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Protection Policy

 

in cooperation with

Child Protection Policy

Improving living conditions of people of Korogocho through child education and talent nurturing

PO Box 77400-00611 Nairobi , Kenya

Mobile:                                            Email:

Felix Mutwiri:     +254 710 415638         felijuliben@yahoo.com

Pastor Idaki:       +254 726 102286        pastoridakimukilima@yahoo.com

Stanley Okumbi:                                    +254 723 400336             okumbistanley@yahoo.com

 

Social and Health Care Center – Korogocho

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY

AUGUST 2014

 

 

 

Contents

  Page

Introduction...........................................................................................................

 

Standard 1: A written policy on keeping children safe………………………….

Standard 2: Procedures - How to respond to child protection allegations and

                     suspicions…………………………………………………………...

 

Standard 3: Preventing harm to children………………………………………..

 

Standard 4: Training and education……………………………………………..

 

Standard 5: Communication the SHC-Center safeguarding message…………...

 

Standard 6: Access to advice and support……………………………………….

 

Standard 7: Implementing and monitoring the Standards……………………….

Appendix and Resources

Self-Audit Tool (Contains criteria for the 7 Standards)....................................

Additional information for each standard...............................................................

3

5

7

12

17

19

20

20

22

Social and Health Care Center (SHC-Center)

Child Protection Policy

INTRODUCTION

Social and Health Care Center works with marginalized members of the society such as the sick, orphans, vulnerable children, the elderly or senior citizens, and street youths. It is committed to provide care and hope to people in situations of desperation and hopelessness. It runs under the umbrella of Damascus Community Based Organization (CBO). The target group as above is grouped as follows: ACAKORO Football, Damascus Primary School, Makao Junior Primary School, and African Angel Bakery. The majority of the organization’s beneficiaries are children and those who serve them. Poverty affects people of all ages but the ones who feel the weight and who carry the effects for a long time has been children.

Every child always has a dream that has to be nurtured mostly through provision of quality education. In every child, there is a dream to become a doctor, a pilot, a lawyer etc. For this reason Social and Health Care Center assists those orphans and other vulnerable children realize their full potential through direct provision of basic needs and strengthening capacity of the target institutions.

As a Center that serves the children, we seek to create an environment in which children are: listened to, given a sense of security and belonging, kept as safe as possible, receive psychological counselling if needs be, learn about God and are loved by those under their care. SHC-Center is committed to ensure that children are protected from any harm, real or potential while at our programmes and premises or while in any contact with the organization/s staff and volunteers.

This statement is a reflection of the organization’s intention to ensure that children are free to remain children and not have their childhood robbed from them by anyone and to enable children to cherish their encounter.

This Policy is underpinned by International Law[1] and by Civil Law pertaining to the Rights of Children. This Policy is in keeping with the policy of the local church, the Kenya 2001 Children’s Act and Damascus CBO objectives. These guiding principles inform this policy:

  • Each child shall be cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity of life and bodily integrity, which shall be respected, nurtured and protected by all.
  • Everyone has an obligation to ensure that the fundamental rights of children are respected.
  • The protection of the child is always the primary consideration.
  • The best way to protect children is to empower children to protect themselves.

 

  • Proactive safeguarding of children requires:
    • ownership of the policy and a conviction of its necessity;
    • that guidance and procedures are in place and followed for
      • responding adequately to allegations
      • safe recruiting and vetting
      • acceptable and non-discriminatory adult-child behaviour and child-child behaviour
      • the intimate care of children with disabilities

 

  • Appropriate training, education and communication about our policy and procedures is crucial and must be ongoing.
  • Access to advice and support for both victim and abuser is a human right.

 

Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of our policy is vital will make certain that it is actually protecting our children, is user-friendly, and is in keeping with new situations and laws.

 

Moreover, SHC-Center has core values and guiding principles which include:

 

  • Charity and love for all we work with
  • Justice and equality in our society
  • Solidarity with the poor and the marginalised community
  • Integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency
  • Committed to serve the interests of children and youth
  • Team work, commitment and professionalism
  • Meaningful and active participation of the children and targeted communities in what we do


STANDARD 1: A WRITTEN POLICY ON KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE

This Policy has been written to ensure that all involved in SHC-Center take every possible measure to prevent abuse. This means that none of our Board members, Management, Administration, Facilitators and Ancillary Staff, parents, guardians, volunteers, visitors and children engages in abusive behaviour or behaviour that could allow abuse to happen. It also applies to any actions that could be misinterpreted by children, their families or other adults as constituting, or leading to abuse. This Policy applies to all personnel employed by or volunteering with SHC-Center; visitors and children. All are required to comply with it.

Definition of a Child: a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.”[2]

SHC-Center Understanding of Child Abuse: Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in their family, in their local community, in a faith-based or other institutional setting. Children are most often abused by people they know well and trust, or more rarely by a stranger. Children may be abused by an adult(s) or by another child or children. Child abuse is a societal problem and knows no economic, class or ethnic boundaries.

Main Forms of Abuse: The abuse of children generally involves one or more of four main forms of abuse: physical abuse; emotional abuse; sexual abuse; neglect. Abuse of children is not just about sexual abuse. Many children experience harm through emotional, physical abuse and neglect. We have a responsibility to do all we can to nurture, protect and take action for any child who is suffering harm, whatever the harm may be and whoever is causing it.

Children who may be at increased risk of abuse: Children from minority ethnic groups, whose culture may be misunderstood and against whom there may be prejudice and discrimination. Other groups of children who might be particularly vulnerable include asylum-seeking children, children who are in care, children with disabilities, children who are living with parents or carers who misuse drugs and/or alcohol, homeless children, children living without an adult carer, (e.g. orphans and street children), refugee children and internally displaced children.

Definitions of Abuse: The definitions and indicators of abuse in this policy are not meant to be definitive but only to serve as a guide. It is also important to remember that many children will show some of these signs at some time, and that the presence of one or more should not be taken as proof that abuse is occurring. There may well be other reasons for changes in behaviour, such as serious illness, a death or the birth of a new baby in their family, relationship problems between their parents/carers etc.

Physical abuse: Physical abuse is causing or inflicting physical harm on a child or failing to protect a child from harm. It may involve:

  • hitting, caning, shaking, throwing, rough handling;
  • poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating;
  • a parent/carer falsely claiming a child has symptoms of a disease or illness;
  • deliberately causing illness in a child;
  • cutting or mutilating that brings no medical benefit to the child;
  • attempting or causing physical harm to a child in any other way.

Physical abuse can also be caused by failing to take action to protect a child.

 

Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child causing severe and persistent adverse effects on the child\\\'s emotional development. It may involve:

­   Making children feel that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or that they are valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.

­   Imposing expectations on children that are not in keeping with their stage of development. This may include expecting children to interact with people in ways that are beyond their developmental capability, or imposing adult responsibilities on them.

­   Over-protecting a child, limiting his or her exploration, and learning.

­   Preventing a child from participating in normal social interaction with people.

­   A child seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another person (e.g. domestic violence).

­   Causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger.

­   The exploitation or corruption of children.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone. Emotional abuse is normally found in the relationship between an adult/ peer and a child rather than in any specific event or series of events.

Victims of emotional abuse react by distancing themselves from the abuser, internalizing the abusive words, or fighting back by insulting the abuser. Emotional abuse can result in abnormal or disrupted attachment development, a tendency for victims to blame themselves (self-blame) for the abuse, learned helplessness, and overly passive behaviour.[3]

 

Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve:

­   Penetrative physical contact activities e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex.

­   Non-penetrative physical contact activities, e.g. fondling or touching a child for the purposes of sexual gratification. It may also include viewing the child’s genitalia without physical contact.

­   Non-contact sexual activities, e.g. involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities[4].

­   Making comments of a sexual nature to a child.

­   Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females, by adults and by other young people. This includes people from all different walks of life.

Effects of child sexual abuse include guilt and self-blame, flashback, nightmares, insomnia, fear of things associated with the abuse including smells, places, doctor’s visit etc, self esteem issues, sexual dysfunctions, chronic pains, depression,[5]suicidal ideation.

 

Neglect is the persistent or on going failure to meet a child\\\'s basic physical and/or psychological needs. It causes significant harm to the child and impairs his/her health and development.Neglect involves depriving a child of:

­  Food, clothing, warmth, hygiene

­  intellectual stimulation

­  Supervision and safety

­  Attachment to and affection from adults

­  Access to appropriate medical care or treatment

Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point. Neglect may also occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Neglect could also take the form of financial abuse by not buying the child adequate material for survival[6].

 

All forms of child abuse are a betrayal of trust and an abuse of power. It makes children feel diminished or threatened and it causes them harm. All forms of abuse can have devastating consequences. All forms of abuse are wrong.

More Signs/Indicators of Abuse and Neglect can be found in the Appendix page 23

 

 

 

 

STANDARD 2: PROCEDURES

 

Procedure 1: Responding to Suspicions, Concerns and Allegations of Child Abuse (Current and Historical)[7] The full procedure is in the appendix

SHC-Center is committed to promoting the safety, welfare and protection of children and takes all concerns, allegations, suspicions and disclosures of abuse very seriously.

This procedure applies to all Management, Staff and Volunteers. It is important that all involved with SHC-Center know how to respond when there is a concern about a child - who to tell and how to record it.

It sets out the action to be taken if any concern, allegation, suspicion or disclosure is made, whether current or historical, that indicates a member of SHC-Center, a member of our staff or a volunteer (current or former) has:

­   Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child.

­   Committed a criminal offence against a child or related to a child.

­   Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.

 

Procedure 2: Action to take when you receive a concern, suspicion, disclosure or allegation of abuse: Remember: It is not your role to investigate.

 

  1. If you are told about an abuse, you must take it seriously. Do not dismiss it but act immediately and refer the matter to SHC-Center, ACAKORO Football or Schools or to the Bakery offices.
  2. Whenever possible and practical, take notes during the conversation. Always ask permission to do this and explain the importance of recording all information. Where it is not appropriate to make notes at the time, e.g. with children, make a written record as soon as possible afterwards and in any case, before the end of the day.
  3. Record the time, date, location (or if the matter has been communicated by letter or telephone), and persons present. (Use the sample Child Protection Recording Form provided, or a Form provided by your local Church or Civil Authority). The record should be signed and dated by the author.
    1. Do not be selective. Include detail, which to you may seem irrelevant. It may prove invaluable at a later stage in an investigation.
    2. Explain to the person raising the concern what will happen next, indicate who will be made aware of the information given by them. Leave contact details of the Child Protection Officer, in case the referrer needs to ask questions later.
    3. Pass all original records, including rough notes, to the Designated Officer immediately. Any copies of records retained must be kept secure and confidential.
    4. Not all persons raising a concern will wish to go through this process. Nonetheless, information about the existence of a potential allegation must be communicated to the Designated Officer.
    5. In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, an immediate report should be made to the appropriate Civil Authority as well as to the Designated Officer. In addition, an immediate referral might be necessary in order to preserve, and safeguard against the possibility of any loss, deterioration or destruction of potential evidence or forensic evidence.
    6. Under no circumstances should a child be left in a dangerous situation pending the intervention of the appropriate Civil Authority.
    7. It is important not to discuss the incident/concern with anyone other than those detailed in these procedures.

