What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is a term used in the united kingdom and ireland to denote measures to protect the health and wellbeing and human rights of individual, which allow people especially children, young people and vulnerable adults to live a free life from abuse, harm and neglect.
PRINCIPLES OF CHILD SAFEGUARDING
- Empowerment: people being supported and encouraged.
- Prevention: it is better to take actions before harm occurs.
- proportionality: intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
POLICIES OF CHILD SAFEGUARD
A child safeguarding policy is a statement that describes how an organisation will keep the children and young people it works with safe. … It will state what the organisation will do to protect children and how it will respond to concerns, and include a list of procedures to support those aims. Child safeguard has set of policies, procedures and practices that we employ to ensure that Child safeguard is a child safe organization. Child Safeguarding is making Child safeguard safe for children. It involves our collective and individual responsibility and preventative actions to ensure that all children are protected from deliberate or unintentional acts that lead to the risk of or actual harm by Child safeguard staff, representatives and third parties, who come into contact with children or impact them through our development interventions, humanitarian responses and operations.
- Policy on Commitment to Children Child safeguard is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and to helping protect the children with whom Child safeguard is in contact. All Child safeguard representatives are explicitly engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of Child Abuse. Child safeguard’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of Child Abuse.
In furtherance of this Policy, Child safeguard has adopted procedures, described below, to promote: Prevention of Child Abuse: Striving, through awareness, good practice and training, to minimize the risks to children and take positive steps to help protect children who are the subject of any concerns. Reporting of Child Abuse; Ensuring that all Representatives know the steps to take and whom to contact when concerns arise regarding the safeguarding of children. Responding to Child Abuse: Engaging in action that supports and protects children when concerns arise regarding their well-being; supporting those who raise such concerns; investigating, or cooperating with any subsequent investigation; and taking appropriate corrective action to prevent the recurrence of such activity.
Promote Awareness of Child Safeguarding Obligations: Ensuring that all Representatives are adequately trained and supported in preventing, reporting and responding to safeguarding concerns; and ensuring that all Representatives are notified of and made aware of the expectation to comply with this Policy.
2. Policy to Comply with Applicable Laws and Regulations It is child safeguard policy to ensure compliance with host country and local child welfare and protection legislation, or international standards, whichever affords greater protection, and with U.S. law, where applicable. The requirements of this Child safeguard Policy are in addition to any other applicable legal requirements, including but not limited to donor requirements.
3. Policy Regarding Sexual Activity with Children It is child safeguard policy that any individual under the age of 18 is a child and is “underage,” regardless of the legal age of consent of the country in which s/he lives and/or in which the offense occurs. An underage child cannot legally give informed consent to sexual activity. Sexual activity with a Child with or without their consent will be treated as a serious infraction and will result in disciplinary action being taken, including termination, and the pursuit of any other available legal remedy.
4. Policy on Accountability of SCUS child safeguard Management is committed to taking all appropriate corrective actions. Disciplinary, legal or other applicable actions in response to any violation of the Child Safeguarding Policy will be taken against any individual who has committed a Child Safeguarding violation and/or anyone who knew of such a violation and failed to act or report. SCUS Management will continuously evaluate findings of violations to the Child Safeguarding Policy to identify and address gaps and/or weaknesses in applicable policies, procedures and protocols.
5. Policy on Confidentiality in Child Safeguarding Matters SCUS has a duty to manage sensitive information in a manner that is respectful, professional and that complies with the applicable law. Staff must keep all information about any suspected or reported incidents strictly confidential, and must divulge only that information to an SCUS Local or National Child Safeguarding Focal Point8(CSFP, identified on Save Net) or SCI9(identified on One Net), Legal Department, Human Resources team and/or any other senior staff directly involved in the investigation, except as may be required by law. (In the case of incidents abroad/overseas, the relevant Country Office Director may be privy to such information.)
PROCEDURES OF CHILD SAFEGUARD
- Risk Assessments will be conducted for all programming and activities involving children or those having a direct impact on children. All programs from design until exit will be evaluated to ensure it meets the standards for safeguarding children. In addition to programming, other activities carried out by child safeguard, contractors or partners may include but are not limited to research, advocacy, media campaigns and events (involving child travel and/or child participation)
- Where possible and practical, the “Two-Adult Rule,” wherein two or more adults supervise all activities where children are involved and are always present, shall be followed.
Representatives must never:
- Act in ways that may be abusive or place Children at risk of abuse.
- hit, physically assault or physically abuse Children or threaten to do so.
- engage in behaviors that are physically inappropriate or sexually provocative.
- engage in sexual activity or have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 18 years irrespective of the age of majority/consent or local custom.
- stay alone overnight with one or more Children benefitting from child safeguard programs who are not part of their family, whether in their house, project premises or elsewhere.
- have a Child beneficiary, who is not a part of their family, stay overnight at their home.
- sleep in the same bed as a Child beneficiary or sleep in the same room as a Child beneficiary, who is not a part of their family.
- invite Children to stay overnight in a compound, hotel or other accommodations, domestically or internationally, with a non-relative child safeguard representative.
- exchange personal contact information or ask for Children’s personal information.
- develop relationships with Children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. Representatives must always avoid actions that could be construed to constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behavior. Representatives must never place themselves in a position where they are made vulnerable to allegations of misconduct.
- Safe Recruitment: Child safeguard will only recruit representatives who are suited to work with children. Strict child safe recruitment practices apply to all candidate and are not limited to background Record Checks -Any exception to the BRC process must be approved by the General Counsel Staff, Interns, Volunteers, Fellows, Trustees & Consultants Child safeguard shall conduct background record checks(BRCs)on all Child safeguard Staff, Interns, Volunteers, Fellows, Trustees & Consultants. To appropriately screen for Child Safeguarding indicators, BRCs must minimally include comprehensive criminal and sexual offender histories. Any BRC discrepancies must be reviewed by the National Director of Child Safeguarding and cleared by the General Counsel prior to any direct contact between the individual and children or their data.
- Other Representatives & Visitors Child safeguard shall conduct a BRC for all Representatives (e.g., donors, sponsors, site visitors, invited guests, etc.)prior to the individual’s contact with children or child data and/or as it deems appropriate and permitted by law. In the alternative, non-employee Representatives may provide a letter from his/her employer identifying that:
- a comprehensive BRC for criminal and sexual offender histories has been conducted.
- date of last BRC.
- is not a criminal or sexual nature; and
- there are no known concerns indicating that the individual would pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults.