Child & Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Statement

Child & Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Statement

October 2022 v02. Next review date October 2024

Ennis Book Club Festival undertakes to provide a safe environment and experience for children, young adults and vulnerable adults participating in Festival events. We adhere to the Children First Act 2015 and recommendations of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

Risk Assessment

The board of EBCF has assessed that the risk1 to children, young adults (YA) and vulnerable adults (VA) is low during events and occasions when EBCF is providing a relevant service. EBCF is responsible for safeguarding individuals is association with events and other activities arranged by the Festival.

Children, YA and VA are considered to be more vulnerable to harm if in the company of a single adult. There is also potential for harm in relation to social media and use of their image. The controls that are in place to mitigate the risk are:

  • All events are public. Opportunities for private one-to one contact between adults and children, YA or VA do not arise under normal circumstances and are actively avoided.
  • Children and VA are accompanied by parents or carers and YA are generally supervised by teachers.
  • Specific procedures are in place to protect children, YA and VA as outlined below.
  • Procedures are in place to protect all Festival participants relating to safety, accident reporting, data protection, complaints policy etc.  and these provide adequate protection for children, YA and VA.


Specific procedures to protect children, YA and VA include:

  • Events for children are advertised together with the appropriate age.
  • Promotional information on children’s events directs parents and guardians to this safeguarding statement.
  • Photographs of children and VA are published only with consent of their parents or guardians.
  • Photographs of YA are published in accordance with the statement incorporated in the EBCF programme.
  • Staff and volunteers ensure that private one-to-one contact between an adult and child, YA or VA does not occur.
  • Two volunteers remain with any child who has become parted from parents/carers until they have been reunited.
  • Volunteers are provided with specific instructions for safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the “EBCF Volunteer guidelines” and during induction.
  • Any safeguarding concerns are brought to the attention of the EBCF Board.
  • The designated person undergoes safeguarding training within the past 3 years, plus any person likely to have significant responsibility for children’s events.


If you are a child, young adult or vulnerable adult, you have a right to feel comfortable and safe during all activities associated with the Festival. If you have felt uncomfortable or unsafe in any way, or something has made you unhappy, please talk to an adult or carer.

Parents, members of the public, volunteers and all working on behalf of EBCF are encouraged to raise any issue or concern2 they may have about any aspect of a child’s, young adult’s or vulnerable adult’s safety and welfare.  Emer Bowen, has been designated as the relevant person to contact on any issue. Bridget Ginnity, EBCF Board, is deputy to the relevant person. This refers to current and retrospective allegations.  The relevant person is responsible to support and advise contractors and volunteers about policy and procedures in relation to child protection and to ensure that procedures are followed. It is also the responsibility of the relevant person to liaise with the Health Services Executive or Gardaí where appropriate.

Any concern raised is addressed and recorded in accordance with Tusla “A guide for the reporting of child protection and welfare concerns” and “Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017”.

Contact details:
Emer Bowen 086 8176526.
Bridget Ginnity, 086 2444512.
Refer also to the EBCF Complaints Policy.

Recruitment and Garda Vetting

Due regard is taken to ensure that any person recruited to work or volunteer with EBCF is unlikely to pose a threat to children or vulnerable adults. At present, the potential for interaction between contractors or volunteers with children and vulnerable adults is on an occasional basis only and for no commercial consideration. Consequently, the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 does not normally apply. Garda Vetting is required for any adult undertaking an activity on behalf of EBCF that may involve regular contact between an adult and children/YA/VA.

1Section 11(1)(a) of the Children First Act 2015 defines risk as “any potential for harm to a child while availing of the service.” Section 2 of the Act defines harm as follows: “harm means in relation to a child – (a) Assault, ill-treatment or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects or is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development or welfare, or (b) Sexual abuse of the child, whether caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances or otherwise.” Abuse is further described in Guidance 2017. In the EBCF setting, children or vulnerable adults may be more vulnerable to harm if separated from their parent or guardian.

2Reasonable grounds for a child protection or welfare concern include:

  • Evidence, for example an injury or behaviour, that is consistent with abuse and is unlikely to have been caused in any other way.
  • Any concern about possible sexual abuse.
  • Consistent signs that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect.t
  • A child saying or indicating by other means that he or she has been abused.
  • Admission or indication by an adult or a child of an alleged abuse they committed.
  • An account from a person who saw the child being abused.

Original version November 2018 (Child Protection Policy). Amended December 20, October 22.