 

It is often very difficult for people to talk about abuse so be patient, listen carefully and actively, and create a safe environment in which they feel able to tell you as much as they can remember. This will help those people whose responsibility it is to investigate the incident/s to do so as thoroughly as possible.

 

 

In the appendix, you will find guidance on

 

  • How to respond to a person making an allegation.
  • How to respond to a child bringing an allegation of child abuse.
  • What to do if a person admits to abusing a child.
  • What to do with anonymous reports of abuse.

Children will occasionally tell an adult they are being abused if they feel they can trust this person. Take this seriously. They are telling you, in the hope that you will act to stop it happening, even if they ask you not to do anything with the information.

Remember: Everyone in SHC-Center must know that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for professional child protection agencies following a referral to them of the concerns about the child.

Confidentiality:

­   All information regarding child abuse is shared on a ‘need to know’ basis in the best interests of the child (and/or in accordance with relevant legislation).

­   Information, which is gathered for one purpose, must not be used for another without consulting the person who provided that information.

­   Do not promise confidentiality when the safety of a child is at risk.

­   Do make it clear to all involved that others will be informed and be involved in the best interests of the child.

­   Giving information to others to protect a child is not a breach of confidentiality.

Maintaining and Storing Confidential Records: Some pointers to good practice is in the appendix page 28

Procedure 3: Reporting Concerns and Allegations of Child Abuse (Current and Historical)

 

Our guiding principle is that the safety of the child is always the most important consideration!

 

SHC-Center treats every allegation or concern regarding the abuse of a child seriously, so it is important to follow a strict reporting procedure. This Reporting Procedure Applies to:

 

SHC-Center Management, Administration, Staff and Volunteers. All have a responsibility to report reasonable concerns/suspicions and allegations of child abuse to the civil authorities when it involves any of our members, staff or volunteers in any of our organisations. Where a concern, suspicion or allegation has some substance, we all have a moral responsibility to make a report to the civil authorities to ensure that children who may need help and protection are not left at risk of abuse.

Particular care should be taken in regard to confidentiality and the sharing of information with appropriate people. (See Appendix: Responding to Allegations, Confidentiality)

We follow the procedure for reporting concerns and allegations of child abuse that are laid down in our local Church Policy and Civil Guidelines. Where such procedure is not in place, the following should be used. Where a child protection concern arises about a child or a complaint is made about the abusive behaviour of one of our organisation’s[8] personnel towards a child:

  1. 1.Whoever receives the concern/allegation informs the Child Safeguarding Officer in the organization (club, programme, school, football training or other activity for children).
  2. 2.The Child Safeguarding Officer informs the SHC-Center Officer.
  3. 3.The SHC-Center Officer informs the Civil Authorities and Damascus CBO authorities.
  4. 4.In case of emergency, or when the SHC-Center Officer is not available, the Child Safeguarding Officer informs the civil authorities directly.

Usually the Leader/Head of Damascus CBO is informed by the SHC-Center Officer that a concern or allegation of child abuse has been received regarding a member of staff.

Any child abuse concerns/allegations raised with SHC-Center’s Child Safeguarding Office should be dealt with in accordance with our Initial Contact Procedures appendix page 28.

 

 

SAFEGUARDING STRUCTURE - SAFEGUARDING PERSONNEL AND THEIR ROLES

 

Persons appointed to the safeguarding roles listed below are expected to abide by

the highest possible standards of conduct in all aspects of their work, including the

Maintenance of appropriate confidentiality.

 

Child Protection Officer: SHC-Center will have a Child Protection Officer. The position is voluntary, and induction, support and training will be provided. The role will normally be assumed by an existing member of staff.

The role of the Child Protection Officer will be:

  1. To promote the safeguarding of children with the SHC-Center by:

­   Raising awareness of what ‘safeguarding’ is.

­   Disseminating information on safeguarding children.

­   Ensuring that any activities run within SHC-Center are done in a manner which ensures the safety and well-being of the children involved (e.g. that an appropriate level of supervision is in place for an activity, that transport is as safe as is reasonably possible etc.).

­   Keeping issues of safeguarding children high on the organisation’s agenda.

  1. To report concerns or allegations of child abuse that is brought to him/her to the SHC-Center management.
  1. To know and follow our Procedure - How to manage concerns, suspicions, allegations and disclosures of child abuse.

 

The Child Protection Officer must not act as an Advisor or Support Person either for the referrer[9] or the respondent in a matter of child abuse, nor must he/she investigate the matter.

 

 

SHC-Center’s Child Protection Officer:

 

       Department                                          :       Name of Child Protection Officer
  1. Damascus Primary School                     :              Pastor Idaki
  2. Makao Junior Primary School           :      Pastor Agalo
  3. ACAKORO Football                                    Stanley Okumbi

 

 

Civil Authorities

 

CHILD WELFARE OFFICE – KASARANI

MR. TOM NZIOKA

MOBILE NO: 0723 141378

KARIOBANGI POLICE STATION

MR. JOSEPH OLIOCH

MOBILE NO: 0721 638980

 

 

SHC-Center Designated Officer: Where feasible, there should be a Designated Officer. The Designated Officer should be widely identified so that everyone knows who to go to in the event they have a concern about a child or other safeguarding issue. The role of the Designated Officer should also be widely known.

The role of the Designated Officer will be:

  1. To hear any concerns relating to safeguarding, including any disclosures or allegations of abuse, and take responsibility for managing the response to that concern or disclosure, from start to finish. This would include:

­  The preliminary internal inquiry.

­  Referral to the civil authorities.

­  Any subsequent internal investigations.

  1. To ensure that the person raising a concern, disclosing abuse, or who implicated in the inquiry are regularly informed about the progress of the inquiry process.
  1. To carefully record all steps undertaken in response to a concern or allegation of child abuse.
  1. To report concerns and allegations of child abuse to the civil authorities, to the Regional Leader and, where appropriate, to the Congregational Leader.
  1. To liaise with and seek advice from professionals and agencies that is in place to promote the safeguarding of children at local and national level.

A Deputy Designated Officer is appointed to act when a Designated Officer is unable to do so due to unavailability, incapacity or conflict of interest.

 

SHC Designated Officer and Deputy:

Name of SHC Designated Officer:

                                              

                                               FELIX MUTWIRI

Mobile: 0710 415638

Whether or not our or similar Safeguarding Structures are in place at local Church or national level, SHC-Center will ensure that the content of the roles is given practical expression within the Safeguarding Structures put in place and developed by SHC-Center.

 

STANDARD 3: SAFE RECRUITMENT; CODE OF BEHAVIOUR; SAFE ACTIVITIES

 

SHC-Center Korogocho is committed to operating safe activities for children, in a safe environment where they can learn, play and be cared for.

 

Standard 3 Safe Recruitment: All advertisements will state that the SHC-Center stringently follows a child protection policy which all must sign and adhere to. All recommendations will include reference to child protection. All interview panels for every type of work will have a person well versed in child protection and the interview will have a section on child protection. The recruit to be interviewed must fill out a declaration concerning their criminal record and as far as possible this should be verified by the police or competent body. The following are provided in the appendix:

 

  1. 1.Safe Recruiting Procedures
  2. 2.Staff Application Form (sample)
  3. 3.Character Reference Form
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.Safe Recruitment and Selection Checklist

 

Standard 3 Code of Behaviour: SHC-Center has a code of behaviour which is a clear and concise guide to what is and is not acceptable behaviour and practice when working with children. It also makes clear what action will be taken if the code is broken or not followed correctly. All employees and volunteers must read and agree to follow it, and sign the document. A copy of the document is in the appendix, page 38

We have guidance on appropriate and inappropriate touch. We need a balance between never touching a child and touching them appropriately at times. During our training sessions this area will be discussed with staff, parents and children.

 

Disabled and Vulnerable Children We recognise that children with physical and mental impairments are more vulnerable to abuse than other children. Often they can be abused in a way that would not be tolerated with other children. At times they may not even be aware that they are being abused. Special care is needed to protect these children.

 

Intimate Care of Children: We recognise that children with disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse than other children. In care for the intimate needs of children we do so in a way that keeps them safe. The intimate care of a child is always undertaken in close communication with a parent/caregiver and in keeping with our Policy.

Transporting Children: It is never a good idea to transport a lone child, except in case of emergency or when to leave a child behind may put him/her at risk of harm. The guidelines for transporting children that are provided for your convenience include general guidelines for transport. Guidelines for transporting a group of children on a trip away from home are included in Supervision/Trips away from home and overnight stays.

Procedure for Dealing with Negative Behaviour: We have a clear procedure for dealing with negative or inappropriate behaviour. For younger children, we need recognised methods of promoting and rewarding good behaviour and effort, ensuring every child is included at some stage (e.g. stickers, stars, badges, letters home, special mention at assembly etc.).

Practices such as corporal punishment and ‘children being seen but not heard’ were once acceptable in all cultures. They are no longer acceptable under International Conventions to which all countries in which we live are party.

SHC-Center insists on safeguarding children from harm and no member of staff or volunteer will be permitted to act in a way which leaves SHC-Center open to accusations of child abuse either in the present or in the future.

Reporting inappropriate behaviour: SHC-Center operates a “Whistle blowing Policy” to provide an avenue for members of staff to ‘blow the whistle’ if the behaviour of one of their colleagues or anyone connected with our organisation falls below that to which we subscribe. Its main purpose is to provide an avenue for reporting when someone genuinely believes or has reasonable grounds to suspect that our duty of care for children is being compromised and children put at risk.

 

Code of Behaviour for Children: This sets a standard for children know what is and is not acceptable behaviour. As it is important that children be involved in writing up their own code so that they take ownership of it and follow it, we will during children’s training help them to write a code of behaviour. Parents/carers will also be involved wherever possible. We ensure that basic values such as respect, courtesy, helpfulness and forgiveness are included. It is also important that the unacceptability of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, religion, disability and sexual orientation are addressed. Children will also be involved in discussing consequences or sanctions for breach of their code.

The children’s code will be age-appropriate and relevant to SHC-Center and its activities. The code will be posted on the wall where children can see it and it should be referred to often, as much to praise compliance as to comment on breaches of the code.

Bullying: Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression, be it verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. It includes behaviours such as teasing, taunting, threatening, and hitting and extortion behaviour by one or more children against a victim. Bullying can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem.

SHC-Center will have an Anti-Bullying Policy and will include bullying behaviour among the unacceptable behaviours in their codes of behaviour. The “No Blame Approach” to handling bullying is an effective approach. It makes the problem a “shared concern”. It does not drive the problem underground or escalate it.

Complaints Procedure: Everyone needs to know about our Complaints Procedure and how to use it. It will help children and adults to let us know when something may be going wrong and give us an opportunity to do something about it.

Most minor complaints will be dealt with on the spot. People should not be treated unfairly, harassed or victimised if they make a complaint. All complaints should be handled responsibly and confidentially. All complaints are recorded and the records are kept confidential. They are used to monitor the effectiveness of policies and procedures, but names are not used in the monitoring process.

