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Child Safeguarding Statement


CTL Ireland provides educational and immersion programmes in Ireland


CTL Ireland acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice. This Child Safeguarding Statement recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, socio economic background, all children participating in a CTL programme have a positive and enjoyable experience in a safe and child centred environment and are protected from abuse.


CTL Ireland’s child safeguarding policy is founded on the principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and complies with the Children First legislation in Ireland.


CTL’s Child Safeguarding Policy is underpinned by the following key principles


  • Everyone has a right to freedom from abuse and exploitation.

  • The abuse of a child is never acceptable.

  • The best interests of the child are of paramount importance to CTL Ireland and form the basis of the design and operation of all programmes.

  • CTL Ireland is committed to promoting the safety and well-being of all children in contact with the organisation, irrespective of what society, community or country they reside in.

  • CTL Ireland acknowledges that the organisation has a moral and legal obligation to maintain the highest standards possible in child protection and put in place safeguards to ensure a safe environment for all children.

  • All allegations of mistreatment will be handled with due diligence, irrespective of whom the allegation has been made against.

  • When CTL Ireland faces a suspicion of abuse, action has to be taken. It is not the role of a CTL Ireland staff member to investigate or adjudicate on a suspicion or claim of abuse, but to act in the best interest of the child and  to report the suspicion of abuse



As part of our safeguarding policy CTL Ireland will


  • Promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children

  • Ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate training to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children

  • Ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents / concerns of abuse and support is provided to the individuals who raise or disclose the concern

  • Ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

  • Prevent the employment / engagement of unsuitable individuals and maintain a safe recruitment and vetting policy

  • Ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation


The aim and purpose of this policy is to safeguard children, young people, families, staff and volunteers. The document is based on and adheres to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children published in 2011 and the Children First Act 2015.


Programmes and Risk Assessment


Secondary School In

  • Young people aged under 18 come to Ireland, to live with a host family and attend secondary school for a period of between one term and a full academic year


Group Programmes

  • Groups of young people under 18 years travel to Ireland to stay in an Irish host community and take part in voluntary service and cultural activities here. They stay with host families, usually two per family and their activities are organised and supervised by a local volunteer.

  • Groups of young people come to Ireland with their leaders and stay in hotels, campus accommodation and guesthouses. They take part in educational and cultural activities, outdoor activities and sports and meet with Irish young people.


Volunteer Programmes

  • International volunteers are placed with host projects in Ireland. They work alongside local workers and volunteers in a variety of community and voluntary organisations. Some of these host projects provide services to children.

Identified Risks

  • Children being away from home and their families

  • Risk of abuse while staying with a host family or in school

  • Risk of abuse by incoming volunteer to a child service user

  • Cultural differences / difficulties in communicating in the host culture


CTL is committed to undertake more detailed programme specific Risk Assessment and review them on a yearly basis. Procedures are in Place to Mitigate Risks.




Three Pillars


CTL Ireland’s child protection policy is comprised of three pillars: awareness, prevention and response. This sets out the standards and commitments that CTL Ireland has made to child protection and should be a point of reference for anyone who has a concern regarding the safety or well-being of a child within the organisation.



This means being vigilant to breaches of safety and accepting that a child could be at risk of maltreatment or abuse within the organisation. Only when members of the organisation are open to the possibility that a child could be at risk can they be aware enough to prevent it.



CTL Ireland puts measures in place to prevent unsuitable individuals from working with children. CTL Ireland pledges to ensure that all those working within or with the organisation are aware of the child protection policy.



Where there is a suspicion that a child may be at risk, CTL Ireland is committed to responding in an appropriate and timely manner. Where an allegation of wrongdoing is made, CTL Ireland will treat the allegation seriously and report it to the relevant persons.



Types of abuse and identifying abuse


Following the provisions set out by Article 19 (1)[1] of the UNCRC, abuse can be categorized into four broad types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. The Children First[2] guidelines also support the provisions of the UNCRC. Each of these different types of abuse is serious and can cause long-term physical and psychological damage to a child. A child may be exposed to more than one type of abuse at any given time. 



Child Neglect is the most frequently reported category of abuse, both in Ireland and internationally. Ongoing chronic neglect is recognised as being extremely harmful to the development and wellbeing of the child and may have serious long term negative consequences.

Neglect occurs when a child does not receive adequate care or supervision to the extent that the child is harmed physically or developmentally. It is generally defined in terms of an omission of care, where a child’s health, development or welfare is impaired by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, medical care, intellectual stimulation or supervision and safety. Emotional neglect may also lead to the child having attachment difficulties. The extent of the damage to the child’s health, development or welfare is influenced by a range of factors. These factors include the extent, if any, of positive influence in the child’s life as well as the age of the child and the frequency and consistency of neglect.

Neglect is associated with poverty but not necessarily caused by it. It is strongly linked to parental substance misuse, domestic violence and parental mental illness and disability.


A reasonable concern for the child’s welfare would exist when neglect becomes typical of the relationship between the child and the parent or carer. This may become apparent where you see the child over a period of time, of the effects of neglect may be obvious based on having seen the child once


The following are features of child neglect

  • Children being left alone without adequate care and supervision

  • Malnourishment, lacking food, unsuitable food or erratic feeding

  • Non-organic failure to thrive. ie a child not gaining weight due not only to malnutrition but also emotional deprivation

  • Failure to provide adequate care for the child’s medical and developmental needs, including intellectual stimulation

  • Inadequate living conditions - unhygienic conditions, environmental issues, including lack of adequate heating and furniture

  • Lack of adequate clothing

  • Inattention to basic hygiene

  • Lack of protection and exposure to danger, including moral danger or lack of supervision appropriate to the child’s age

  • Persistent failure to attend school



Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the systematic emotional or psychological ill- treatment of a child as part of the overall relationship between caregiver and a child. Once-off and occasional difficulties between a parent / carer and child are not considered emotional abuse. Abuse occurs when a child’s basic need for attention, affection, approval, consistency and security are not met, due to incapacity or indifference from their parent or caregiver. Emotional abuse can also occur when adults responsible for taking care of children are unaware of or unable (for a range of reasons) to meet their children’s emotional and developmental needs. Emotional abuse is not easy to recognise because the effects are not easily seen


A reasonable concern for the child’s welfare would exist when the behaviour becomes typical of the relationship between the child and the parent or carer.


Emotional Abuse may be seen in some of the following ways

  • Rejection

  • Lack of comfort and love

  • Lack of attachment

  • Lack of proper stimulation (eg fun and play)

  • Lack of continuity of care (eg frequent moves, particularly unplanned)

  • Continuous lack of praise and encouragement

  • Persistent criticism, sarcasm, hostility or blaming of the child

  • Bullying

  • Conditional parenting in which care or affection of a child depends on his or her behaviour or actions

  • Extreme overprotectiveness

  • Inappropriate non physical punishment (eg locking child in bedroom)

  • Ongoing family conflicts and family violence

  • Seriously inappropriate expectations of a child relative to his / her age and stage of development


There may be no physical signs of emotional abuse unless it occurs with another type of abuse. A child may show signs of emotional abuse through their actions or emotions in several ways. These include insecure attachment, unhappiness, low self esteem, educational and developmental underachievement, risk taking and aggressive behaviour


Physical abuse

Physical abuse is when someone deliberately hurts a child physically or puts them at risk of being physically hurt. It may occur as a single incident or as a pattern of incidents.


A reasonable concern exists where the child’s health and/or development is, may be or has been damaged as a result of suspected physical abuse


Physical abuse can include the following:

  • Physical punishment

  • Beating, slapping, hitting or kicking

  • Pushing, shaking or throwing

  • Pinching, biting, choking or hair pulling

  • Use of excessive force in handling

  • Deliberate poisoning

  • Suffocation

  • Fabricated / induced illness

  • Female Genital Mutilation


The Children First Act 2015 includes a provision that abolishes the common law defence of reasonable chastisement in court proceedings. This defence could previously be invoked by a parent or other person in authority who physically disciplined a child. The change in the legislation now means that in prosecutions relating to assault or physical cruelty, a person who administers such punishment to a child cannot reply on the defence of reasonable chastisement in the legal proceedings The result of this is that the protections in law relating to assault now apply to a child in the same way as they do to an adult.


Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or arousal or for that of another. It includes the child being involved in sexual acts (masturbation, fondling, oral or penetrative sex) or exposing the child to sexual activity directly or through pornography


Child sexual abuse may cover a wide spectrum of abusive activities, It rarely involves just a single incident and in some instance occurs over a number of years. Child sexual abuse most commonly happens within the family, including older siblings and extended family members,


Cases of sexual abuse mainly come to light through disclosure by the child or his/ her siblings. friends. , form suspicions of an adult, and or by physical symptoms.

It should be remembered that sexual activity involving a young person may be sexual abuse even is the young person concerned does not themselves recognise it as abusive


  • Examples of child sexual abuse include the following

  • Any sexual act intentionally performed in the presence of a child

  • An invitation to sexual touching or intentional touching or molesting of a child’s body whether by a person or object for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification

  • Masturbation in the presence of a child or the involvement of a child in an act of masturbation

  • Sexual intercourse with a child, whether oral, vaginal or anal

  • Sexual exploitation of a child which includes:

    • inviting, inducing or coercing a child to engage in prostitution or the production of child pornography (for example exhibition, modelling or posing for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or sexual act, including its recording (on film, videotape or other media) or the manipulation for those purposes of an image by computer or other means

    • Inviting, coercing or inducing a child to participate in or to observe, any sexual, indecent or obscene act

    • Showing sexually explicit material to children, which is often a feature of the ‘grooming’ process by perpetrators of abuse

  • Exposing a child to inappropriate or abusive material through information and communication technology

  • Consensual sexual activity involving an adult and an underage person


An Garda Siochana will deal with any criminal aspects of a sexual abuse care under the relevant criminal justice legislation. The prosecution of a sexual offence against a child will be considered with the wider objective of child welfare and protection. The safety of the child is paramount and at no stage should a child’s safety be compromised because of concern for the integrity of a criminal investigation


In relation to child sexual abuse it should be noted that in criminal law the age of consent to sexual intercourse is 17 years for both boys and girls. Any sexual relationship where one or both parties are under 17 is illegal. However, it may not necessarily be regarded as child sexual abuse. Details on exemptions from mandatory reporting are found in Section 4 of this document.



CTL Ireland is committed to prevent bullying against children. Like any type of abuse, it will not be permitted or condoned. Every member of the organisation has a responsibility to work together to stop bullying – staff, volunteers, host families, group leaders and local coordinators. Respect for others is the cornerstone of preventing bullying. It is important to recognize that everyone has a right to live in an environment which is safe, secure and where they are not at risk of harm. CTL Ireland is committed to support any young person who has experienced bullying; their right to live in a safe environment must be upheld


Procedures to keep children safe while participating with CTL



  1.  Commitments


  • CTL Ireland has an appointed Designated Liaison Person

  • Where there is a concern for the well-being of a child, CTL Ireland pledges to redress the situation in an appropriate and urgent manner. Any suspicion of the sexual or physical abuse of a child in Ireland will be reported to the Tusla the Child and Family Agency or to An Garda Síochána where necessary.

  • CTL Ireland pledges to engage with partner organisations about their own policies and procedures on the topic of child protection, on an ongoing basis.

  • CTL Ireland will support any staff member or volunteer who believes the well-being of a child is in danger. This will be done by assisting them in dealing with and reporting suspected mistreatment. CTL Ireland will also facilitate and, if necessary, aid staff members and programme participants to find professional help to deal with any issues of stress or discomfort that arise from encountering the mistreatment of a child. 

  • CTL Ireland is committed to checking the suitability of all those within the organisation who have unsupervised and extended contact with children. This will be done through interview, application and completing Garda Vetting and, where relevant, further reference checking. CTL Ireland will Garda Vet all volunteers, group leaders, local coordinators, host families and staff with unsupervised access to children. All those over 18 will be Garda vetted and CTL Ireland will follow best practice in regards to vetting those under 18.

  • CTL Ireland will not work with partner organisations who engage in any activities or practices which endanger the wellbeing of a child or who place a child in a dangerous environment.

