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8 - Staff Wellbeing and Communication

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2022

Ursula Kilkelly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

Introduction

Chapters 6 and 7 have explored the extent to which the model to advance children's rights has been implemented in Oberstown Children Detention Campus, addressing the requirements of child-centred care, and children's rights of provision, protection, participation, preparation and partnership. In addition to recognizing the children's rights that are important to children deprived of liberty, the international children's rights standards also identify the different measures that must be taken to achieve implementation of those rights. As Chapter 1 explained, two areas that are key in this respect are staffing and communication. As the standards illustrate, the recruitment, training and performance of staff are essential to ensuring that children's rights are protected in detention. The suitability of staff for working with children and the inter-disciplinary mix of staff are both important. The standards also recognize the importance of research and communication, including the importance of regular review and evaluation. More generally, the standards recognize the importance of ensuring that children who come into conflict with the law are understood through public engagement and awareness-raising activity.

This chapter will assess the extent to which the children's rights standards in these areas have been met in Oberstown as a means of further illuminating the application of the children's rights model to the practice of detention. It begins by addressing the range of issues relevant to staffing, including recruitment, learning and development, communication and staff safety. The second section considers the importance of awareness, research and evaluation, before the chapter concludes with a discussion of communication.

Staffing

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) notes the importance to the implementation of children's rights of staff in facilities and services that care for children being suited and well equipped for the protection of children's rights. In particular, Article 3(3) requires that ‘institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as their competent supervision’. International standards make general recommendations and ones specific to detention regarding the recruitment, training and supervision of staff, and these issues are explored in the sections that follow. An issue perhaps not explicitly addressed in the international standards, however, is the importance of staff wellbeing and support.

Type
Chapter
Information
Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
A Model for International Reform
, pp. 122 - 138
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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