Wexford Bus transports children every day on public bus and school transport services. Keeping children safe whilst in our care is of paramount importance to us. The Directors and employees at Wexford Bus understand that they have a duty and responsibility to safeguard children and support their general welfare and safety, promoting the protection of children in line with our Child Safeguarding Policy.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the directors of Wexford Bus Board have agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.
- Wexford Bus directors have adopted and will implement fully and without modification the recommendations from Tusla Children First Child Safeguarding guidelines as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.
- As per the guidelines and recommendations: The Transport Manager will be the first point of contact for all concerns or issues regarding Child Safety.
- The directors of Wexford Bus recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of their public transport and school transport services daily and must be reflected in all the company’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. The company will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.
The company will:
- recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, in parallel with all other considerations, and in line with all health and safety obligations,
- fully comply with its statutory obligations under Schedule 1 point 8 in 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 minimise 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,
- fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.
The company will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult with a special vulnerability.
- The following procedures/measures are in place:
- In relation to any member of staff who maybe the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child using our services, the company adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Wexford Bus disciplinary and grievance procedure which can be found in the employee handbook.
- In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the company 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 Tusla.
- 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), the company:
- Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the company’s Child Safeguarding Statement
- Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the company’s Child Safeguarding Statement
- Encourages staff to avail of additional relevant training
- Encourages directors to avail of relevant training
- The company maintain records of all staff and Board member training.
- In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all company personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the mandated reporting procedures under the Children First Act 2015,
- In this company, the directors have appointed the above-named designated contact person as the ‘relevant person’ (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the company’s child safeguarding statement.
- In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the directors have carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while using our services. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the company’s procedures and policies for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures. The following Wexford Bus policies are particularly relevant to this Child Safeguarding Statement and the associated risk assessment:
- Wexford Bus Code of Behaviour
- Bus Eireann’s Code of Conduct for School Bus Drivers
- Guidelines for Discipline and Procedures for dealing with Alleged Behaviour on School Transport
- Dignity at Work Policy (section 33 in Wexford Bus Employee Handbook)
- Crisis Management Plan
- Data Protection Policy
- In addition the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children availing of our services:
- Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy will be displayed on our public website.
- All existing staff will receive a copy of our current Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy.
- All new employees will be provided with a copy of our Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy.
- Procedures for reporting child protection concerns are documented in our Policy.
- Recruitment and Selection Process will include Garda Vetting, where applicable.
- Recruitment and Selection Process will seek assurance from applicants that there are no known circumstances that would prevent them from working with children or vulnerable adults.
- Child Safeguarding will form part of Driver Induction Training.
- Wexford Bus Drivers will be issued with our Code of Conduct and comprehensive Drivers Handbook
- The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be made available on request by the company.
- This statement has been published on the company’s website and it is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
- This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed every 3 years or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers. A checklist to be used in undertaking the review is included at Appendix B. The company will put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement which might be identified in the review. The directors shall decide to inform company personnel that the review has been undertaken. A record of the review and its outcomes shall be made available, if requested.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Wexford Bus Directors on 9/08/2019
Tulsa General Enquiries: Phone: 01 7718500 Email: [email protected]
Wexford Garda Station: Phone: 053 9165200