  • Codes of Conduct: CTL Ireland is committed to train its staff, representatives and relevant participants (who have access to children) on child protection according to the CTL Child Protection guidelines (Appendix 1)[1]







2. Appointment of a Designated Liaison Person


Under the guidelines set out by Children First it is recommended that every organisation that is providing services for children or that is in regular direct contact with children should appoint a designated liaison person (DLP). CTL Ireland commits itself to appointing a member of staff as DLP and to maintaining the role. The DLP is the point of contact for any staff member or programme participant within CTL Ireland who is concerned about the welfare of a child/children. They have the responsibility of reporting suspected wrongdoing or abuse to the relevant authorities and managing the concerns of the members of the organisation.


The role and duties of the Designated Liaison Person:


  • Consult and liaise with outside agencies such as Tusla, the Child and Family Agency

  • Provide support and guidance to staff with regard to child protection and as a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection problems

  • Responsible for ensuring that the standard reporting procedure is followed

  • Undertake training and be aware of best practices and legislative changes

  • Stay up to date on Irish national guidelines, legislation or constitutional changes in relation to child protection

  • Regularly review and update to ensure the CTL Child Safeguarding Policy is in line with all legislation and best practice

  • Promote and ensure that child safeguarding is afforded high priority and is integrated into all functions in CTL Ireland

  • Ensure that the Directors are appraised and updated on a regular basis on the implementation and auditing of the child safety, procedures and systems

  • Immediately alert the Directors where there is risk to the safety or welfare of any participant, host family member, volunteer or member of staff. Likewise immediately alert the Directors where there may be a risk to the reputation or good name of the organization

  • Ongoing development of child safeguarding policies and structures and systems

  • Disseminate the child protection policy to all associated with CTL programmes and provide relevant training to them where necessary

  • Advise and facilitate child safeguarding training to CTL staff and local coordinators.

  • Ensure that the child protection policy and guidelines are easily available

  • Ensure that all partner organisations are aware of the child protection policy and that they have agreed to uphold the UNCRC

  • Lead ‘report or not report decision when a concern is raised whether an allegation or suspicion of abuse reported to CTL Ireland warrants reporting to the relevant statutory bodies in Ireland (Tusla and An Garda Siochana)

  • Where there is a suspicion of child abuse or neglect it is the duty of the designated liaison person to officially report it to Tusla

  • Where it is decided not to report a situation  to Tusla, it is the role of the Designated Liaison Person to inform the person who brought the issue to them why an official report is not being made. This explanation must be in writing




3. Garda (Police) Vetting Policy

As part of this policy, CTL Ireland requires all staff, volunteers, group leaders, local coordinators and adult members of host families, who are likely come into contact with children within the organisation, to agree to be Garda Vetted.


CTL Ireland asks that all partner organisations ensure their leaders and participants have been police checked before allowing them to work with children in Ireland.  CTL Ireland will follow best practice in regards to vetting those under 18.


What is Garda Vetting?

Garda Vetting is a procedure through which An Garda Síochána is asked, with a person’s permission, to disclose any information held about them on their files. It is completed in the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU). It is aimed at people who work or volunteer in organisations where they have unsupervised access to children. The aim of Garda Vetting is to prevent unsuitable individuals from working with children within the organisation.


Information disclosed from Garda Vetting

Once a person has agreed to the vetting procedure, details of all convictions and/or prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, in the State or elsewhere will be disclosed to the relevant person within CTL Ireland. The purpose of Garda Vetting is to identify if an applicant has a criminal record which might make them unsuitable for working with children.


Protection of information

Due to the potential sensitivity of the information disclosed to CTL Ireland by the Garda Vetting process, the information will be held in a secure manner with access restricted to authorised and relevant personnel. The information disclosed to CTL Ireland will only be shared on a need-to-know basis.


Using the information

The information disclosed to CTL Ireland as a result of Garda vetting will enable CTL Ireland to make the best judgments on selecting programme participants or in the recruitment of staff or local co-ordinators. If it becomes known to the DLP that any resident member of a host family, participants or CTL Ireland staff member or Co-ordinator has a criminal record then the DLP and Directors of CTL will make an evaluation on whether or not that family or person is suitable to be allowed unsupervised access to children. All disclosures are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Individuals may appeal disclosures where they believe the information is out-of-date or incorrect. This appeal should be in writing and made to the DLP in CTL Ireland within ten days. Appealing a disclosure will not guarantee a change in decision.




