Child Protection

Child Protection Policy (Parents/Guardians)

Information on our Child Protection Policy for Parents/Guardians

Here at the Stageworks Youtheatre we are committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people. Children’s welfare and safety is our top priority. We comply with Children First: National Guidelines for Child Protection and Welfare. To help us achieve this, we have a Child Protection Policy and Procedures which guide our work. Copies of our Child Protection Policy are available (from Caroline Cawley or Olive Shaughnessy our designated People for Child Protection).

Parents/guardians are children’s primary carers. We work in partnership with parents/guardians to ensure children’s safety and enjoyment of the activities we offer. We ask you to take some time to read our guidelines and programme information. If you have any questions or concerns you can talk to Caroline or Olive, our Designated People for Child Protection.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

What is a child protection policy?

A child protection policy is a statement of Stagework’s commitment to keep children and young people safe and to report any concerns about their welfare. The policy will contain procedures for how this is done in the organisation.

These will include:

  • A code of behaviour for staff.
  • A safe recruitment policy.
  • A Designated Person who deals with child protection issues.
  • Procedures for reporting concerns to the HSE
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers.
  •  A confidentiality policy.
  • A complaints policy.
  • An accidents and incidents reporting policy.

What should I expect from an activity or group my child takes part in?

  •  You can expect your child’s safety and welfare to be the top priority.
  •  You will be informed about and asked to give your consent for all activities your child is involved in.
  •  You will be asked for some personal information, such as contact details, health information, social media etc which is relevant for your child.
  •  You can expect that staff or volunteers are carefully selected and suitable to work with children and young people.

What does confidentiality mean?

  • Confidentiality means that information in relation to you or your children will only be shared with people who ‘need to know’ and in accordance with GDPR guidelines.
  • Personal information about your family will be treated with respect and records will be securely stored.

Who does Stageworks report to, if they have a child protection concern about a child or young person?

  • If we have a child protection concern about a child we are obliged to report it to a Duty Social Worker in the Health Service Executive (HSE), or in an emergency, to An Garda Síochána.
  • Reckless endangerment of children is a criminal offence under Irish law which could result in criminal prosecution and imprisonment for failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the appropriate legislation.

What information will be passed on?

  • We will pass on the child’s name, address and age, your name and address and will say what the reason for concern is.
  • We will also include the name of the person making the report.
  • Anyone making a report of suspected child abuse, provided they act ‘reasonably and in good 
faith’ will have immunity from civil liability (Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998).

Do I have a right to see information about me or my child?

  • Yes. You have a right to see any records that are kept about you or your children.

Is there a code of behaviour for staff, children and young people, volunteers, parents?

  • Yes. A code of behaviour for staff, including volunteers, is part of our child protection policy.
  • We have a code of behaviour for children and young people.
  • We have an anti-bullying policy.
  • We also ask parents/guardians to comply with certain measures to ensure their children’s safety (see below).

Who can I talk to if I have a concern about a child?

  • If you have a concern about a child or young person, you can talk to Caroline Cawley or Olive Shaughnessy our Designated Person. (She) will listen to your concern and explain our Child Protection Policy to you.
  • Alternatively, you can contact a Duty Social worker in the HSE directly.

Is there a complaints policy? Who can I talk to if I have a complaint?

  • Yes, we have a complaints policy.
  • If you have a complaint you can talk or write to Caroline Cawley or Olive Shaughnessy at (087-9677199) or (087-6388770). We will respond to your complaint within 48 hours.

Does the organisation have a health and safety policy?

  • Yes. All organisations are required by law to have a safety statement and a health and safety policy.
  • Also all staff have either Occupation First Aid Certificates or First Aid Training provided by Stageworks.

Are staff vetted by the Gardaí and are references checked for all staff and volunteers?

  • References are checked for all staff and volunteers.
  • Where Garda Vetting is available it will be obtained.
  • All staff and volunteers are asked to sign a declaration stating that they are suitable to work with children and young people and that they will abide by the organisation’s child protection policy.

Does the organisation have a policy for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers?

  • Yes. Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers are part of the child protection policy.

Can I come and visit or stay and watch the activities if I want to?

  • No, parents and guardians are not permitted to be in the class, but will have opportunities to see progress at events held in the studios or stage.

Parents Co-operation

In order to help ensure children and young people’s safety and welfare we ask parents to:

  • Bring and collect children on time for the class.
  • Staff are not responsible for children outside of class hours.
  • Inform the teachers if someone else is picking up the child.
  • Give us any relevant information (e.g. health, ability, emergency contact).
  • Follow directions of staff (facilitators/leaders) when requested.
  • Complete and sign registration and consent forms for programmes as requested.

Child Protection Policy (Policy & Procedures for Children)

Stageworks Youtheatre – Our Child Protection Policy

We in the Stageworks Youtheatre want to make sure that all children and young people who come to our youth theatre are safe and are protected from harm. We call this our Child Protection Policy.

Children and young people have a right to:

  • Be safe.
  • Be listened to.
  • Be treated with fairness and respect.
  • Be free from bullying.
  • Get help and support if you’ve been hurt, neglected or badly treated.

Everyone working in the Stageworks Youtheatre respects these rights. This is part of our Code of Behaviour.

Our Child Protection Policy says that if anyone is worried that a child or young person is being hurt, bullied or abused, they should talk to Caroline Cawley (087-9677199) or Olive Shaughnessy (087-6388770).

