoyable surroundings for you while you play our games or attend our events.

This is one of the many rights that you have as a young person, and Ireland has made a promise to the United Nations to promote these rights for all young people in Ireland.

The Children First: National Guidance was developed to help protect children and young people where there are abuse and/or welfare concerns. It explains what abuse is and tells everyone who is involved in the lives of young people – like parents, teachers, doctors Gardaí, and social workers – what they must do if they think a child or young person is being abused.

‘A child means a person under the age of 18 years, excluding a person who is or has been married’ (Children First, 2.1.2)

Regrettably there are people who hurt children. In some cases, you may be at risk of harm from someone you know or love. This could be your parent(s), grandparent(s), Aunt or Uncle, cousin, boyfriend/girlfriend, school friends or someone else in your life. It could be someone who is under 18 themselves.
If you are being harmed or abused by someone you know it could be hard for you to tell. However it is very important that you do tell so that you can get help.

As a young person if I am concerned or wish to report possible abuse what can I do?
As a young person you have a right to be protected from harm. If you believe you are being abused, at risk of being abused or worried that someone you know is being harmed you should talk to an adult you can trust. This could be a parent, another family member, a teacher or someone involved in your life who will listen. In the GAA you may wish to discuss your concerns or seek advice from a Coach, your Children’s Officer or another trusted person in your Club/County.

As a young person you are entitled to talk to your local Duty Social Worker in the Child and Family Agency. The Duty Social Worker has a legal responsibility to protect you and keep you safe.

If at any stage you are scared and believe you are in danger you should talk to your local Gardaí by calling 999. An Garda Síochána also have a special legal responsibility to keep you safe.

Tusla – Child and Family Agency Contacts

Tusla – The Child and Family Agency was established on the 1st January 2014 and is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children

If you have concerns about a child but are not sure what to do or may need advice on procedures, you should discuss such concerns with your Camogie Club or County Designated Person, your Children’s Officer or contact your local Child and Family Agency social work department for advice. You may at any time contact the Camogie National Children’s Officer by e-mail to nationalchildrensofficer@camogie.ie

Reporting a Child Welfare Concern to Tusla
Whether you are a young person, a parent, guardian or member of the public you may report a child welfare concern to Tusla by clicking HERE

Should you wish to contact a Tusla Service Directors or Area Managers you may do so HERE

Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts – Gateway Services for Children

Ulster GAA, in co-operation with the Camogie National Children’s Office provides a comprehensive child safeguarding service for our members throughout the nine Counties of Ulster.

Due to jurisdictional requirements Ulster GAA provides an additional and specific child welfare and protection advisory role for six counties of Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone. This role includes child protection awareness training, advisory services on dealing with concerns or allegations of abuse from the Ulster Provincial Designated Person and a Garda vetting and a Police background checks service in accordance with AcessNI requirements.

Through a service level agreement Ulster GAA also processes applications for vetting disclosure certificates with AccessNI on behalf of Ulster Camogie Council and Ulster Ladies Gaelic Council.

Reporting Allegations of Abuse to Statutory Authorities
The process of reporting allegations of abuse to statutory authorities in Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone is in line with Section 6 of the GAA Guidelines for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse (Section 6)

In common with all Provincial Councils, Ulster GAA assists the Association in promoting good practice in child welfare and protection. In accordance with Camogie procedures they willingly provide Club and County Board Designated Persons who wish to report allegations of abuse or concerns of a child welfare nature to the statutory authorities with advisory services so as to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and guidance, regardless of jurisdiction.

Should a member of the Camogie Association believe or suspect that a child is suffering or is in danger of suffering significant harm or may be in danger of being abused they should immediately pass on such concerns to the relevant Camogie Designated Person who will assist them in formally reporting such matters to the relevant Social Care Trust. All reports made to the Statutory Authorities shall also be reported to the Camogie National Designated Person.

It should be noted that an individual may, if they so wish, directly report their concerns to the statutory authorities themselves.

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