4. Reporting Abuse  and Suspected Abuse


CTL Ireland’s commits to dealing with claims of abuse in a fair and effective manner. Anyone who reports an incident of abuse will be listened to carefully and his or her concern treated seriously.



The Act Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse 1998 provides immunity from civil liability to a person who, in good faith, reports an allegation or suspicion of abuse to the relevant authorities. An individual need only have a reasonable belief that abuse is occurring to justifiably make a complaint. Where an allegation has been made and later turns out to have been false, this immunity still applies to the complainant. The onus is on the person against whom the false allegation was made to prove that the complaint was malicious and reported with ill intent.


CTL commits to the following:

  • Where there is a suspicion of abuse it must be reported to the Designated Liaison Person

  • CTL Ireland will always act where there is a suspicion that a child is at risk. If the Designated Liaison Person is unsure whether an allegation should be officially reported or not they may contact Tusla. Tusla can advise the DLP on whether there are reasonable grounds to make an official report.

  • Anonymous complaints should be treated seriously but carefully. CTL Ireland encourages as much openness as possible. Anonymous complaints can still be reported to the statutory bodies and should be investigated where serious concerns are raised.

  • In the case of an emergency, or where the safety of a child is in immediate danger, a report should be made to An Garda Síochána.





4.2 Mandated Reporting


The Children First Act 2015 places a legal obligation on certain people, many of whom are professionals, to report child protection concerns at or above a defined threshold to Tusla - the Child and Family Agency. These mandated persons must also assist Tusla, on request, in its assessment of child protection concerns about children and young people who have been the subject of a mandated report.


Who are Mandated Persons?


Mandated persons are people who have contact with children and / or families and who because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children and young people from harm. Mandated persons include professionals working with children and young people in the education, health, justice, youth and childcare sectors. Certain professionals who may or may not working directly with children and young people, such as those in adult counselling or psychiatry, are also mandated persons. The list also includes registered foster carers and members of the clergy or pastoral care workers of a church or other religious community.


Mandated Persons in CTL


Anton Kieffer

Aisling Meade



What are the legal obligations of a mandated person?


Mandated persons have two main legal obligations under the Children First Act 2015. These are:

  1. To report the harm (or suspicion of harm) of children above a defined threshold to Tusla

  2. To assist Tusla, if requested in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report


Reporting Mandated Concerns


Criteria for Reporting: Definitions and Thresholds


As a mandated person, under the legislation you are required to report any knowledge, belief or reasonable suspicion that a child or young person has been harmed, is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed. The Act defines harm as assault, ill treatment, neglect or sexual abuse, and covers single and multiple instances.


The four types of abuse are described earlier in this document.  The threshold of harm for each category of abuse at which mandated persons have a legal obligation to report concerns is outlined below. If you are in doubt about whether a concern reaches the legal definition of harm for making a mandated report, Tusla can provide advice in this regard. If your concern does not reach the threshold for mandated reporting, but you feel it is a reasonable concern about the welfare or protection of a child or young person, you should report it to Tusla under this guidance




The threshold of harm, at which you must report to Tusla under the Children First Act 2015, is reached when you know, believe or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person’s needs have been neglected, are being neglected or are at risk of being neglected to the point where the child or young person’s health, development or welfare have been or are being seriously affected, or are likely to be seriously affected.


Emotional Abuse / Ill treatment


The threshold of harm, at which you must report to Tusla under the Children First Act 2015, is reached when you know, believe or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been, is being, or is at risk of being ill-treated to the point where the child’s health, development or welfare have been or are being seriously affected or are likely to be seriously affected.


Physical Abuse


The threshold of harm, at which you must report to Tusla under the Children First Act 2015, is reached when you know, believe or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person has been, is being, or is at risk of being assaulted and that as a result the child or young person’s health, development, or welfare have been or are being seriously affected or are likely to be seriously affected.


Sexual abuse


As all sexual abuse falls within the category of seriously affecting a child or young person’s health, welfare or development, you must submit all concerns about sexual abuse as a mandated report to Tusla under the Children First Act 2015, if you know, believe or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person is being, or is at risk of sexual abuse.