  1. 1. Whistleblowing Policy
  2. 2.Whistleblowing Report Form
  3. 3.Code of Conduct Basics, for Children and Young People
  4. 4.Bill of Rights and Code of Behaviour for Primary Children
  5. 5. Anti-Bullying Policy
  6. 6.Let’s Stop Bullying - Guidelines for children (very child friendly)
  7. 7.Practical Steps to Counter Bullying (includes ‘No Blame Approach’ and Anti-Bullying Code)
  8. 8.Bullying Report Form
  9. 9.Bullying Chart (useful - gives sliding scale of seriousness of bullying behaviour)
  10. 10.Complaints Procedure
  11. 11.Complaints Form

 

Standard 3 Safe Activities:

Parents/carers are informed of the nature of activities. At least one parent/carer is required to consent in writing to their child’s participation. These requirements may be waived for large one-off events and where a child lives without a parent/carer. Attendance records are kept and include the names of participating children, staff and volunteers.

Children in our care are well supervised at all times. No child is permitted to remain alone in any of our buildings, unless two members of staff or volunteers are available for supervision. Attention is paid to the special needs of children with disabilities and vulnerable children.

Programmes and activities are well planned and well delivered. They are also well timed so that parents/carers know when activities finish and can make arrangements for the safe return home of their children.

Taking Images of Children: Anyone wishing to take photographs or other images of children engaging in our activities is required to get permission from the head of SHC-Center. For the protection of children, they are also required to comply with our policy and guidelines on capturing and using images of children.

Mobile phones and other personal IT equipment: Children are required to comply with our policy on the use of mobile phones and other personal IT equipment while engaging in our activities. We ask that parents/carers co-operate in helping us to enforce this policy in the interests of keeping children safe. Children/young people must not be put at risk through the use of mobile phones and other items of IT equipment. The use of IT equipment must not disrupt the activities or services of SHC-Center. This applies to: Members of Staff/ volunteers, children/ young people.

Mobile phone or other item of IT equipment must have their name taped onto it and be prepared to offer further proof of ownership, should a dispute arise. Pupils must keep their mobile phones switched off and out of sight during activities/ programmes. The phone function may be used in case of emergency with the permission of the pupil’s immediate leader/facilitator. The use of mobile phones and other IT equipment during break times is considered a privilege, which may be withdrawn, temporarily or permanently, by the Co-ordinator/Manager if a child or young person ignores this policy.

 

The use of digital cameras or other imaging equipment is strictly forbidden in toilets, changing areas, shower areas or other sensitive areas.

Sanctions will be imposed on anyone using IT equipment to send offensive or harassing text messages/calls or to capture or upload digital or other images of another child/young person or member of staff without their permission. Anyone using any item of IT equipment for illegal purposes on our premises will be held to account.

Children/young people are strongly encouraged to speak with a member of staff or other trusted adult if they are experiencing cyber bullying of any kind. It is strongly recommended that passwords/pin numbers are used be prevent unauthorised use of IT equipment (e.g. by peers or if stolen). These should be kept confidential.

Members of staff and volunteers are expected to lead by example and to show courtesy and consideration for their colleagues when using IT equipment in Staff areas.

Damascus CBO and indeed departments (SHC-Center, ACAKORO Football, African Angel Bakery and Makaoschool), do not accept responsibility for loss or damage to personal IT equipment brought onto our premises or to any of our outside activities.

Trips away from home and overnight stays: Trips away from home for programmes, outings, pilgrimages, retreats etc. are meticulously planned for to ensure the safety and welfare of children. All involved in such trips are required to comply with our guidelines for trips away from home and overnight stays. Best practice is followed in regard to the ratio of adult supervisors to child participants. Special care is taken to ensure that children with disabilities and vulnerable children have their needs met, without unnecessarily intruding on their privacy or independence. Sleeping areas, toilets, showers and changing areas must be gender-specific and are adequately supervised in a gender-appropriate manner. The use of mobile phones or any imaging equipment is strictly forbidden in these sensitive areas. Anyone attempting to do so will have their equipment confiscated and may be subject to other disciplinary procedures. Where our organisation has responsibility for transporting children to or from a venue, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure safe transport.

A Safe Environment: This organisation is committed to creating a welcoming and friendly environment for children, where children will feel free to speak out if they have a concern or if anything is worrying them, knowing that they will be listened to.

We create an atmosphere that encourages children, praises them, values and respects them as individuals and rewards their efforts as well as their achievements.

Children are involved in decision-making in matters pertaining to them in an age-appropriate way.

Children are required to comply with their Children’s Code of Behaviour, which is designed to foster self-respect and respect for others. It is also designed to be realistically achievable by the children concerned. Children with known behavioural problems are not unjustly discriminated against but will be helped.

This organisation operates an Anti-bullying Policy and all are required to comply with it. In cases of serious or persistent bad or unsafe behaviour by children, parents/carers will be consulted.

Health and Safety

Buildings and compounds managed by the project for the use of children are maintained in good repair and in a tidy, hygienic condition to minimise the risk of harm to children. Provision is made for the needs of children with physical disabilities and vulnerable children.

Plans are in place to cover emergencies such as fire, accidents or sudden illness. At least one member of staff or volunteer on duty will have knowledge of First Aid.

Where members of our staff are invited to facilitate a programme for children at a church hall or any other venue, we cannot take responsibility for the venue. That remains the responsibility of our hosts. However, we request our hosts to ensure adequate provision is made for the safety of participants.

Complaints: Parents/carers and children are encouraged to make use of our Complaints Procedure if they are unhappy with any aspect of our service. Complaints will be dealt with as speedily as possible. This organisation has a Child Protection Officer whose name and contact details are openly displayed in our premises.

Individuals who pose a risk to children: Should we become aware that any of our personnel, paid or unpaid, may pose a risk to children either through negligence of their duty to protect children or through unsafe or abusive behaviour, that person is dealt with in accordance with our procedures and in accordance with the terms of their Contract with us.

No person (parent or otherwise) who is known to pose a risk to children will be permitted to be on our premises unsupervised when children are present.

All facilities, activities, procedures and practices are assessed and reviewed on a regular basis with a view to eliminating or minimising risks to children.

 

 

STANDARD 4: TRAINING AND EDUCATION:

 

All Members of Staff/Volunteers (paid or unpaid); parents/guardians and children will be given appropriate Child Protection/Safeguarding training. They will be aware of all relevant policies, procedures and guidelines for the safeguarding of children and will know how to implement them. We will ensure that all personnel are aware of the issues and are given the necessary understanding and skills to perform their role in our organisations with confidence.

Child Safeguarding forms an essential part of our induction process for all new members of staff and volunteers. Our induction process will normally last a week or two, depending on the nature of the work. During this process new members of staff and volunteers are:

­  Made familiar with their physical environment. They are shown where all facilities are and are introduced from day one to our Health and Safety policy and procedures, including the safe use of equipment.

­  Introduced to members of staff and helped to feel welcome into the team.

­  Inducted informally into the philosophy, history, ethos, culture and general goals of our organisation. In particular they are made aware of our philosophy that the welfare of the child is paramount.

­  Made aware of the terms and conditions of their employment with us, shown our Child Safeguarding policy and are expected to read it and sign it.

­  Helped to understand what their job entails, what is expected of them, how our organisation works together, valuing and relying on everyone’s commitment to the welfare of the children we serve.

­  Inducted into our Code of Behaviour for Adults working with children, the Children’s Code and our Complaints procedure.

­  Are monitored closely and mentored throughout their induction period by a named person so that they are not left to handle problems with children alone and that their work practice with children is not left unobserved.

GUIDELINES ON EMPLOYMENT OF NEW STAFF

­  Before recruiting there should be a panel interview (oral and written).

­  The person should be given a two weeks’ time for orientation.

­  Probationary Period: Employment of new members of staff/volunteers is made conditional upon a probationary period of from three to six months depending on the nature of the work they will undertake. During this period, they are inducted into all our policies, procedures and guidelines that are relevant to the nature of their work. They will be guided in how to use our various processes and know to whom they should go for various matters relating to the protection of children. Throughout their probationary period they will continue to be monitored by a named person. They will also be given more formal supervision on a regular basis.

­  Before employment, the person should be read and given a contract to sign. This will show their willingness to comply with everything about the organization.

EVIDENCE ON THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE STAFF MEMBER

 

­  Letter(s) of recommendation from previous place of work.

­  A letter from a recognized church.

­  A medical letter from a recognized hospital about one’s health (the organization can recommend their own doctor to examine new employees).

­  The person should present a good certificate of conduct.

­  Presence of referees.

 

Ongoing Supervision includes Training: It is important that those working with children receiving ongoing supervision at regular intervals and at times known to them in advance, on their own and/ or in small group. This gives staff/volunteers the opportunity to raise any questions and problems and give suggestions. Discussing sources of anxiety or stress and raising concerns regarding a child or young person are part of supervision.

Staff Meetings and Briefings: Our policies and procedures for safeguarding children should be discussed at meetings to ensure that they are kept to the fore, questions raised, shortcomings identified and improvements made.

 

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Different Training Needs for Safeguarding Children: SHC-Center will identify any particular training needs of all stakeholders and devise strategies to ensure that adequate training is provided to meet those needs. [10] Child Protection Officers and others will be given regular opportunities to update their skills and knowledge and share with others, including organisations in our local area.

The Organization shall organize educational training to all stakeholders after 3 months.

Parents and children should be trained about Childs protection policy.

Regular and Yearly Updating: If our Child Safeguarding Policy is improved and changed, all personnel are given the opportunity to ask questions, to become familiar with the changes and know how to implement them. All personnel are given up-date training every year to ensure that they continue to know how to implement our policies and procedures and to ensure they are aware of any changes, developments that have been made. We will join in trainings with other organisations and train them when we are in a position to do so. [11] We will provide for Child Protection Training in our budgets/projected costs.

We review our training programmes every three years, or more often if the nature or circumstances of our work with children changes substantially or if new national legislation requires it.

STANDARD 5: COMMUNICATING THE SHC-CENTER SAFEGUARDING MESSAGE

We are committed to effective communication both internally and externally, of our safeguarding policy, procedures and anything else that will safeguard children. We seek to identify the key elements of our message, ensure the right information goes to the right people, that it is presented in manner that reflects the nature of the communication and the needs of the people for whom it is intended. We will ensure that our communication is both timely and accurate and that it reflects our ethos. We monitor the results of our communications so that we learn by experience.

We will ensure that our policy is available to staff, volunteers, visitors and children. Posters will be displayed giving the names and contact details of the Child Protection Officer and civil authorities.

We ensure the privacy and confidentiality of information concerning minors. In matters of a legal or criminal nature we respect the requirements of transparency and confidentiality required by Civil and Canon Law, which we understand to be consistent with each other, especially in matters relating to the safeguarding of children.

We recognise the enormous benefits of skilled modern communication methods and will use them appropriately. We continue to recognise the value of building good interpersonal relationships and the witness of our lives and service in communicating our ultimate key message - the message of the Gospel. Our communication aims not merely to inform, but to inspire others to make the message their own and join in echoing it across generations and across nations.

Good Interpersonal Communication: This is vital in building relationships and furthering the ongoing dialogue for learning and growing together.

We will always approach people with the reverence and respect that is their due. In communicating on any issue, we actively listen to all stakeholders, including children. We seek advice from and share information with those who share a common concern, for example, the caregivers of vulnerable adults and the parents/ carers of children. Through interpersonal and other means of communication we ensure that all stakeholders are aware of our policies and procedures and understand how to use them. One-to-one communication is particularly important where issues of language, literacy or communication disabilities present a barrier to more general means of communication.

STANDARD 6: ACCESS TO ADVICE AND SUPPORT

Children should be aware that they can seek advice and support for a range of issues not just about abuse. They should know where to go to talk to someone about issues regarding: teachers, parents/carers, bullying, relationship problems, medical advice and legal advice.

Below are available Services within easy access to SHC-Center. As other safe services are provided they will be added to our list. At present these would be the ones we feel happy about recommending to victims of abuse:

 

 

Child Services Centres Contact Address Telephone Numbers
  1. Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors
55472-00200 NRB 020-3741051
  1. Maendeleo ya Wananwake Org.
444412-00100 NRB 020-222095
  1. Ministry of Youth Affairs
34303-00100 NRB 020-240068
  1. Practical Action Kenya
39493-00623 NRB 020-2713540
  1. Nairobi Women Hosp.
10552-00100 020,2726821
  1. Amani Counselling Centre
41738-00100 020-602672
  1. Africa Network for   the Prevention against Child abuse and neglect
46516-00100 020,2722835/7/8

 

 

STANDARD 7: IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING THE STANDARDS

 

A. Developing Child Protection Policies and Procedures: We build on and improve our Child Protection Policy through ongoing ‘customising’ of our existing policy to meet SHC-Center’s needs. We will use consultation and discussion with staff and stakeholders to make Policies and Procedures relevant to our local context, while maintaining our Standards; to ascertain what we do well in child protection; what needs to be improved; and what needs to be put in place to implement improvements. Children will be asked what makes them feel ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ and will be involved in relevant areas of the process in a sensitive and child-friendly way. We will continue to take time in developing our policy. Without consulting relevant adults and the children, we run the risk of producing policies and procedures which adults do not appreciate, children do not understand and cannot access, and which may not necessarily benefit them.

 

B. Implementing Child Protection Policy

 

Strategies: Discussions and consultations will take place, as detailed above. Opportunities will be taken to discuss Child Protection issues in general with all stakeholders, including children.

C. Disseminating Child Protection Policy: This issue is addressed under the heading of ‘Communicating the Social and Health Care Center Safeguarding Message.

D. Monitoring and Evaluating Child Protection Policy:

  • Both Process and Impact will be assessed.
  • Indicators are identified that will help us verify that our procedures are in place as they should be.
  • Risk assessments are carried out at regular intervals and for special events involving children.
  • Records are kept accurate and up-to-date (e.g. personnel records, incident and accident reports, complaints, bullying reports etc.). These are checked to help us monitor how well our Policy and Procedures are working.
  • The essential elements of our Policy and Procedures are checked to ensure that everything is in place that should be in place.
  • Staff meetings, staff supervision and annual staff reviews are used to monitor the effectiveness of our Policy and procedures.
  • Children are asked from time to time if they are comfortable with how things are progressing, or if they feel something needs to be improved.
  • At least once a year, an overall evaluation is made, in consultation with staff and parents/ carers to see discover we have done well and what needs to improve.
  • Once a year, children (age appropriate) are asked to fill in a questionnaire, which will indicate how well our processes are working and/or being implemented.
  • Evaluations and Review are followed up with action.

The welfare of the child will always be our first concern and overrides all other considerations.

This Policy will be reviewed every three years as a minimum or whenever there are significant changes in legislation or in our organisation’s work with children.

 

 

Signed: _________________________                   Date:  ___________________

                 Project Co-ordinator

 

 

Signed: _________________________                   Date: _____________________

                Project superior


Appendix & Resources

__________________________________________________________________

SELF-AUDIT TOOL

Standard 1: A Written Policy on Keeping Children Safe[12] (Audit)

Standard 1

A written policy on keeping children safe - Criteria

In

place

 

Proposed

Not

in place

Date

reviewed

1 The organization has a child protection policy that is written in a clear and easily understandable way.        
2 The policy is approved and signed by the relevant leadership body of the organization.        
3 The policy states that all personnel are required to comply with it.        
4 The policy is reviewed at a minimum every three years and is adapted whenever there are significant changes in the organization or legislation.        
5 The policy addresses child protection in the different aspects of its work e.g. within a building, community work, pilgrimages, day trips, overnight stays and holidays.        
6 The policy states how those individuals who pose a risk to children are managed.        
7 The policy clearly describes the SHC’s understanding and definitions of abuse.        
8 The policy states that all current child protection concerns must be reported to the civil authorities without delay.        
9 The policy should be in keeping with the policy of the local Church and with Damascus CBO policy. It should be approved by the relevant project authority before distribution.        

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that Standard 1 has been met:

 

­  A copy of the policy.

­  Minutes of the meeting where the policy was signed/agreed by the appropriate authority at project level.

­  Written evidence of how abuse is dealt with in the Church organization and a timetable for review.

Standard 2

 

Procedures – how to respond to child Protection allegations and suspicions - Criteria

In Place

 

Proposed

 

Not in Place

 

Date Reviewed

1

There are clear written child protection procedures that provide step-by-step guidance on what action to take if there are allegations and suspicions of abuse about a child (historic or current).

       

2

The child protection procedures are consistent with legislation on child welfare and civil guidance for child protection and written in a clear and easily understandable way.

       

3

There is a safeguarding/designated person or person(s) with clearly defined role and responsibilities for child protection.        

4

There is a process for recording incidents, allegations and suspicions and referrals and storing these securely, so that confidential information is protected and complies with relevant legislation.

       

5

There is a process for dealing with complaints made by adults and children about unacceptable behaviour towards children, with clear timescales for resolving the complaint.

       

6

There is guidance on confidentiality and information sharing which makes clear that the protection of the child is the most important consideration.

       

7

The procedures include contact details for local child protection services and other relevant statutory authorities (e.g. police).        

Standard 2: Procedures - How to respond to Child Protection Allegations and Suspicions (Audit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that Standard 2 has been met:

­  A copy of written procedures.

­  A flow chart that describes steps in the Church organization’s child protection reporting process.

­  Name and duties of those people with special responsibility for child protection in the Church organization.

­  Examples of forms for recording details of concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard 3

 

Preventing harm to children Criteria - Safe Recruiting and Vetting

In place

Proposed

Not in place

Date reviewed

1 There are policies and procedures for recruiting personnel and assessing their suitability to work with children.        
2 The safe recruitment and vetting policy is in line with best practice guidance.        
3 All those who have the opportunity for regular contact with children, or who are in positions of trust, complete a form declaring any previous court convictions and undergo other checks as required by legislation and guidance and this information is then properly assessed and recorded.        
 

Criteria - Codes of Behaviour

       
4 The organization provides guidance on appropriate/expected standards of behavior of adults towards children.        
5 There is guidance on expected and acceptable behavior of children towards other children (anti bullying policy).        
6 There are clear ways in which personnel can raise allegations and suspicions, about unacceptable behavior towards children by other personnel or volunteers (‘whistle-blowing’), confidentially if necessary.        
7 There are processes for dealing with children’s unacceptable behavior that do not involve physical punishment or any other form of degrading or humiliating treatment.        

8
Guidance to staff and children makes it clear that discriminatory behavior or language in relation to any of the following is not acceptable: race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality or political views.        
9 Policies include guidelines on the personal/intimate care of children with disabilities, including appropriate and inappropriate touch.        
10 There is guidance on assessing all possible risks when working with children – especially in activities that involve time spent away from home.        
11 When running projects/activities ensure that children are adequately supervised and protected at all times.        
12 Guidelines exist for appropriate use of information technology (such as mobile phones, email, digital cameras, websites, internet) to make sure that children are not put in danger and exposed to abuse and exploitation.        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that the Standard 3 has been met:

Safe Recruiting and Vetting : copy of agreed methods for recruiting; examples of application, reference and declaration forms ;evidence of registration with or access to agencies that are in a position to provide details of an applicant’s past behavior, such as local Police vetting unit.
Codes of Behaviour: guidelines for adult-to-child behavior and for child-to-child Behavior: guidance on physical contact: a copy of the document explaining how Church personnel can confidentially discuss their allegations and suspicions about children with senior staff (whistle-blowing scheme) and information about this procedure.
Operating Safe Activities for Children:a copy of training plans and/or programs; records of course attendance; induction documentation/guidance; course evaluation documents; systematic ongoing formation programmes for safeguarding children in seminaries and houses of religion.

Standard 4: Training and Education (Audit)

 

Standard 4: Training and education – Criteria In place Proposed Not in place Date reviewed
1 All personnel who work with children are inducted into our policy and procedures on child protection when they begin working within our organizations.        
2 Identified personnel are provided with appropriate training for keeping children safe with regular opportunities to update their skills and knowledge.        
3 Training is provided to those with additional responsibilities such as recruiting and selecting staff, dealing with complaints, disciplinary processes, Managing risk, acting as designated person.        
4 Training programmes are provided and updated in line with current legislation, guidance and best practice.        

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that the Standard 4 has been met:

 

­  A copy of training plans and/or programs.

­  Records of course attendance.

­  Induction documentation/guidance.

­  Course evaluation documents.

­  Systematic ongoing formation programs for safeguarding children in seminaries and houses of religion.


Standard 5: Communicating SHC-Center Safeguarding Message (Audit)

 

Standard 5

Communicating the SHC-Center Safeguarding Message - Criteria

 

In Place Proposed Not in place Date Reviewed
1 The child protection policy is openly displayed and available to everyone.        
2 Children are made aware of their right to be safe from abuse and who to speak to if they have concerns.        
3 Everyone in the organization knows who the Child Protection Officer is and how to contact him/her. (Also the contact details of the SHC Designated Officer should be known).        
4 All personnel are provided with contact details of local child protection services, other statutory authorities (e.g. Police) and any telephone help lines that may be available.        
5 Our organization has established links with statutory child protection agencies (where these are in place) to develop their working relationships in order to keep children safe.        

­  Information about where children should go to when they have a worry or a concern including contact details, which are different from the ones dealing with complaints from adults.


Standard 6: Access to Advice and Support (Audit)

 

Standard 6

Access to advice and support – Criteria

In place

Proposed Not in place Date reviewed
1

Church personnel[13] with special responsibilities for keeping children safe have access to specialist advice, support and The following documents can be used to provide evidence that Standard 5 has been met:

­  examples of resources and materials that illustrate how the Church is committed to keeping children safe including reference to child protection policies, codes of behavior and so on.

Information on child protection.

