Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Paul is the author of 'Keeping Your Child Safe - A Manuel for Parents' and is here today to talk about child safety.
Paul Gilligan, BA, MA, Dip Clin Psych, ApPSI. He is the former Chief Executive of the ISPCC with over fourteen years experience in child protection. Paul is a former lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Trinity College and has traveled extensively to see child protection systems and children's rights organisations around the world. Paul is currently Chief Executive at St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin.
Paul Gilligan Profile:
Paul is married and has two daughters aged 15 and 18. He is CEO of St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin. His primary role is ensuring development and responding to people with Mental Health problems.
The Friends of St. Patrick's Hospital was set up in 1978 to raise much needed funds to help finance major research programmes into psychological illnesses. Through personal and corporate donations and by supporting of fundraising events, they are helping many that find life in modern day Ireland, difficult to handle.
Keeping your Child Safe is written by Paul Gilligan, an Irish expert in child protection. Fundamentally designed as a manual for all parents, it points out the potential risks that exist for your children and highlights the practical ways you can protect them. The book offers guidance on all situations, from Safety in crèches, nurseries and school, to baby-sitters, holidays (particularly pertinent in light of the Madeleine McCann case) and sport. Paul also discusses the use of mobile phones and the internet; as well as drug and alcohol abuse, premature sexualisation and depression.
WHY HE WROTE IT:
The primary motive of writing the book was to provide information and knowledge to parents (that is not always accessible through other mediums). Sometimes parents' fears are heightened through information they hear in the media, the book provides practical parenting tips without the scare mongering tactic.
1. Understanding Parenting
There is more discussion about parenting than ever before. What does it mean to be a parent? Are there essential things we need to know to be good parents -
. Value your child for who they are
. Avoid conformity & comparisons
. Allow your child to express themselves
. Spend time with your child
. Say 'I Love You' as often as possible
. Listen to your child
. Discipline your child positively
2. Keeping our children safe in alternative care settings
. crèche standards are topical
Crèches, day-care and childminding have only become the 'norm' for some families in the last two decades. Until recently, this sector has been informal and unregulated and even now, a lack of adequate resourcing in some cases has made it difficult to monitor standards. When choosing a care option:-
. Wait as long as possible
. Watch your child's behaviour & listen
. Communicate with the carer
. Agree parenting strategy
. Have mutual respect
. Demand the best
3. Drug and alcohol misuse, early sexualisation, self-harm and preventing self-abuse, keeping children mentally healthy
While we hear a great deal of discussion about mental health difficulties in adults, we rarely hear about such difficulties in children. Focusing on anxiety, depression, psychosis and self-harm, Paul Gilligan outlines how to spot if your child is self-abusing and how to build their psychological capability to deal with these challenges.
. Recent findings revealed more than 1,000 children are waiting for psychiatric assessments for more than a year
. The State of the Nation Report (2006) carried out by the HSC found that mental health difficulties were found in: 17% children less than 5 years old; 10% national school children; 26% secondary school children
. The ISPCC/Child line service received 5,046 calls relating to depression, sadness, self-harm and suicide in 2006
4. Internet and mobile phones - safe use of technology
. parents were warned recently about the safety of social networking sites/chat rooms for their children
The last decade has witnessed one of the greatest transformations in the way humans communicate. Risks outlined by Paul Gilligan include bullying and pornography through technology, chat rooms, social networking sites, how to monitor your child's internet use
WITH CHILDREN'S SAFETY A MORE PERTINENT ISSUE THAN EVER, THIS GUIDE FOR FAMILIES WILL HELP THEM MAKE BETTER CHOICES ANDFEEL MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT THEIR CHILDRENS' SAFETY
Paul's book has been endorsed by ISPCC, National Parents Council, Barnardos, Ombudsman for Children and the International Adoption Agency.
If a child has any concerns, the following organisations can be contacted for help and advice:-
. Childline (they have a phone, text and internet service)
. School Councillors
. The Samaritans