This policy is current as of August 24th 2011. It will be reviewed and may be updated periodically.
1 Policy Statement by the Directors:
Mindfulness Ireland Limited (MI) has as its object the promotion of mindful living and ethical behaviour, defined by the 5 precepts or mindfulness trainings of Buddhism; no killing, no stealing, no lying, no sexual misconduct nor use of intoxicants. Protection of children from abuse is therefore a fundamental policy, which must be observed at all times by those acting in the name of MI. Any event or activity organised in the name of the MI and advertised as such must be in accordance with these principles set out below in this document. Anyone organising such events will be expected to take responsibility for implementing them in practice and is responsible to the directors and the whole membership.
2 Principles of Child Protection:
In order to safeguard the well-being of children involved in MI activities the following principles are to be observed by organisers of activities. Organisers must make plain in any booking information the principles set out below.
a) No children under 16 are allowed to attend any event, unless accompanied by a named parent or carer.
b) No alcohol or other intoxicants is allowed at MI events.
c) No physical or verbal abuse of children will be tolerated. Parents have the right to discipline their own children, but organisers have the duty to intervene if this appears excessive.
d) No sexual behaviour involving children under 16 can be accepted.
e) The organisers have the duty to discover and inform parents or carers about any hazards on site, likewise the parents must inform the organisers of any vulnerabilities or special needs that their children may have.
f) Any special children’s sessions or activities at an event will be subject to the Procedures listed below. Mindfulness Ireland Limited – Company No. 501142
3 Responsibility for this Policy
The directors of MI are responsible for adopting this policy and procedures, for communicating them, reviewing them periodically and enforcing them when required. For any event organised in the name of the MI, a named organiser and a deputy must make themselves known to the directors and undertake to observe this and any other relevant policies which have been adopted by the directors.
4 Procedures for child protection
a) We understand child abuse to include any evidence or allegation of the child having been deliberately injured or harmed, or sexually abused, or neglected to their detriment, whether at a MI event, or before.
b) The directors of MI must nominate one of their number to deal with issues of child protection, and a reserve in case of the responsible director being unavailable.
c) Anyone organising an event at which a children’s session or activity is to be held must report the details in advance, including the name of the event organiser (and deputy) and the person who will be running the children’s activity, to the director nominated as above.
d) A programme of children’s activities must be organised by and led by a trustworthy adult who is a member of MI and has ‘taken’, i.e. promised to observe, the 5 Mindfulness Trainings in front of the community. They must have experience with looking after children and be fully aware of this policy and procedures. They must have been cleared of any past offence against children by a check through the Criminal Records Bureau. It is the responsibility of the directors nominated in (4b) to ensure that these conditions are complied with.
e) Organisers of children’s activities must ensure that children are not left alone in the company of a sole adult who is not their own parent or carer. This is to protect children and adults.
f) Every adult at a MI event has the responsibility and duty to report any incident of child abuse or suspicion that it has taken place, at or before the event, to the named organiser of the event.
g) Any complaint from a child must be listened to and taken seriously. The interests of the child are paramount.
h) The organiser of the event has the responsibility to report any incident indicative of child abuse to the director who has been given responsibility for child protection, by telephone as soon as possible, or in their absence a facilitator of the directors, to be followed by a written report, again as soon as possible. Child abuse concerns should not be discussed with the parents.
i) The director responsible for child protection must act to clarify the situation and then comply with the statutory responsibility to inform the relevant authorities. An assault occurring at the MI event should be reported immediately to the local police. Evidence or signs of child abuse having occurred before the event should be reported to the Social Services Child Protection Unit of the HSE in the child’s home area.