       
2 Contacts are established at a national and/ or local level with the relevant child protection/ welfare agencies that can provide information, support and assistance to children and Church personnel.        
3 There is guidance on how to respond to and support a child who is suspected to have been abused, whether that abuse is by someone within our organization, or in the community, including family members or peers.        
4 Information is provided to those who have experienced abuse on how to seek support.        
5 Appropriate support should be provided to those who have perpetrated abuse to help them to face up to the reality of abuse, as well as to promote healing and reconciliation in a manner which does not compromise children’s safety.        

 

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that Standard 6 has been met:

 

­  Copies of information for children about sources of support.

­  Information (leaflets, information sheets etc) about training, advice and support.

­  Lists of contacts for specialist advice services.

­  Copy of outreach program for those abused and their families.

Standard 7: Implementing and Monitoring the Standards (Audit)

 

 

Standard 7

Implementing and monitoring the Standards

 

 

In Place

 

Proposed

 

Not in Place

 

Date reviewed

1 There is a written plan showing what steps will be taken to keep children safe, who is responsible for implementing these measures and when these will be completed.        
2 The human or financial resources necessary for implementing the plan are made available.        
3 Arrangements are in place to monitor compliance with child protection policies and procedures.        
4 Processes are in place to ask children and parents/carers about their views on policies and practices for keeping children safe.        
5 All incidents, allegations/suspicions of abuse are recorded and stored securely.        

 

The following documents can be used to provide evidence that Standard 7 has been met:

 

­  An action plan for meeting the Standards.

­  A record of a date planned for review and who is responsible.

­  A summary of the number of incidents of abuse and number of complaints.


Other Resources:

STANDARD 1. SIGNS/INDICATORS OF ABUSE

 

Physical abuse: Most children will collect cuts and bruises in their daily life. These are likely to be in places where there are bony parts of their body, like elbows, knees and shins. Some children, however, will have bruising which can almost only have been caused non-accidentally. An important indicator of physical abuse is where bruises or injuries are unexplained or the explanation does not fit the injury or when it appears on parts of the body where accidental injuries are unlikely, e g, on the cheeks or thighs. A delay in seeking medical treatment when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern. Bruising may be more or less noticeable on children with different skin tones or from different racial groups and specialist advice may need to be taken.

The signs of physical abuse may include:

­ unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body

­ bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching)

­ scalds, cigarette burns, or burns from fire

­ bite marks

­ broken bones

Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate physical abuse, include:

­ fear of parents/guardians being approached for an explanation of an injury

­ aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

­ flinching when approached or touched

­ reluctance to get their clothing changed, for example in hot weather or for swimming

­ depression

­ withdrawn behaviour

­ running away from home

Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse can be difficult to measure, and often children who appear well cared for may be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled. They may receive little or no love, affection or attention from their parents or carers. Emotional abuse can also take the form of children not being allowed to mix or play with other children.

The physical signs of emotional abuse may include:

­  a failure to thrive or grow, particularly if the child puts on weight in other circumstances, e.g. in hospital or away from the parents’/guardians’ care

­  sudden speech disorders

­  developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress

Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate emotional abuse, include:

­  neurotic behaviour, e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking

­  being unable to play

­  fear of making mistakes

­  sudden speech disorders

­  self-harm

­  fear of parent/carer being approached regarding their behaviour

Sexual abuse: Adults who use children to meet their own sexual needs can abuse both girls and boys of all ages, including infants and toddlers. Usually, in cases of sexual abuse, it is the child\\\'s behaviour, which may cause you to become concerned, although physical signs can also be present. In all cases, children who tell about sexual abuse do so because they want it to stop. It is important, therefore, that they are listened to and taken seriously.

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

­  pain or itching in the genital area

­  bruising or bleeding near genital area

­  sexually transmitted disease

­  vaginal discharge or infection

­  stomach pains

­  discomfort when walking or sitting down

­  pregnancy

Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate sexual abuse, include:

­  sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming aggressive or withdrawn

­  fear of being left with a specific person or group of people

­  having nightmares

­  running away from home

­  having sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or developmental level

­  making sexual drawings or using sexual language

­  bedwetting

­  eating problems such as over-eating or under-eating (anorexia)

­  self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts

­  saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about

­  substance or drug abuse

­  suddenly having unexplained sources of money

­  not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence)

­  acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults

Neglect

Neglect can be a difficult form of abuse to recognise, yet it has some of the most lasting and damaging effects on children.

The physical signs of neglect may include:

­constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children

­constantly dirty or \\\'smelly\\\'

­loss of weight, or being constantly underweight

­inappropriate dress for the weather conditions

Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate neglect, include:

­complaining of being tired all the time

­not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend medical appointments

­having few friends

­mentioning they are being left alone or unsupervised

 

STANDARD 2: PROCEDURES - HOW TO RESPOND TO CHILD PROTECTION ALLEGATIONS AND SUSPICIONS

 

REPORTING CONCERNS, SUSPICIONS OR ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE

If any adult or a child comes to us with a concern, suspicion or allegation of substance that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse by any of our personnel we must report the matter to the appropriate civil authorities immediately.

 

It is our policy to report child abuse to the civil authorities wherever it happens and no matter who is causing it, save as indicated under ‘Lack of Capacity’ below.

Anyone bringing concerns, suspicions or allegations of abuse to us in good faith has nothing to fear from us, even if it proves incorrect. Anyone making a deliberately false or malicious allegation will be held to account.

In special circumstances, such as civil or political unrest where the normal workings of civil authorities have been compromised or corrupted, we will take competent advice and report to the civil or local community authority best suited to protect children and not cause harm.

Developing guidance for personnel and volunteers about how to appropriately respond to a child who tells them about abuse can help staff to feel supported and better equipped should a child confide in them and will help reassure the child that they have taken the right action in speaking out. (See our Procedure for Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse under Standard 2).

Additional Information is here:

Remember: It is not your role to investigate!

  1. Record the time, date, location (or if the matter has been communicated by letter or telephone), and persons present. (Use the sample Child Protection Recording Form provided, or a Form provided by your local Church or Civil Authority). The record should be signed and dated by the author. The record would also normally include:
    1. Accurate identifying information as far as it is known. This should include the name and address of the person who has raised a concern (as well as their date of birth, and parents\\\'/carers\\\'/ names and addresses where the person who has raised a concern/allegation is a child)
    2. the name of the individual against whom the concern/allegation is being raised and any other identifying information
    3. as much information as possible about the circumstances that led to the concern/allegation being raised, why is the person worried about the welfare and safety of the child or children
    4. dates when the concern arose, or when the incident(s) occurred
    5. circumstances in which the concern arose, or the incident(s) occurred
    6. any explanation offered to account for the risk, injury or concern
    7. The child\\\'s own statement using the words they used to describe the events or incident(s), if possible. Do not make assumptions about the intended meaning of words used
    8. details of any action already taken about the incident/concern/allegation
    9. Any views expressed by the child\\\'s parent(s) or guardian(s) about the matter.

Guidance on how to respond to a person making an allegation:

It is often very difficult for people to talk about abuse so it is important to make sure that you are patient, listen carefully and actively, and create a safe environment in which they feel able to tell you as much as they can remember. This will help those people whose responsibility it is to investigate the incident(s) do so as thoroughly as possible.

People may tell you about:

­   abuse that has happened to them recently - current

­   abuse that happened to them some time ago - historical

­   something they have been told by someone else and that they strongly believe

­   seeing signs of abuse, such as physical injuries on a child

­   something that they have witnessed, that has made them feel uncomfortable

Where information is given in person, consider the following:

­   Listen carefully, and compassionately

­   Stay calm, take what the person says seriously, and reassure them

­   Do not ask intrusive or leading questions

­   Check with the person to make sure that you have understood what they actually said. Do not suggest words, but use theirs

­   Do not question beyond checking what has been said. There must be no probing for detail beyond that which has been freely given. (It is the job of the appropriate civil authority to investigate)

­   Allow the person to continue at his/her own pace. Do not tell a person to stop when they are freely recalling events: because some facts are only ever told once. However, it is better that such detail be given to a professional from the civil authority to allow proper procedures to be observed and avoid the distress of having to repeat the account more than once

­   Make no promises that cannot be kept, particularly in relation to secrecy, but listen carefully to what is being sought

­   Do not make any comments, assumptions or speculate about the respondent[14]

­   Avoid statements about your belief or otherwise, of the information given

­   Be aware that a person’s ability to recount his or her concern or allegation will depend on age, culture, nationality and upon any disability which may affect their use of language and range of vocabulary

­   If the information given shocks, disgusts or distresses you, do not allow these feelings to show. If you do so, you may inadvertently dissuade the person from giving any further information

­   explain these procedures and the referral procedures to the person

­   Offer the services of a Support Person, and offer to accompany the person to him or her

Responding to a child bringing an allegation of child abuse:

Children will occasionally tell an adult they are being abused if they feel they can trust this person. This happens for many reasons but the important thing to remember is if they do tell you, they are doing so in the hope that you will act to stop it happening, even if they ask you not to do anything with the information.

If a child begins to tell you about abuse it is important that you

 

Do:

­  stay calm

­  listen carefully and take them seriously

­  ask questions for clarification only if you are unclear what the child is saying

­  allow the child to continue at his/her own pace

­  reassure the child that, in disclosing the abuse, they have done the right thing

­  tell them they are not to blame for the abuse

­  let them know you will do what you can to help

­  find an opportunity to explain that it is likely that this information will need to be shared with others and at the end of the discussion tell them what you plan to do next and with whom this information will be shared

­  report the child’s disclosure to your Child Protection Officer/Designated Officer immediately

­  as soon as possible, write down everything that you were told by the child, using their own words to describe the abuse

­  sign and date this record and pass it onto the Designated Person

 

Do not:

­  dismiss the concerns

­  panic

­  probe for more information/ ask other questions

­  promise ‘not to tell anyone’ or say ‘you’ll keep it a secret’

­  make negative comments about the accused person

­  make assumptions or speculate

­  disclose details of the allegation to anyone beyond those mentioned in these procedures - even if the allegations involve them in any way

Remember: It is important that everyone in the organization is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for professional child protection agencies following a referral to them of the concerns about the child.

 

Listening to a person who admits abusing a child

­  It is necessary to tell a person who admits an offence against a child or young person that such information cannot be kept confidential.

­  If such an admission is made to you, even where the admission relates to something which happened a long time ago, you must refer the matter to the Who will follow the referral procedure.

Anonymous allegations or concerns: Anonymous complaints are to be treated carefully. Anxiety and fear may persuade some people not to reveal their identity immediately. It is sometimes difficult to act on information under these procedures unless at some point the name of the person raising the concern/making an allegation becomes known.

­  The person raising the concern should be informed that anonymity might restrict the ability of professionals to access information or to intervene to protect a child

­  As much openness as possible should be encouraged.

 

MAINTAINING RECORDS RELATING TO INCIDENTS, ALLEGATIONS, SUSPICIONS AND REFERRALS

 

  1. The Designated Officer is responsible for ensuring that all records of incidents, allegations, suspicions and referrals that come into her possession relating to child abuse are maintained in up-to-date and good order.
  2. Because of the sensitive and confidential nature of such records, they will be stored in a safe and secure place.
  3. These records will be maintained and accessed subject to relevant National Legislation of the country in which they are held.

