Safeguarding children from harm
The key child safeguarding principles in our policies and procedures are:
- Children’s needs and their safe care are the priority of all in the service.
- Staff are appropriately qualified, vetted, motivated and supervised to ensure safe care is provided.
- Foster carers are vetted, assessed and supported in compliance with all statutory requirements.
- FCI strives to make an effective match between carers and the needs of each child being considered for placement.
- Every placement is subject to a risk assessment at commencement and action is taken to mitigate and manage those risks.
- The safe care of children is reviewed on a continuing basis and the currency of all checks is maintained.
- Foster Care Ireland works in partnership with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to support the children in its care. Any deficit in that partnership constitutes a risk that must be escalated for mitigation.
- FCI recognises its legal and ethical duty to safeguard the welfare of children and to protect children from harm and to respond where there are concerns that a child is, or may be at risk of suffering from harm.
- FCI operates an on-call service 24/7 to support foster carers out of hours in the management of issues related to the child in care.
- Placements are subject to a Placement Plan, the child’s Care Plan and an Absence Management Plan.
We assess the risk and potential for harm to a child while availing of our services. FCI has a Risk Assessment policy and procedure for every child placed in its care. The factors considered as part of that assessment include risks that could arise from staff, placement, family, other children, educational, access, recreational and social settings and from personal contacts.
Risks are identified, assessed, mitigated and monitored within a suite of policy and procedures designed to safeguard children in care.
Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under:
- National Standards for Foster Care 2003
- Children Act 1991, 2001 Foster Care Regulations 1995
- Children First Act 2015
- Children First: “Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017)
- Data Protection Act 2004
- Foster Care Committee – Policy, Procedures and Best Practice Guidance, Tusla 2017
- Other recent relevant legislation such as GDPR and policy guidance.
In addition to the procedures covered in our risk assessment, we safeguard children in our care with the following:
- Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of employees and foster carers.
- Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
- Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse, misconduct or serious concerns against employees and foster carers.
- Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla.
- Procedure for maintaining a list of persons who are mandated persons.
- Procedure for appointing a relevant Designated Liaison Person.
- Regular completion of returns to Tusla DNC relating to “Safeguarding Checks”
All procedures listed are available to bone fide parties upon request.
We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process and this updated statement has been furnished to staff and is integrated into our ongoing training programme for new and existing foster carers.
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 whilst availing of our services.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was reviewed and summarised on 24th September 2019 for placement on FCI’s website.
CEO and Chair of the Board of Management
Foster Care Ireland
326 Swords Road
PH: 01 444 3444
For queries, please contact Lesa Daly, Fostering Service Lead.
(Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015)