Child Protection Policy

  1. Purpose and Function of Feis
    The Warrenpoint Feis is a non sectarian and non political organisation which works to promote Culture and Arts in the form of music, verse speaking, drama and Irish Dancing in the South Down / South Armagh area. Competitions are organised annually for children and young people to display their talents and abilities in these areas of Culture and Arts.
  2. The Feis Environment
    Warrenpoint Feis is held in Warrenpoint Town Hall in February March of each year. However, there may be occasions when conditions necessitate a move to other halls in the town. We seek to create an environment with the highest possible level of protection for children. However, it should be noted that the Town Hall is a public area and therefore can be accessed by members of the public. The Feis Committee has appointed a Child Protection Officer who has been fully trained in Child protection issues. For 2023 this officer is Mrs Rosemary McAnulty and any concerns should be addressed to her.
  3. Application of policy
    This policy applies to children and young people under the age of 18 and to any vulnerable young adult who participates in the Feis. In recognition of competitors who are disabled, we will seek to meet their needs if they are notified to us prior to the competition.
  4. Feis Personnel
    All Feis personnel are volunteers and are made aware of the Child Protection Policy. Workers at each session of the Feis are Committee members or Associate members who have been recommended by Committee or by acting associate members. The Roster Secretary will keep an updated list containing contact details of all associate members.
    At each session of the Feis a Committee member will be identified who will have responsibility for Child Protection Concerns in the absence of the Child Protection Officer. Any issues / concerns brought to their attention must be passed on to the Child Protection Officer immediately who shall deal with it accordingly and keep an official record. While on duty all members must wear identity badges. Each Committee will wear an identity badge giving name and position on committee. Associate members will wear badges with the title Associate Member. Only Committee members, associate members, adjudicators, dance musicians and competitors will be allowed back stage at any event. Two adults must always be back stage. All Feis personnel must sign the register before beginning duties. This will be at the desk at the door to the hall.
    Feis personnel will monitor all areas where children are in attendance in as far as this is possible in a public building. However parents / guardians must ensure that their children, be they competitors or audience, are supervised by themselves or by a responsible adult who has been delegated by them to be responsible for the children when at the Feis. It should be noted that responsibility for child welfare lies with the parent or responsible adult appointed by them. Feis personnel or Town Hall personnel are not available to look after children until collected.
    All Committee members, Associate members and adjudicators are responsible for their own safety in relation to Child Protection issues and as such should ensure that they do not place themselves in a position of sole responsibility for any competitor.
  5. Availability of policy
    A copy of the Child Protection Policy will be forwarded to all teachers, schools and groups taking part in the Feis in January of each year.
    Adjudicators and musicians will also be provided with a copy of the policy.
  6. Changing Areas
    There may be occasions where competitors may need to use changing areas provided in the Town Hall. Teachers and parents must ensure that all children are adequately supervised when in these areas. The teacher or responsible adult should identify themselves to Feis personnel before entering the changing areas. Unauthorised adults entering changing areas will be challenged.
  7. Photography, Video recording and Press Photography
    Photography is forbidden in the auditorium, changing areas and toilets. This includes the use of mobile phones, video recording and any other data storing instrument. Only press officials known to Feis personnel may take photographs. These will be printed in the local press along with all results. Photographs will be taken in the auditorium after competitions in the presence of Feis personnel.
    If a parent does not wish to have their child photographed and picture printed in the press with the child’s name they must ensure that they or the adult with responsibility for the child informs Feis personnel.
    Anyone not adhering to the photography rules may be asked to leave the auditorium and may be refused admittance to further sessions of the Feis.
  8. Conclusion
    This policy will be reviewed as necessary to incorporate changes in the legislation.