Storing Confidential Records Some pointers to good practice:

­  Information about concerns, allegations, and referrals should not be kept in one ‘concern log’ rather information or items relating to individuals need to be kept in separate files.

­  Compile and label files carefully. (Mark them ‘Confidential’)

­  Files containing sensitive or confidential data should be locked away and access to the keys strictly controlled.

­  Keep a key log so that it is possible to see who has accessed the cabinet, when, and the titles of the files they have used.

­  Access to those records needs to be limited to people in named roles that need to know about the information in those records.

­  If files are to be stored long term then arrangements need to be made for the keys to be passed from outgoing persons to their successors.

­  If records are stored electronically then password-protect those records, which only those entitled to access may access.

­  Where an organization is closed or handed over, arrangements need to be in place either for ongoing management of the records, transfer of the records or disposal of the records, as appropriate.

Where records are to be destroyed, they must be shredded. Where the same records are kept both electronically and on paper, the electronic record should be purged at the same time the paper record is shredded.

The Eight Rules of Data Protection

You must:

  1. Obtain and process information fairly
  2. Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes
  3. Process it only in ways compatible with these purposes
  4. Keep it safe and secure
  5. Keep it accurate, complete and up-to-date
  6. Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  7. Retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes
  8. Give a copy of his/her personal data to that individual, on request

 

Safeguarding Committee: Safeguarding Committees are located at country level. We may participate with other religious congregations or with the diocese in forming or availing of the services of a joint Safeguarding Committee or similar body.

The role of a Safeguarding Committee is supportive and developmental. It is not related in any way to the management of individual cases of suspected or alleged abuse.

The Safeguarding Committee has responsibility for:

­  the provision of training

­  the safe recruitment of volunteers and staff

­  their role is primarily focused on creating, maintaining and monitoring a safe environment for children in all aspects of Church life and activity and for advising on the human resources required for implementing best safeguarding practice across our ministries and services

 

The Role of the SHC-Center Head will be to:

 

  1. Appoint Designated Officer and Deputies.
  2. Inform the Designated Officer immediately upon receipt or notification of a current or historical allegation, suspicion or concern from any person about abuse of a child.
  3. Carry out a risk assessment upon being contacted by the Designated Officer following her receipt of a concern or allegation. In urgent situations, a decision may be required at short notice.
  4. Co-operate, contribute to and assist any investigation being undertaken by the Civil Authorities or the Designated Officer.

STANDARD 3: PREVENTING HARM TO CHILDREN (1)

STEP 1: SAFE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF NEW MEMBERS OF STAFF /VOLUNTEERS

Safe recruiting and vetting. In recruiting staff and volunteers, EFL-Kenya operates best practice for safe recruiting procedures for the protection of children. All personnel are required to comply with our best practice Code of Behaviour for Working with Children, which includes ‘Whistle Blowing’ if anyone is in breach of the Code. They are also required to comply with other relevant standards, guidelines and procedures for keeping children safe.

The first step in prevention is to make sure whoever is employed by you is recruited safely for the job/role with children.

 

BEFORE ADVERTISING A VACANT POSITION:

  1. CONSIDER THE CONTACT THE PERSON WILL HAVE WITH CHILDREN

In proposing to recruit staff and volunteers, we first consider:

­  What contact with children will the job/role involve?

­  Will the employee/volunteer have unsupervised contact with children or hold a position of trust?

­  What other forms of contact will the person have with children, e.g. email, telephone, letter, Internet?

  1. DEFINE THE ROLE

This involves thinking about what exactly the role of a new member of staff/volunteer is considered to be and what function(s)/tasks they will be required to perform.

­  What role in the organization will the potential employee/volunteer fulfil?

­  List the functions/tasks that the person will be required to carry out.

  1. c)CREATE A DETAILED JOB DESCRIPTION

Having decided on the role(s), the functions should then be outlined in a comprehensive job description, which describes in detail the tasks required of the potential employee or volunteer.The job description should make reference to working with and having responsibility for children.

  1. CONSIDER KEY SELECTION CRITERA

We now decide on our key selection criteria that will enable us to find the type of person we need for the position.

­  List the essential and desirable qualifications that are required.

­  List the essential and desirable skills that are required.

­  What experience is required?

 

YOU ARE NOW READY TO ADVERTISE THE POSITION/SEEK SUITABLE CANDIDATES

Clearly state in the advertisement that the Institution strictly adheres to Child Protection Policy and procedures, and the applicant will go through a stringent vetting process.

By including this in your advertisement it often discourages child abusers from applying.

APPLICATION FORM

All potential members of staff and volunteers who will be working with children or who will come into contact with children in the course of their work are required to fill out an Application Form. Where an Applicant may not have literacy skills, the information that would have appeared on the Form is gathered at interview and recorded.

Prior to interviewing an Applicant, their Application Form is carefully examined to highlight matters that need to be raised at interview.

 

IDENTIFICATION: Applicants are asked to bring identification (preferably photographic) with them to interview. At this stage it is also good to inform them that they will be asked to sign a Declaration declaring previous convictions or pending.

VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Ask Applicants to bring documentary verification of qualifications they claim on their Application Form. (You may not realistically expect to get EFL-Kenya Certificates from older people).

 

INTERVIEW

Establishing a fuller picture of the character and attitudes of an applicant is an important part of the safe recruitment process. The formal interview is an opportunity to discuss and assess the applicant’s values, motivations, abilities, experience and suitability.

At least two people representing the organisation meet with an Applicant, one of whom should have competence in interviewing and selection for posts involving children.

Particular attention should be paid to the following:

­  the applicant’s attitudes towards working with or around children

­  gaps in employment history

­  frequent changes of employment

­  vague statements or unsubstantiated qualifications

­  areas you want to explore in more detail

Here are some examples of child protection questions you could ask during the interview process:

­  Tell us about any experiences that have been difficult for you when working with children and young people and how you handled them?

­  Tell us how you respond to aggression or young people who are especially challenging?

­  Tell us how you go about advising a young person about sexual matters?

­  How would you respond to a young person who tells you that they are being abused?

­  Tell us what you would do if a young person started sending you text messages or contacting you in some other way unrelated to your work?

 

DECLARATION

If, you think you may consider the Applicant for the job, then ask him/her to fill in the D.1 Declaration Form, which requires them to:

­  Declare any past criminal convictions and cases pending against them.

­  Affirm that there is no reason why they would be considered unsuitable to work with children.

*This Declaration applies to all who will come into contact with children in the course of their work, nurses, drivers, cooks etc. It may only be referenced later for the purposes of safeguarding children. (The sample Declaration provided includes the two points mentioned above on one Form)

For one-off events, where you might employ a photographer or a driver or extra help for the event, ask them to sign the D.2 Declaration asking them to declare that they have no convictions etc. for matters relating to a child.

In circumstances of civil unrest or where you cannot reasonably guarantee the confidentiality of the D.1. Declaration or where you have reason to suspect that the Declaration may be used against an Applicant at a future date for reasons other than Child Protection, then it may be wise to ask Applicants to sign the D.2. Declaration rather than the D.1. Declaration. (Unless, of course, the D.1 Declaration is required by law or local Church Policy).

 

REFERENCES

Applicants will have been asked to supply the names of two referees who are not family members. Ideally, at least one should have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s experience of work or/ contact with children. (This may be difficult if the job is not directly related to children, e.g. a janitor).

Referees are asked specifically to comment on the Applicant’s suitability to work with children or how he/she generally relates to children.

References should be provided in writing and are followed up with a telephone call, or a visit. It is important that we satisfy ourselves that the identity of a referee is verified to ensure that references are authentic.

IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT AS TO THE SUITABILITY OF THE APPLICANT TO WORK WITH OR AROUND CHILDREN - REJECT THE APPLICATION

VETTING

When an Applicant has been selected for a post working with children or that will bring them into contact with children, they should be Police vetted, if a vetting process is available in the country. Where the Law requires vetting, we must comply. Where vetting is unavailable, we make such background checks as are feasible. Applicants must be informed that we will need to conduct essential background checks before they take up any appointment.

WRITTEN STATEMENT OF TERMS OR CONTRACT:

All new employees should receive a written Statement of Terms of Employment, or Contract, within two months of commencing employment. This should include the name and address of their employer. It should also include a clear job description, hours of work, holidays and sick pay, and should reference our policies for grievance, complaints, supervision and disciplinary matters. They should also be given a copy of Child Protection Policy and other relevant documents, e.g. Code of Behaviour.

INDUCTION OF NEW STAFF

The induction period may last a week or two, depending on the post.

As well as the introductions to staff and introduction to what the work will entail etc, a new member of staff/volunteer should be made familiar with:

­  The layout of the building, with emphasis on health and safety issues.

­  Plans for evacuating the building in case of fire, how to access First Aid etc. This should be done as near to the first day as possible.

­  The Code of Behaviour for Adults working with children.

­  Someone should be appointed to generally stay close to the inductee and be available to help with advice, answer questions or help with problems.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD

Make appointments of paid workers and volunteers conditional on the completion of a probationary period. A suitable minimum probationary period would be three months with a review at six months, depending on the post. There should be clarity when the probationary period begins and ends. Frequent supervision should take place during a probationary period. This supervision should be undertaken by a specified person.

Initial training, which includes training in our Child Protection Policy, relevant Guidelines, Procedures and Codes of Behaviour. Training should also include how to deal with observation, discovery and allegations of abuse, how to recognise abuse and our Reporting procedure. Specific instructions should be given on whom to inform if abuse is observed or discovered.

 

KEEPING RECORDS

Details of the selection and induction process must be kept on the personnel file of the person appointed. References must also be kept as part of the record of the recruitment process.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All information relating to Applicants must only be seen by those directly involved in the recruitment process. Applicants are reassured that information about them, including information they may give about convictions, will be treated in confidence and not used against them unfairly.

ON-GOING SUPERVISION

It is important that those working with children receiving on-going support and supervision at regular intervals and at times known to them in advance.

Arrange to meet with staff working with children at regular intervals, on their own and in small groups. This will give staff the opportunity to raise any questions they may have or to highlight any problems they are experiencing. It also gives staff the opportunity to make suggestions for change they may wish to make. It is important that supervision procedures include the opportunity to address sources of anxiety or stress for staff and for members of staff to raise any concerns they may have regarding a child or young person.

Use your supervision procedure to assess your policies and practices and the possible need for additional training or development of staff. There should also be informal supervision of staff, where staff are observed at work with children from time to time.


Application Form for Staff/Volunteer

CONFIDENTIAL

Position you are applying for:

Name:

Any other name currently or previously known by:

Address:

Telephone No. or other contact details: (if any)

Date of Birth:                                                  Place of Birth:

Qualifications (if any):

Details of Present Occupation:

                                  

Past employment/experience:

Why do you wish to take up this position?

Give details of two people (not related to you) who can provide us with a Personal/Character Reference. Preferably one of these should have knowledge of your previous work with children (if applicable) or how you relate to children/young people.

 

 

 

 


 

Character and Personal Reference

Confidential

Your name has been given to us by

Who has applied for the position of

1) Can you tell us how long you have known the applicant?

