Safeguarding Statement

Special Olympics Ireland offers sports training and competition for children and adults with an intellectual disability on an all-island basis. Special Olympics recognise the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. The organisation is committed to ensuring our safeguarding practices reflect statutory and legal responsibilities, government guidance with best practice and Special Olympics requirements.

As an organisation, we are confident that we are equipped and organised to protect the welfare of all athletes. Our Special Olympics clubs are committed to the Special Olympics Ireland Code of Ethics and Good Practice which aims to foster a culture of understanding and compliance.

The organisation has an identified management structure to provide guidance for individuals who may have reasonable grounds for concern about the safety and welfare of people involved in the organisation.

·         At an all island level this individual is the mandated person known as the Programme Safeguarding Officer.

·         At regional level this individual is the Regional Director known for safeguarding purposes as the Designated Liaison Person or Regional Safeguarding Officer.

·         At local level each club will have a nominated person called the Club Safeguarding Officer.

The names of the mandated person and the designated liaison persons are listed on the Special Olympics Ireland website and on the Safeguarding Support structure issued to clubs and displayed at events and Games.

The organisation has undertaken an assessment and will continue to review the risks inherent with undertaking a sports programme with persons with an intellectual disability. These include the risks associated with Club and Coaching Practices; Complaints & Discipline; Reporting Procedures; Use of Facilities; Recruitment; Communications; and General Risk of Harm.

Our Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, (the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice and the Guidelines produced by Gateway NI).  In addition to our Risk Assessment described above, there are further procedures that support our intention to safeguard our athletes while they are availing of our activities.

The organisation has the following procedures in place as part of our Safeguarding Policies:

  • Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct by staff or volunteers against an athlete (s) availing of our activities
  • Procedures for the safe recruitment of staff and volunteers to work with our athletes in our activities
  • Procedures for access to safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm
  • Procedure for reporting athlete protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities

The Mandated Person for Special Olympics Ireland is Peter O’Brien

Special Olympics Ireland recognises that implementation is an ongoing process. Special Olympics Ireland is committed to the implementation of this Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep athletes safe from harm while availing of our activities.

Name of CEO:                                    Matt English

Name of Chairperson:          Brendan Whelan

Date: 9th March 2018