There is one exception, which deals with certain consensual sexual activity between teenagers, which is outlined below






Exemptions from requirements to report


Underage consensual sexual activity


Under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006 the legal age of consent is 17 years. While a sexual relationship where one or both parties is under 17 years of age is illegal, when making a mandated report to Tusla, it might be regarded as child sexual abuse


There are certain exemptions from reporting underage consensual sexual activity under section 14 (3) of the Children First Act 2015. If you are satisfied that all of the following criteria are met, you are not required to make a report to Tusla:


The young person(s) concerned are between 15 and 17 years

The age difference between them is not more that 24 months

There is no material difference in their maturity or capacity to consent

The relationship between the people engaged in the sexual activity does not involve intimidation or exploitation of either person

The young persons concerned state clearly that they do not want any information about the activity to be disclosed to Tusla


In effect this means that if all the above criteria are met, you as a mandated person do not have to report consensual sexual activity between older teenagers as sexual abuse to Tusla.


All persons, including mandated persons, must uphold the key principle that the welfare of the child is paramount and if you have any concerns, even where all the above criteria are met, you may make a report to Tusla.


Concerns developed outside of professional duties


The legal obligation to report in the the Act applies only to the information that you acquire in the course of your professional work or employment, It does not apply to information you acquire outside your work, or information given to you on the basis of a personal rather than a professional relationship. While the legal obligation to report only airses for employment or professional duties, you should comply with the requirement of the Guidance to report all reasonable concerns to Tusla



4.3 Procedure for Reporting a Child Protection or Welfare Concern


  1. Write down accurate notes as soon as possible

  2. Contact the DLP or Deputy DLP immediately or as soon as possible

  3. Decide in consultation with the DLP

  • Whether to make a report to Tusla


  • Whether the matter should be discussed informally with the Tusla Duty Social Worker

  • Decide whether the report will be a mandated report or will be reported due to reasonable concerns about the welfare or protection of a child or young person


If Decision is to Report

  1. Inform parents and partner organisation, if appropriate

  2. From your notes, prepare the Tusla Child Protection and Welfare report form, even if a report has already been submitted verbally

  3. Submit the completed report form to Tusla within 3 days

  4. File a copy of the report in the Child Protection Case file which must be stored securely

If Decision is NOT to Report

  1. Note the reason for not reporting and file this note in the Child Protection Case file which must be stored securely

  2. Note any other actions taken as a result of the concern

  3. Continue to record observations, suspicions, concerns, behavioural changes and place these notes in the Child Protection case file

  4. This may lead to a future report being made

  5. If further concerns comes to your attention follow the procedures from 1. above



Note: If a child protection/ child welfare concern is brought to your attention by a third party and it is decided not to report this to Tusla, you must inform the person of the decision not to report; inform them that they themselves can report directly to Tusla Child and Family Services Social Work Department and the provisions of the Protection of Person Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998 would pertain.


4.4 Allegations of Abuse against a staff member, volunteer or local coordinator


In the event of an allegation against a staff member, volunteer or local coordinator the following steps are to be taken:


As a matter of urgency take protective measures to ensure no child is exposed to any unnecessary risk


Inform the DLP and Director


Two separate procedures are to be followed:


  1. The reporting procedure in respect of the child

  2. The procedure for dealing with the staff member / volunteer/ local coordinator


The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for the procedure in relation to the child

A nominated Director (not the DLP) is responsible for the procedure in relation to the staff member or volunteer or local coordinator





5. Child Protection and Homestays


Homestays are a core element of many cultural immersion programmes. Everybody involved in the home-stay experience has the right to dignity and respect. CTL Ireland will always act where any child (either as a visiting participant or as a member of a host family) is degraded, humiliated or harmed. No child will be placed in a homestay where there are any doubts about the homestay environment.



  • All potential host families are visited by a local co-coordinator to ensure the suitability of the home-stay household and family members.

  • Every adult member of the host family resident in the household will be Garda Vetted before the placement.

  • Every member of the host family over 16 year old resident in the household will be Garda Vetted before the placement.

  • One person household for hosting under 18 participants will be considered on a case by case basis



When there is a concern or suspicion that a child is at risk action will be taken immediately. In a situation where suspected or reported abuse has occurred in a host family, the child will be removed from the household and into temporary safe accommodation until a permanent solution can be found. In cases of emergency, children or their guardians will be able to contact CTL Ireland via the emergency phone which is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.