2) In what capacity do you know the applicant?

 

 

3) Can you highlight some of the applicant’s skills and qualities?

 

 

 

4) Do you, without reservation highly recommend the applicant for the position, which they have applied for? (Please tick)                     Yes _____   No____

If NO, can you tell us why?

If YES, please specify why:

Any additional comments:

 

 

 

 

Your contact Tel. No.:

 

 

 

Signed ___________________________ Date __________________________

 

 

Please Return Completed Form to:

 

Safe recruitment and selection checklist for employees and volunteers

 

Contact with children

What contact with children will the job involve?

Will the employee/volunteer have unsupervised contact with children or hold a position of trust?

What other forms of contact will the person have with children, e.g. email, telephone, letter, internet?

 

Defining the role

Have the tasks and skills necessary for the job been considered?

Does the job description make reference to working with and having responsibility for children?

 

 

Key selection criteria

Has a list of essential and desirable qualifications, skills and experience been developed?

 

Written application

Have all applicants been asked to supply information in writing including personal details, past and current work/volunteering experience?

Have you developed application forms?

 

Interview

Have at least two representatives from the organisation been identified to meet with an applicant to explore information contained in their application?

Have the applicant and the application forms been carefully considered, highlighting points to raise in interview including:

­  the applicant’s attitudes towards working with children

­  areas you want to explore in more detail

­  gaps in employment history

­  vague statements or unsubstantiated qualifications

­  frequent changes of employment

 

Declaration

Have applicants been asked to sign a declaration stating that there is no reason why they would be considered unsuitable to work with children?

Have applicants been asked to declare any past criminal convictions and cases pending against them?

 

Identification

Have applicants been asked for photographic documentation to confirm their identity e.g. birth certificate, passport?

Is documentation relating to the applicant’s identity and relevant qualifications checked at interview?

 

Qualifications

Are applicants asked for documentation to confirm qualifications?

 

References

Are applicants asked to supply the names of two referees who are not family members and ideally, who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s experience of work/contact with children?

Are referees asked specifically to comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children?

Are all references provided in writing and followed up with a telephone call if appropriate?

Is the identity of referees verified?

 

 

Vetting procedure

Has the vetting procedure that you will need for your selected applicant been considered?

Has the applicant been informed that you will need to conduct essential background checks before they take up any appointment?

 

Records

Are details kept of the selection and induction process on the personnel file of the person appointed?

Are references kept on file as part of the record of the recruitment process?

 

Confidentiality

Is information about the applicant only seen by those directly involved in the recruitment process?

Are applicants reassured that information about them, including information about convictions, will be treated in confidence and not used against them unfairly?

 

 


 

D.1. Declaration form for all persons working as employees or volunteers with children and young people

Confidential

For the Social and Health Care Center, the welfare of children and young people is paramount.

 

We therefore ask that everyone working or volunteering with SHC-Center or Damascus CBO who will come into contact with children or personal details of children, abide by good practice by completing and signing this declaration:

Do you have any prosecutions pending or have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or been the subject of a Caution or of a Bound over Order (please tick)

 Yes          No

If yes, please state below the nature and date(s) of the offence(s)

Date of offence:         

Nature of offence:     

Have you ever been the subject of disciplinary procedures or been asked to leave employment or voluntary activity due to inappropriate behaviour towards a child? (Please tick) Yes   No

If yes, please give details including date(s) below:

Full name (print):

Any surname previously known by:

Address:

Date of birth:                                      Place of birth:

Declaration: I understand that, if it is found that I have withheld information or included any false or misleading information above, I may be removed from my post whether paid or voluntary, without notice. I understand that the information will be kept securely by this organization.

I hereby declare the information I have provided is accurate.

Signed: ________________________                   Date: _______________________


 

D.2. Declaration Form for all persons working as employees or volunteers with children and young people

Confidential

For SHC-Center, the welfare of children and young people is paramount.

We therefore ask that everyone working or volunteering with SHC-Center or Damascus CBO, who will come into contact with children or personal details of children, abide by good practice by completing and signing this declaration:

I have no prosecutions pending and have never been convicted of a criminal offence or been the subject of a Caution or Bound over Order for any matter relating to a child (i.e. anyone aged 0 - 18 years)

I have never been the subject of disciplinary procedures nor have I ever been asked to leave employment or voluntary activity due to inappropriate behaviour towards a child.

Full name (print):

Any surname previously known by:

Address:

Date of birth:                                                  Place of birth:

Declaration: I understand that, if it is found that I have withheld information or included any false or misleading information above, I may be removed from my post whether paid or voluntary, without notice. I understand that the information will be kept securely by this organization. I hereby declare the information I have provided is accurate.

Signed: _______________________________   Date: _____________________________


 

Standard 3

 

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR FOR ADULTS WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND

YOUNG PEOPLE[15]

 

It is important for all employees, volunteers, and others in contact with children to:

  • Treat all children with courtesy and respect
  • Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
  • Value and respect children as individuals
  • Listen to children and young people
  • Encourage and praise children, comment on helpful, courteous and other positive behaviour
  • Rewarding their efforts as well as achievements
  • Involve children in decision-making in matters which affect them, in an age appropriate way
  • Operate within the organisation’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures
  • Praise and encourage children to further their development
  • Reward efforts as well as achievements
  • Be visible to others when working with children whenever possible
  • Challenge and report potentially abusive behaviour
  • Develop a culture where children can talk about their contacts with staff and others openly
  • Respect each child’s boundaries and help them to develop their own sense of their rights as well as helping them to know what they can do if they feel that there is a problem

In general, it is inappropriate to:

­  Spend excessive time alone with children away from others

­  Take children to your own home, especially where they will be alone with you

­  Smoke tobacco while working with children

­  Engage in rough play with children

 

Employees, volunteers and others must never:

­  Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse children

­  Verbally abuse children

­  Leave children unsupervised

­  Develop sexual relationships with children

­  Develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive

­  Use or be under the influence of drugs/alcohol while working with children

­  Act in ways that may be abusive or may place a child at risk of abuse

Employees, volunteers and others must avoid actions or behaviour that could be construed as poor practice or potentially abusive. For example, they should never:

­  Use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive

­  Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative

­  Have a child/children with whom they are working to stay overnight at their home unsupervised

­  Sleep in the same room or bed as a child with whom they are working

­  Do things for children of a personal nature that they can do for themselves

­  Condone, or participate in, behavior of children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive

­  Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade

­  Discriminate against, show different treatment, or favor particular children to the exclusion of others

­  Use discriminatory language or behavior relating to race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality or political views

I have read the above Code of Behavior and agree to abide by it. I have also been made aware of the consequence for Misconduct/breaching this Code of Behavior.

Signed: _________________________                   Date: ____________________

 

 

 

 


 

CONSEQUENCES FOR STAFF MISCONDUCT

There are two levels of staff misconduct (i.e. A, and B), where Level A is the more serious with the more severe consequences. The following lists indicate the specific misbehaviours included at each level, as well as the consequences applied by this organization for those offences.


STANDARD 4

 

Supervision (continued)

 

Our ongoing supervision will help us:

­  Clarify roles and responsibilities

­  Review the work and work practice of staff and volunteers

­  Provide a means of assessing professional/personal development needs of our staff and their child safeguarding training needs

­  Reduce stress

­  Provide support

From time to time we will also engage in the more informal supervision of observing staff/ volunteers at work with children. Staff should be made aware that this will happen from time to time and their co-operation sought. Its purpose is to ensure that best practice is observed across our organisation and shortcomings identified. It is not intended to spy on staff. That kind of covert observation can lead to mistrust, stress, poor relationships and an unhappy working environment that will not produce good work practice. It will also impede the co-operation of management and staff that is needed to work in harmony for the safeguarding and general welfare of children. However, if a member of staff/volunteer engages in poor practice and seems either unwilling or unable to meet standards, then their continued employment with us must be questioned.

Our supervision process will help us assess our policies and practices and identify training needs.

 

Identification of Child Protection Training Needs

In order to help identify what sort of training might be appropriate, go through the following questions. Then use the sample questionnaire “Identification of child protection training needs”. The examples in italics are just that - examples - and you may have different ones.

Key Questions:

­   How are child protection training needs currently identified in this organisation/ministry?

­   If you currently have child protection training in place, does it meet everyone’s needs?

­   Is there a budget for training?

­  How is the learning from it shared with others?

You may also need to ascertain if or where the required training is available.

Resource provided:

  1. 1.Identification of child protection training needs (use this questionnaire to help you identify training needs and how they may be met)
  2. 2.Blank Identification of child protection training needs (copy for future use)

 

 

STANDARD 5: Communicating the SHC’s Safeguarding Message

 

PROCEDURE FOR DISSEMINATING OUR SAFEGUARDING POLICY AND PROCEDURES TO PERSONNEL, PARENTS/CARERS, AND EXTERNAL AGENCIES

OPEN DISCUSSION: Take every available opportunity to discuss our safeguarding policy and procedures with personnel and external agencies. Ensure that our documents are understood by all (where necessary translate or use and interpreter).

Copies of the following should be available in the Staff Room of organisations working with children

  1. All of the above
  2. Procedures for Responding to and Reporting suspicions, allegations of Child Abuse and a few copies of the Recording Form
  3. Name, contact details and role of the Child Protection Officer in the organisation
  4. Name and contact details of SHC Designated Officer
  5. Guidance on appropriate and inappropriate touch
  6. Intimate Care guidelines (where this is appropriate)
  7. Procedure for dealing with negative/inappropriate behaviour
  8. Guidance on appropriate and inappropriate sanctions
  9. Whistle blowing Policy
  10. Copy of the Children’s Code of Behaviour
  11. Anti-Bullying Policy and other materials on bullying
  12. Complaints procedure and Complaints Forms
  13. Guidelines - Supervision/Trips away from home (if you don’t take trips, extract the relevant parts, e.g. supervision)
  14. Health and Safety Policy - including list of those who have responsibility for various health and safety roles
  15. Your plan to evacuate the building in case of emergency, including information on how to evacuate specific children with disabilities
  16. Name of those responsible for giving First Aid and where First Aid kits are located
  17. Where computers are used by staff - Acceptable Usage Policy (for computers)
  18. Where children use computers online - IT Guidance Packages (including information on cyber bullying etc.)
  19. Mobile Phones and other personal IT Equipment - Policy (where appropriate)
  20. Policy for Imaging Children and guidelines
  21. Child Protection Communication Policy (for working with children)
  22. All appropriate forms that go with the above.

In general, all of our policies and procedures relating to children should be available to parents and others who wish to read them.

 

The following are displayed on a notice board/wall in public view

(Some of items 1-4 below are combined in posters provided)

  1. Our Child Protection Policy Statement
  2. Name and contact details of the Child Protection Officer
  3. Name and contact details of SHC-Designated Officer
  4. Name and contact details of local civil authority (to whom concerns/allegations of child abuse should be reported (e.g. Health Board, Police)
  5. Notice asking adults to accompany their children to toilets
  6. Health and Safety Notice
  7. Name of person(s) who will administer First Aid in case of accident
  8. Complaints procedure
  9. Children’s Code of Behaviour
  10. Anti-Bullying Policy

In general, all our policies relating to the organisation should be available for anyone wishing to read them.

For special events, have to hand

  1. Declaration re offences (for photographers or others assisting on a one-off basis)
  2. Declaration and Transport expectations for Drivers (where the driver is not employed by the organisation as a normal member of staff)

If SHC-Center host’s a website: Child Protection Policy - and any other policies as deemed appropriate will be posted and updated on the website in future.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

All those who deliver supplies to our organisation, or who do other work for our organisation should have our Child Protection Policy. They should also be made aware of our Code of Behaviour for Adults (you could run off a few copies, deleting the words ‘working with children’). Even though these providers, contractors etc. are not strictly speaking, working with our children, they are doing so indirectly.

IN THE COMMUNITY

Take every available opportunity to disseminate the safeguarding message. Use our documents to give assistance to anyone. Our goal is safeguarding children, not only in our own organisations, but in society as a whole.

 

STANDARD 6

Anyone who has been abused or who has perpetrated abuse should be assisted and supported in seeking help. Child abuse is distressing and can be difficult to deal with. Church organisations have a duty to ensure advice and support is available to help their personnel and volunteers play their part in protecting children. Ensuring children have access to support and advice. Children need someone to turn to when they are being abused. Often they do not know where to go for help so it is important to give them information about where and how to get help and advice if they have a concern. One way to achieve this is to develop lists for children giving information about how and where they can get help and support in the local community or area.

Some children are particularly vulnerable, such as disabled children or children with

Communication difficulties so it is important to develop alternative ways of enabling them to access information and support e.g. Braille, interpreters or by identifying experienced workers in the area who can assist if required.

Church personnel and volunteers will also need to know what services are available in the area so they can respond and support children. Continue to add to the list of the services, authorities and organisations in your area that can provide assistance to children. These lists will need to contain essential contact details and will need to be kept up-to-date.

 

STANDARD 7

It is also important that we develop our policy against the backdrop of International Legislation/Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to prevent our Policies and Procedures being seen as a European construct imposed on African people. In particular we reference the following:

  1. CRC - The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, (1989) which has been ratified by all countries (bar Somalia and USA).
  2. The OAU’s \\\'African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child’ (ACWRC) 1990, which replicated and strengthened the CRC, came into force in December 2000.
  3. 3.The Declaration and Plan of Action of the Pan-African Forum for children - An Africa fit for Children 2001 (reviewed in 2007).
  4. 4.Local Children’s/ Juvenile’s Acts may also be referred to[16].

 

Guidelines for developing an anti-bullying policy

Bullying is a difficult issue to tackle, largely because it is generally a hidden one. Child victims of bullying are often afraid to talk about it for fear of the bully or awkwardness to admit they are being bullied. One research study found that 50% of people being bullied tell no one. But the long-term affects can contribute towards a negative effect on self-esteem and sometimes depression can result. There is therefore a responsibility to all for tackling it when it happens. Developing an anti-bullying policy is a way of addressing the issue and a good step forward.

 

A framework

The aim of these guidelines is to give some steps and practical suggestions that can be considered and then adapted to the specific context of work. Five questions to be considered therefore form the framework for these guidelines. These have been adapted from a support pack for developing anti-bullying policies in schools. Other good practice ideas by agencies that have specialized on this subject have been added in to each section.

 

 

Active involvement

 

Involvement in developing the policy should include all the staff and the client group, where possible, as only commitment to the policy by all will make it effective and ensure bullying is addressed openly.27

 

Involvement of young people in the solution has been seen as a key factor in making an anti-bullying policy successful.

 

Question 1 To consider what counts as bullying

A first step is to gain an awareness of the amount of bullying that is taking place and the nature of it. A practical point to consider is to agree a definition of what behavior counts as bullying, as different people may have different views (their own experience may play a part in this). Below is a list of possible behaviors that could be thought of as bullying:

 

Types

1 Physical assault (violence)

2 Teasing, for example calling names

(Verbal bullying can be as harmful as physical bullying)

3 Exclusion from peers

4 Spreading rumors

5 Harassment (where seen as different from others)

6 Forcing to hand over money

7 Threatening

8 Initiation ceremonies to someone new

9 Gang-bullying

10 Witnesses watching and laughing (as may encourage the process)

(It may not be bullying when two children of approximately equal strength or confidence are fighting. Bullying usually involves an imbalance of power in the situation, where one person is using their power to hurt or exploit the other).

There are a few key questions that staff may need to consider:

• How much bullying is there?

• Where it is happening?

• When is it happening?

• What do staff and young people think should happen?

• What strategies could be used for dealing with it?

A key question is how an effective needs assessment can be made sensitively. One effective way in a residential project is through developing the one-to-one relationships of trust with the children so they feel more confident to talk about the problems and situations they are facing. The system of allocating time for one-to-one sessions with residents could be useful for this - empathy and active listening skills are key qualities for making these sessions work.

Also, developing some form of regular group work sessions within a project can help children to get used to talking about sensitive issues. Group work is a useful strategy for bringing hidden problems into the open to be shared and dealt with effectively.

 

Question 2 Aims of the policy

Ideally an anti-bullying policy should include both

1 Approaches for prevention of bullying

2 Intervention where bullying occurs

[Other relevant policies and procedures of the organization/project may also need to be taken into account when developing an anti-bullying policy. For example a child protection policy, and the rules for the project].

Question 3 What the policy would cover?

Raising awareness of the issue - one approach to raising awareness on bullying is through developing some form of social education on the issue.

Creating opportunities to talk about bullying - the most effective ways for this are through one-to-one support with the children and through group work. However, if group work is developed it may be useful to allow time for the process of an effective group to form and for openness and trust to be established within the group time, before more sensitive topics like bullying are introduced.

Supervision of key areas - one particular area to consider is how to effectively supervise the night times, to prevent bullying occurring then. What is important is that all are involved (or consulted in someway) in the process of discussing the most effective way forward for this, not only all the staff, but also all the children themselves.

Developing peer support - a way to help encourage the children to take care of one another, and to create an environment where they can help others to be able to report bullying when it occurs. The systems for night supervision need to consider child protection issues as well, and how this could also link into a child protection policy.

Procedures for investigating incidents and guidelines for listening - it may be useful for staff to listen to all involved including witnesses and bullies. Useful actions to take:

• It is important to really listen to the person (not to make assumptions of what has happened)

• To problem-solve and take some action

• It is helpful to let the child know what you will do with the information they give you and keep in communication with them (if the person being bullied discloses information and then does not know what will happen next it may create fear for them)

• It is recommended to make a record of incidents of bullying, and also to follow up afterwards to make sure the situation has stopped.

Question 4 Who is going to do what?

To make the policy happen in practice it is useful to identify specific responsibilities for taking it forward.

Question 5 Communicating the policy to everyone involved?

The best way to communicate the policy is for everyone to feel that they have some ownership of the policy. One idea to consider is whether there are appropriate ways for some involvement of all those involved in the project in discussing the first four questions.

 

 

Helpful and unhelpful responses to bullying

Staff Some actions that staff can take when dealing with a situation of bullying

 

Helpful actions

• To listen to all involved.

• If advice is given, it needs to be practical.

• Modeling a non-bullying environment, therefore avoiding calling the children any names or putting them down in any way.

 

Unhelpful actions

• To trivialise or patronize them when a child reveals that they are being bullied.

• To ignore the situation

• To give inappropriate advice, for example to tell the victim to fight the person who is bullying them, as the victim would then risk being seen as a bully.

Key messages that a victim of bullying needs to hear

• “It’s not your fault” - The child being bullied may need help to recognize this. The person doing the bullying can make the child feel that it is their fault it is happening. The victim may also feel that they need to change, when the problem is actually with the bullying behavior.

• “You do not have to face this alone”- Isolation is a big effect of bullying and the stigma that the person is being bullied may create an obstacle in asking for help.

Person being bullied

The following are some helpful actions recommended for the person who is being bullied to take

 

Helpful actions

• Talk to someone they trust

• Seek friendships - different/more

• Recognize it is not their fault

• Taking some action

 

 

 

 

Unhelpful actions

• Dealing with it alone

• Taking no action about it

• Believing all said about them

• Exaggerating what has happened

 

Peers and witnesses

It is helpful for the peer group of someone being bullied to know why it is important for them to act (due to the potential harmful effects to the victim if bullying carries on)

 

Helpful actions

• Encourage the victim to talk to an adult (and to offer to accompany if they are afraid to)

• Befriend the victim (as will need this when being bullied)

• It is helpful to not let those who are bullying think that you’re too afraid to act

 

Unhelpful actions

• To tell the victim to deal with it alone

Person who is bullying

Someone who is bullying other children has often either been bullied themselves or may be unhappy in their own life.

While not accepting the behavior, staff can help them to understand why they are bullying others, and to help them deal with the real issues.

 


[1] The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

See also the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and An Africa Fit for Children - The African Common Position on Children.

[2] UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 1

[3]“Child Abuse”. The National Centre for Victims of Crime.

[4]“Guidelines for Psychological evaluations in child protection matters. Committee on Professional practice and standards, APA Board OF Professional Affairs.”

[5]Roosa M.W, Reinholtz C., Angelini P.J. (1999). “The relation of child sexual Abuse and Depression in Youpng Women: Comparison across 4 ethnic groups”

[6]“Sometimes they Can’t Afford to Leave Their Abusers”, Santa Ynez Valley Journal, California, 22 October 2009

[7]Throughout these procedures we recognise that in circumstances of war, civil unrest or the corruption of the normal workings of society, it may be necessary to report to whatever civil or customary authority that is best able to protect the child and not cause harm.

[8] In this context, ‘organisation’ is used to denote a particular ministry, club, programme which involves working with children.

[9] The ‘referrer’ is the person bringing the concern/ allegation. The ‘respondent’ is the person against whom the allegation is being made.

[10] See Resource “Identification of Child Protection Training Needs”

[11] External Training Programmes must necessarily be in relatively close proximity to where personnel are located and within the country.

[12] Audit adapted from Good Practice with Children: Self-Audit Tool, The National board for Safeguarding Children in Catholic Church - Standards and Guidance (2008)

[13] All organizations administered by Religious are considered Church organisations and all personnel working in these organisations are considered Church personnel

[14] The respondent is the person against whom an accusation or allegation is made. The referrer or complainant is the person raising the suspicion or allegation.

[15]Adapted from Resource 6 Sample Code of Behaviour, Safeguarding Children, Standards and Guidance document for the Catholic Church, September 2008.

[16] These are underpinned by International Legislation and Conventions e.g. The Children Act, Chapter 59 of the Laws of Uganda on August 1, 1997.  (Under this Act, Local Councils (LCs) are responsible for child protection), Children’s Act 2001 (Kenya) Part 11, Children’s Act (South Africa) 2005,Zimbabwe Domestic Violence Act [Chapter 5:16] Act 14/2006, Zambian laws relating to children are spread over a number of documents, e.g. The Constitution of Zambia and the Juveniles Act (Chapter 53 of the Laws of Zambia).