We have an number of important policies that all parents, guardians, over 18 members and Companies should familiarize themselves with. These policies are in place to protect our members and our organisation.
If you think we have missed something out and would like to see a policy added, please do let us know by contacting Headquarters.
Child Safeguarding Policy 2018
Code of Behaviour
Codes of behaviour provide protection for everyone in The Girls’ Brigade Ireland, including children, employees and leaders. It is important that everyone involved has guidelines on what is expected, and what is not accepted, with respect to their behaviour. The code of behaviour for employees and leaders will help to create a supportive environment to provide a child-centred approach for the children involved in the Organisation.
The code of behaviour for children will help to provide a contract for the children to agree to and abide by.
Code of behaviour for employees and leaders.
The code of behaviour for employees and leaders has been categorised under five headings:
- Child-centred approach
- Best practice
- Inappropriate behaviour
- Physical contact
- Health & Safety
- Treat all children equally, treat all children as individuals.
- Listen to and respect children.
- Involve children in decision making, as appropriate.
- Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability).
- Use appropriate language (physical and verbal).
- Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere.
- Offer constructive criticism when needed.
- Respect a child’s personal space.
- Encourage feedback from group.
- Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials.
- Be aware of a child’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals and activities e.g. school or exams.
- Be cognisant of a child’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example.
- Create an atmosphere of trust.
- Respect differences of ability, culture, race.
- Ensure that a parental consent form is completed for every child in each Company on an annual basis and that attendance records are maintained. (see appendix).
- Ensure that parental consents are received for use of photographs and contacting members directly by mobile phone. Parent’s/guardian’s wishes must be respected. See Appendix – Technology policy).
- Make parents, guardians, children aware of the Child Safeguarding Policy and procedures.
- Ensure that employees and leaders are familiar with the evacuation procedures for any premises in which they are working.
- Ensure that employees and leaders are familiar with the location of the first aid box and with any allergies, medical conditions and special needs of girls they are working with and how to deal with these.
- Be inclusive of children with special needs.
- Plan and be sufficiently prepared, both mentally and physically.
- Report any concerns to the Child Safeguarding team and follow reporting procedures.
- Report to the Child Safeguarding Team any concerns that they may have about a fellow employee or leader’s practice which may cause harm to a child or the reputation of the organisation and complete an incident form.
- Ensure all leaders are familiar with the Anti-Bullying Policy (see GB-21 Anti-Bullying Policy). Encourage children to report any bullying, concerns or worries and to be aware of Anti-Bullying Policy.
- Observe appropriate dress and behaviour.
- Evaluate work practices on a regular basis.
- Report and record any incidents and accidents.
- Keep parents/guardians informed of any issues that concern their children.
- Ensure proper supervision based on supervision ratios outlined in the General Safety and Management section and ensure that two leaders are present at the start and end of a session.
- Avoid, if at all possible, giving a lift to a child and if you do then make sure that parents/guardians have given prior consent.
- Recognise that special care is required at moments when discussing sensitive issues with members. Be aware that sometimes it is not possible or appropriate to answer questions for children and if necessary refer the matter back to parents.
- Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If a leader thinks that something they said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner.
- Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with a child.
- Don’t use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language.
- Don’t allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form.
- Don’t hit or physically chastise children.
- Ensure that any socialisation with children outside of structured organisational activities is appropriate and cannot be misconstrued.
- Ensure that any physical contact which is necessary as part of teaching the children activities cannot be deemed to be inappropriate.
- Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch.
Health and Safety
- Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised.
- Provide a safe environment.
- Be aware of accident and incident procedure and follow accordingly.
Complaints in relation to breaches of this Code of Behaviour for Leaders and Employees will be dealt with in line with The Girls’ Brigade Ireland Complaints Policy.
Disciplinary procedures if a leader is found in breach of Code of Behaviour.
Each breach of the Code of Behaviour will be assessed by the Captain. If a leader is deemed to be in breach of the Code of Behaviour the Captain will speak to the individual leader. The Captain will determine whether the leader should be given a warning on that occasion but will remind the leader of the standards expected of Girls’ Brigade leaders.
If there are further breaches of the Code of Behaviour by the leader following a warning, the Captain will meet with the leader and the Captain will ask the leader to resign from their position.
If a serious allegation of abuse is made against a leader, the National Board will suspend the leader until such time as the investigation has been completed and the National Board will then determine the position of the leader in The Girls’ Brigade Ireland subject to the findings of the investigation.
Disciplinary procedures if an employee is found in breach of Code of Behaviour
Each breach of the Code of Behaviour will be assessed by the Staff Support Sub-Committee of the National Board. If an employee is deemed to be in breach of the Code of Behaviour the Staff Support Sub-Committee of the National Board will speak to the individual employee. The Staff Support Sub-Committee of the National Board will determine whether the employee should be given a warning on that occasion but will remind the employee of the standards expected of The Girls’ Brigade Ireland employees.
If there is a further breach of the Code of Behaviour by employee following a warning, the Staff Support Sub-Committee will refer the matter to the National Board who will meet with the employee and the National Board will dismiss the employee from their position.
If a serious allegation of abuse is made against an employee, the National Board will suspend the employee until such time as the investigation has been completed and the National Board will then determine the position of the employee in The Girls’ Brigade Ireland subject to the findings of the investigation.
Child Safeguarding Policy 2018
Code of Behaviour for Members
A Code of Behaviour helps the members and their parents to know exactly what behaviour is and is not acceptable at The Girls’ Brigade Ireland’s activities, at Company, District and National level. The code of behaviour will help to create a safe, secure environment and an atmosphere where members will feel that they can confide in the leaders.
As members of this Girls’ Brigade Company, we will:
- Respect the role and authority of the leaders
- Respect the views and feelings of other members of the Company
- Respect the right of every member to express their view and opinion
- Respect the right of every member to be heard and listened to
- Respect both leaders’ and members’ personal privacy and property
- Show due care and responsibility for equipment and property
- Deem unacceptable the following activities and behaviour:
1. Consumption of alcohol and smoking during Company activities
2. Physical abuse of other members and / or leaders
3. Verbal abuse including ‘put downs’ of other members and leaders
4. Wilful destruction or damage to property or equipment
5. The misuse of any substance or stimulant
6. The use of camera phones in the changing facilities at any event.
Disciplinary procedures if a member is found in breach of Code of Behaviour
Members who are found to be in breach of the Code of Behaviour for Members may be subject to disciplinary actions. The disciplinary action should be agreed between at least two leaders of the group and should be appropriate to the seriousness of the incident/s. The parents/guardians of the member and the member will be informed of the disciplinary action which will be taken. Where leaders take disciplinary action against a member, the Captain should be informed.
Stages in the disciplinary process
- Providing support to the member to get them to understand that their behaviour is not acceptable and monitoring their behaviour.
- For continued breaches or more serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour for Member, allow the member to continue to participate in the event/activity once they have apologised for their behaviour and promised not to breach the code of behaviour again. Their behaviour would be closely monitored.
- For the most serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour for Members or where a member fails to rectify behaviour following application of option 1 and 2 above, sending the member home; not allowing them to participate in any further company events/activities and terminating their membership of the Company will be considered.