6. Child Protection and Group Programmes


Further to the overall commitments outlined in this document CTL further commits to the following specific actions in relation to group programmes:


  • A key (senior) leader will be appointed on all group programmes

  • CTL Ireland will only work with activity centers that employ leaders and instructors who are appropriately qualified for the activities involved

  • Will ensure that there is a gender and age appropriate balance among leaders where there are mixed gender and mixed age groups

  • All leaders will have child protection training

  • Recruitment of leaders will be subject to Garda Vetting and appropriate reference checks

  • All leaders will be made aware of their Duty to Care

  • Will ensure that there is a clear schedule for leaders which will include a list of responsibilities and arrangements regarding time off

  • Single gender dormitories will be used where participants are children

  • Will ensure sending and receiving organisation each have a designated contact person at home base in case of emergency


A group contract (drawn up with the active involvement of the group participants) outlining clear behavioral boundaries and expectations is seen by CTL as a fundamental requirement for each group programme.


CTL fully endorses the contents of “Child Safety and Youth Exchange Programmes Guidelines for Good Practice 2003



7. Child Protection and individual volunteer programme


Further to the overall commitments outlined in this document CTL further commits to the following specific actions in relation to the volunteer programme:


  • Volunteer handbook includes CTL child protection guidelines – code of conduct

  • These guidelines are reviewed and discussed with the volunteers during the orientation workshop

  • Every volunteer who will be volunteering with children will be required to do the Tulsa Child protection Training

  • CTL Ireland will only work with host projects who have staff that are appropriately qualified and experienced to work with children



8. Ensuring the effectiveness of the policy


  • CTL Ireland pledges itself to fulfill all legal obligations regarding child protection under current government legislation and guidelines; this includes regularly reviewing Garda vetting and recruitment procedures.

  • To consult with staff members, volunteers, host families, local coordinators and group leaders to ensure that the policies are relevant and practical for the purposes of their work and to ensure the policy is known to all those within CTL Ireland.

  • CTL Ireland commits itself to ensuring that our partner organisations are aware of the child safeguarding statement.

  • To provide information and training on child protection, as required, to those associated with CTL Ireland.

  • CTL Ireland pledges to implement guidelines of best practice for each of the programme areas.

  • CTL Ireland pledges to keep natural parents (or legal guardians) fully informed of programme detail and to seek their permission in relation to any changes in key programme elements.





We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. We are committed to the implementation of the Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while participating with CTL.



Appendix 1


Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult Protection Guidelines – Code of Conduct:



  • Treat all young people, children and vulnerable adults with respect and dignity.

  • Report any incidents or issues related to the protection of children or vulnerable adults to your project mentor and to CTL Ireland staff Anton Kieffer.

  • Ensure the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults by careful supervision, proper pre-planning and using safe methods at all times.

  • Actively encourage all children, young people and vulnerable adults to get involved – do not discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs, race, gender, social class or ability.

  • Use appropriate physical contact when responding to the need of the child or vulnerable adult i.e. where it is initiated by the child

  • Respect a young person, vulnerable adult or child’s right to privacy, personal space and dignity. Respect the personal and sexual boundaries of others.

  • Be a role model; remember that children learn from example – be positive in your language and behaviour.

  • If the organisation has its own child/vulnerable adult protection policy, make sure you read it.

  • If the organisation has a designated Child Protection Officer, make sure you know who it is.

  • Protect yourself from false accusation by:

Not spending excessive amounts of time alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult.

Not administering first aid or other care to children, young people or vulnerable adult that involves removing their clothes – unless in the presence of others and with the person’s permission.



  • Take pictures of children without permission from their parents/guardian and the project

  • Share pictures of children on social media or any other public platform (you could be prosecuted)

  • Spend time alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult if it can be avoided (never close the door if you are the only adult in the room)

  • Become overly involved with any one child, young person or vulnerable adult.

  • Tolerate favouritism.

  • Use any kind of physical punishment.

  • Ridicule or reject a child, young person or vulnerable adult.


We recommend you to follow this free online Child Protection Training:

Useful Publications:

Our Duty to Care, Department of Health and Children fact sheets: _care.html

Children First: National Guidelines for the protection and welfare of children:


[1] Codes of conduct are subject to change in order to keep up to date with best practice and government legislation.

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