The welfare of the child is of paramount importance. All children have the right to be protected, treated with respect, listened to and to have their own views taken into consideration.

Nurture Therapy service undertakes to promote the welfare, health and development of the child in line with articles 19 and 34 of the United Nations conventions on the rights of the child and in accordance with the requirements of the children first act (2015.) I will also take measures to protect the personal integrity, safety and wellbeing of each child who attends my services in line with the national guidelines for the protection of the welfare of children (2017.)

To support us in this we have ensured that we have undertaken all relevant training available to us to enable me to recognise signs of abuse and neglect and how to report signs of this within our sessions and shall continue to do so as training opportunities arise. As part of this policy within our therapy building, we shall keep a copy of the children first national child protections guidelines and be aware of the designated child protection officer working in the building.

  • Nurture child and adolescent therapy has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement
  • The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Sarah Reid.
  • Nurture child and adolescent therapy recognize that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of the therapy environment and must be reflected in all of their policies, procedures, practices and activities in its policies, procedures, practices and activities, Nurture child and adolescent therapy will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:


Nurture therapy will:

  • recognize that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters.
  • adopt safe practices to minimize the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the therapeutic support of their children; and
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.


Nurture therapy will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult client with a special vulnerability.

The following procedures/measures are in place:

  • In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, Nurture child and adolescent therapy adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
  • In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act)


Nurture therapy will-

  • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of our Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of our Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training.
  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all therapy personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures of the Apac training manuals and adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures of the Apac training manuals and also, the children first guidelines, all therapists are mandated to report disclosures under the Children First Act 2015.
  • Nurture therapy has appointed the above-named DLP as the “relevant person” to be the first point of contact in respect of the child safeguarding statement.
  • All registered Therapists employed by Nurture child and adolescent therapy are mandated, persons under the Children First Act 2015.
  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, Nurture therapy has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the therapy space. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the therapy office and procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.


Reporting of child protection concerns:

We shall ensure that we follow the procedures as per our child protection training, these include:

  • Taking reasonable steps to prevent children suffering ill treatment and neglect and share any information that arises about a child who is likely to suffer harm. I shall safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need and their families of provision services. I shall also ensure I understand and can recognise the signs and symptoms of the four categories of abuse, which include Physical, Emotional, Sexual and neglect.

Physical abuse is violence causing injury or occurring regularly during childhood, it happens when:

  • A child is hurt or injured by being, hit, shaken, squeezed, thrown, burned, scalded, bitten or cut.
  • A child is drowned or suffocated
  • A child is given poison, inappropriate drugs or excessive levels of alcohol.
  • Someone fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.

In some cases, the injuries will be caused deliberately. In others they may be accidental but caused by a child being knowingly put at risk. Sexual abuse occurs when someone uses power or control to involve a child in sexual activity in order to gratify the abusers own sexual emotional or financial needs or desires. This may include:

  • Forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening
  • Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways
  • Showing pornographic material to children or involving them in the production of such material
  • Involving children in watching other people’s sexual activity or inappropriate discussions about sexual matters

Emotional abuse is persistent or severe emotional ill treatment of a child that is likely to cause serious harm to his or her development. It may include:

  • Persistently denying the child love or affection
  • Regularly making the child feel frightened by shouts/ threats or other means
  • Hurting another person or pet in order to distress the child
  • Being so overprotective of the child that he or she is unable to develop or lead a normal life
  • Exploiting or corrupting a child by involving him or her in illegal behaviour
  • Conveying to a child the message that he or she is worthless, unlovable, inadequate or that his or her value is to meet the needs of another person. This may include racist, homophobic or other forms of abuse.

Neglect involves persistently failing to meet a child’s physical, psychological or emotional needs. It may include:

  • Failing to ensure that a child’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, health care, hygiene, education and emotional support are met.
  • Failure to provide appropriate supervision to keep a child out of danger. This can include lack of supervision of particular activities or leaving a child alone in the house.

If a child discloses during a nurture play therapy session that they are being abused then you need to:

  • Share these concerns with the person (DLP) who is responsible for taking this disclosure and/or referral to social services/ Tulsa. We shall also ensure that this is followed up and reported. It is not our job to investigate disclosures.
  • If a disclosure is made during a therapy session, we shall bring the session to a close as soon as is safe to do so and will reassure the child by thanking them for sharing this information with me and explain that this is a situation that will need to be reported and that we will pass this information on to the DLP/Tulsa who will now take it from here.
  • We shall remain accessible and receptive, listen carefully, take it seriously find help quickly and make careful records of what is said immediately.
  • During this time, we shall not jump to conclusions, try to get a disclosure from a child, speculate or accuse anybody or make promises we cannot keep.
  • Prior to therapy starting we shall explain to both the parents and the child that if a disclosure is made during sessions, we have a duty of care to report this and that I shall follow the above procedures and contact them to let them know a disclosure has been made. We will also explain to them that we are not responsible for investigating these disclosures.
  • Contact my supervisor as soon as is appropriate to ensure that are aware of situation and confirm that they are happy with the procedures that were followed.

As we shall be working one on one and in small groups with children, we shall also ensure we are fully Guarda vetted at all times and that if first aid is administered it will be recorded in the accident/emergency book and the parent/ caregiver will sign to say that we have passed on the information upon collection of the child. For further details and in case of emergency medical care needing to be sought please refer to our accident/ emergency policies.

If a parent arrives to take a child from the service and we perceive the child to be at risk or in danger we will notify the DLP immediately who will decide whether to call the Guarda. If the person collecting the child is not the child’s parent, we shall ring the parent before the child is released and no person under the age of 18 will be allowed to collect the child alone.

Note:  The above is not intended as an exhaustive list.

  • This statement is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request and a copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
  • This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by Nurture child and adolescent therapy on 08/06//2020.

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