If we are worried that a child or young person is not safe or might be harmed, we will talk to people who can help. If this happens Caroline or Olive, our Designated Child Protection Officers will explain what is happening.

If you are worried about yourself or another child or young person, the most important thing is to talk to someone about it. The information you share will be kept private and only shared with people who need to know and can help.

Stageworks hold full public liability insurance.

  • it is strongly advised that students use the bathroom before class to avoid any disruption to the class.
  • If a student feels unwell during class, they will sit out for ten minutes. If they are still unwell after ten minutes then parents will be contacted immediately to collect them.
  • Students who have existing injuries or are clearly unwell may not participate in class.
  • Any falls or minor injuries that may occur during class will be recorded in the incident/accident report book.
  • Shows: Where costume changes occur, there will be a minimum of 2 female helpers per dressing room or a ratio of 1 helper for every 8 children. All children will wear black t-shirt, black leggings, vest & shorts underneath all costumes.
  • Stageworks Youtheatre is a stage school where students take lessons in Drama, Dance and Musical Theatre. This means that students will engage in physical activity in every class, and although our First Aid Trained Teachers execute and supervise activities safely – accidents can happen. Please keep this in mind when considering applying to our school, and by doing so, you acknowledge that you are satisfied to let your child participate in these physical activities.
  • The safety and well being of all students is a top priority at Stageworks Youtheatre, our child protection policy is in place to protect all students, parents and teachers. Our Code of Practice is in place to ensure that parents are fully informed on our practice at all times, please do contact us if you have any queries or require further information.

Policy – Code of Behaviour for Staff

Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working for the school. We practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.

The code of behaviour is categorised under the following headings:

  • Child-centred approach
  • Good practice
  • Appropriate behaviour
  • Physical contact
  • Health and safety

Child Centered Approach

All drama teachers, staff, and volunteers at Stageworks Youtheatre will:

  • Treat all children and young people equally
  • Listen to and respect children and young people
  • Involve children and young people 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
  • Treat all children and young people as individuals
  • Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space
  • Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children and young people and their primary carers
  • Encourage feedback from group
  • Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials
  • Lead by example
  • Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities, e.g., school or exams
  • Be cognisant of a child’s or young person’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example
  • Create an atmosphere of trust
  • Love, encourage them and promise to have fun.
  • Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation.

Good Practice

All drama teachers, staff, and volunteers at Stageworks Youtheatre will:

  • Register each child/young person (name, address, phone, special requirements, attendance, emergency contact)
  • Make primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators aware of the Child Protection Policy and procedures
  • Have emergency procedures in place and make all staff aware of these procedures
  • Plan and be sufficiently prepared, both mentally and physically
  • Report any concerns to the Designated Person and follow reporting procedures
  • Encourage children and young people 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
  • Provide appropriate training for staff and volunteers
  • Report and record any incidents and accidents
  • Update and review policies and procedures regularly
  • Keep primary carers informed of any issues that concern their children
  • Ensure proper supervision
  • Not be passive in relation to concerns, i.e., not ‘do nothing’
  • Not let problems get out of control
  • Maintain awareness around language and comments made.

Appropriate Behaviour

All drama teachers, staff, and volunteers at Stageworks Youtheatre will:

  • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people
  • Not use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or foul verbal language
  • Not single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism, ridicule, or unwelcome focus or attention
  • Not allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • Not hit or physically chastise children/young people
  • Not socialise inappropriately with children/young people, e.g., outside of structured organisational activities.

Physical Contact

All drama teachers, staff, and volunteers at Stageworks Youtheatre will:

  • Seek consent of child/young person in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation)
  • Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch
  • Check with children/young people about their level of comfort when doing touch exercises.

Health & Safety

All drama teachers, staff, and volunteers at Stageworks Youtheatre of will:

  • Not leave children unattended or unsupervised
  • Provide a safe environment
  • Be aware of accident procedure and follow accordingly


At Stageworks Youtheatre we do not allow bullying.

Bullying can be someone:

  • Calling people names or saying hurtful things.
  • Taking money or food off you.
  • Swearing at you.
  • Pushing you around.
  • Hurting your body in any way, such as pushing, 
pinching, punching or kicking you.
  • Leaving you out or ignoring you.

Remember: Bullying is NEVER your fault, and never something that you deserve – you should be able to feel happy and safe wherever you are.

Making a complaint

We welcome comments and suggestions from children, young people, parents and others. If you are worried or upset by something that happens here you can make a complaint.

The person to talk to about complaints is: Caroline Cawley/Olive Shaughnessy

Abuse is not the fault of the person who is being hurt and nobody ever has the right to abuse anyone else.

Remember: Abuse is never your fault.

If you or someone you know is being abused in any way, the best thing you can do is talk to someone who can help.

Caroline Cawley or Olive Shaughnessy

087-9677199 / 087-6388770

Address: Unit 5a Studio 51, Oranmore Business Park, Oranmore, Galway.


‘High Garden’, Newline, Maree, Galway. H91C7R6

We will listen carefully to your complaint and will answer it within 48 hours.

Our Code of Behaviour

Our code of behaviour helps us to make sure that everyone at the Stageworks Youtheatre is safe and free from harm.

Sample code of behaviour

Remember – if you or someone you know is being abused in any way, the best thing you can do is talk to someone who can help/


Treat everyone fairly.

Listen to what children and young people have to say.

Children / Young People

  • Do not tolerate bullying.
  • Co-operate with teachers instructions.
  • It’s nice to be nice

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.

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