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Child safeguarding

Safeguarding is the action taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. While protecting children from abuse is one part of safeguarding, children and young people also need safeguarding for them to grow, develop and achieve their potential.

Name of service being provided:

STEPS, Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 D04 R3N2.

List of services being provided and principals to safeguard children from harm:

The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students through a portfolio of projects. 

STEPS is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of children (persons under the age of 18 years, who is not or has not been married) . 

Everyone working with children has a responsibility for their well-being and protection, including those working as staff members or volunteers at STEPS through the organisation’s educational programme and activities.

STEPS provide a range of programmes that engage children as detailed below:

Engineers Week:

STEPS directly manage the coordination of Engineers Week, Engineers Week family weekend and Engineers Week shows. At these events, STEPS recruits and coordinates both Engineers Ireland staff and outreach staff. Engineers Week also encourages local partnerships, for example, with industry, colleges, libraries, outreach organisations and schools.

Engineering Your Future:

STEPS coordinates the Engineering Your Future, Transition Year Programme. Hosted by colleges and companies around the country, the Engineering Your Future programme gives Transition Year students a fun, practical insight into engineering at third level and as a career. The students are under 18 and fall within the definition of a child.

Young Engineers Award:

The Young Engineers Award is a competition run by the STEPS programme in Engineers Ireland to find talented young engineers across the country. STEPS directly manage the Volunteer Engineers that visit the 3rd and 4th class primary school students in their classroom.

Girl Guide Interest Badge:

STEPS wants to help girls to consider engineering and in support of this, provides the Irish Girl Guides with two engineering badges (one for Brownies, one for Guides). STEPS expects compliance by partners with the principals laid down by the Children First Act 2015.

Risk assessment

Inappropriate people with access to children

Procedure in place to manage risk:

Identified Volunteers participating in our Young Engineers Award will go through a comprehensive recruitment and screening process including an application, phone interview, reference check, training and Garda vetting.

STEPS will seek assurance from Engineering Your Future colleges & industry that they comply with Children First Act 2015.

Use of images of children

Procedure in place to manage risk identified 

Photo consent is sought in advance from parents and/or schools for use of images in publications and online.

Inappropriate conduct around children

Procedure in place to manage risk identified:

STEPS have developed a Code of Conduct which Young Engineers Award Volunteers will be trained in. 

Engineering Your Future and Engineers Week organisers will be provided with the Code of Conduct on the website and at information sessions.

Lack of training

Procedure in place to manage risk identified:

All STEPS staff to complete the Children First E-Learning Programme

STEPS Team Lead to complete Children First, Designated Liaison Person training and STEPS Executive to complete Children First, Child Protection training

There will be an induction for all Engineers volunteers

Lack of knowledge of reporting procedures

Procedure in place to manage risk identified:

All staff will be trained on child protection procedures, including reporting child protection complaints and concerns. 

A clearly defined child protection designated person will be in place.

Offsite events

Circulation of Safeguarding Statement and Code of Conduct to all and on display to the public

Recording information

Procedure in place to manage risk identified 

All records pertaining to child safeguarding complaints or concerns are held securely and on a “need to know” basis.

Procedure in place to manage risk identified

Procedure in place to manage risk identified 

A minimum of two adults should be present always at STEPS activities to ensure adequate supervision of groups or activities 

Teachers should remain in the classroom with STEPS volunteers.

Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with the requirements under the Children First Act, 2015, Children First National Guidance for Protection and Welfare of Children. 

The following safeguarding policies/procedures/measures have been put in place:

Procedure for dealing with child protection concerns. 

Procedure for reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla. 

Procedure for the safe recruitment and training of staff and volunteers. 

Code of conduct for all staff and volunteers. 

Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against staff/volunteers. 

Review of safeguarding strategies. 

Procedures listed above will be available on request

Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. STEPS is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the accompanying child safeguarding policies and procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm.

This statement is published below and displayed publicly. It will be provided to all staff, volunteers and any other persons involved with the STEPS Programme. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla if requested.

Relevant Person
STEPS Designated Liaison Person under the Children First Act 2015 is Roseanne O’Leary, STEPS Team Leader Telephone: 01 6651301; 086 0863179