Child Safeguarding and Protection / Cúram agus Cosaint Páistí

LGFA and its sister organisations recently launched the online version of Code of Behaviour (Underage). This Code has been agreed between the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, the GAA, the Camogie Association, GAA Handball Ireland and GAA Rounders.

The Code replaces all previous Codes and is a mandatory Code of Behaviour for all Gaelic Games Associations in our work with underage players. It is a comprehensive good practice guidance publication and we are anxious that as many players, coaches, parents and other Club personnel have immediate access to its contents.

The Code is also available in disc format (not printed) form the National Children’s Office. For more information or a disc, please contact the LGFA National Children’s Officer, Paula Prunty at 01-8363156 or Paula.Prunty@lgfa.ie

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all young people who wish to participate in our Gaelic Games and activities. We will take all practicable steps to protect them from discernable forms of abuse – from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment and shall respect their rights, wishes and feelings.

We do this by:

  • Recognising that all children have the right to be protected from harm.
  • Ensuring that all of our coaches and volunteers are carefully recruited and selected and that they accept responsibility for ensuring the wellbeing of children in their care.
  • Responding swiftly and appropriately to protect the welfare of children who participate in our games and related activities.
  • Providing parents and children with the opportunity to voice any concerns that they may have. Appointing Children’s Officers in each of our Clubs and at County Board level.
  • Appointing a National Children’s Officer to oversee the implementation of good child protection and welfare practices within the Association.
  • Appointing a Designated Person in each Club and County who will liaise with the statutory authorities as appropriate.
  • Appointing a National Designated Person (nationaldlp@lgfa.ie) to assist in the processing of child protection and welfare matters. Ensuring that all allegations of abuse of young people are confidentially dealt with in accordance with the Association’s Guidelines for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse (Fourth Edition 2009) and with statutory guidelines and relevant legislation.
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of our Child Protection procedures and policies on an ongoing basis. Ensuring that members, coaches, team mentors, administrators, parents/guardians and spectators sign up to and adhere to our Code of Behaviour.

Referee Safeguarding Update

From the 19th January Safeguarding has now been included in the following LGFA Referee Courses:

Youth Referee Course, Level 1, Level 2 and for Level 3 and Level 4 referees will complete at Level 2.

This now covers referees from a Safeguarding requirement, note this only applies to referees and does not apply to coaches etc .

LGFA will not be including in Grab your Whistle Go Games Course. There is no Safeguarding element for this at their age.

When “Grab your Whistle Go Game referees” move up to the next level, they are then given the Safeguarding module.

It is really a club/county decision if they wish for a 17-year-old who was trained last year, for example, to either attend the referee refresher training for the Safeguarding module or they attend the full 3hr workshop.

Note : They cannot avail of the Online SG Refresher as condition with this is that one must have done the face to face three-hour SG course.

Risk Assessment & Safety Statement 2021

The Gaelic Games Associations operate a joint Code of Behaviour (Underage), which is enshrined in our rules and the content of which reflects how we address our Association, legal and statutory safeguarding obligations.

One specific aspect of the Code of Behaviour (Underage) is that due to the fact that they are recognised as providing a ‘relevant service for children’, our Clubs & County Boards must undertake a risk assessment that considers the potential for harm that could come to these children while they are in our care. A risk assessment is an exercise we carry out where our Clubs, County Committees, and each of our Associations at national level examine all aspects of our service from a safeguarding perspective and establish whether there are any practices or features of the service, whether they be games, training, other activities for children, or the recruitment of coaches & mentors, that have the potential to put children at risk. Experience shows that discussions on the risk of harm to children in our care inevitably leads to a greater awareness of the Child Safeguarding measures we undertake in our day-to-day work in the Gaelic Games Associations.  Each unit e.g., our Clubs, must now discuss and complete this procedure at Club Executive level and must record, sign and date when this discussion took place. Carrying out a risk assessment procedure shall now be required of all units, every two years.

Any queries not clarified or answered on the FAQ document may be sent to safeguardingriskassessment@gaa.ie