Managing Risk in Play
Research tells us that the uncertainty and challenge obtained through much of children's play is a very large part of its appeal to children. Research also tells us that it enhances the development of their brains, making childrn more adaptable and resilient as they grow.
As part of its Play and Leisure Implementation Plan the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has engaged with PlayBoard to deliver a number of Risk Assessment seminars across council areas throughout Northern Ireland.
The purpose of the seminars is to encourage those responsible for places and spaces for Play and Leisure, to take into account the benefit of acceptable risk for the child/young person when they are completing Risk Assessments. The seminars are based on a Play England publication called 'Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation Guide' and approximately 1000 of these guides have been sent out to schools and other settings that work with children and young people throughout Northern Ireland.
The half day professional developmen seminars are aimed at those who hold a position of responsibility for both formal and informal play and leisure spaces within the following:
For more information on Risk Assessment Seminars contact Gillian McClay (Innovations Manager) at PlayBoard
'We should not prevent children and young people from doing the things they enjoy because of risks that can be managed. Children and young people themselves recognise that 'you can't make everything safe' and that a balance is needed between risks and fun. Children recognise that knowing about risks and how to manage them is an essential part of growing up....Through play, children are able to learn about risks and use their own initiative. If children and young people are not allowed to explore and learn through playing and taking part in positive activities, they will not learn how to judge risks and manage them for themselves. These skills learnt through play and other activities can act as a powerful form of prevention in other situations where children and young people are at risk."
Staying Safe: A consultation document (DCSF, 2007)