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Child Protection Policies and Procedures

Child Protection Policies and Procedures

INTRODUCTION 

Al-Ihsan Foundation’s main area of operation is overseas aid. As such we deal with a lot of children and orphans in need. We are, therefore, committed to the promotion of child safety and the protection of children and their interests. 

Al-Ihsan Foundation has a zero-tolerance policy to all sorts of violence, especially those directed towards children, and condemns all forms of child abuse and exploitation. 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to

  1. ensure the prevention of child abuse and exploitation from occurring within Al-Ihsan Foundation. 
  2. outline and implement an organisational culture of child safety practices and procedures. 
  3. ensure all employees and volunteers know and understand the child safety procedures and that these procedures are practiced. 
  4. provide guidance to all staff and volunteers as to what action needs to be taken when there is a breech or suspected breech of the child safety policy. 
  5. Ensure that any and all suspected abuse will be fully investigated and reported. 

 

Scope:

The scope of this policy covers the following:

  • Al-Ihsan Foundation head office.
  • Al-Ihsan Foundation field operations.
  • Al-Ihsan Foundation executives, directors, managers, staff and volunteers.
  • Al-Ihsan Foundation internal and external stakeholders.

 

Policy

Al-Ihsan Foundation is committed to promoting and protecting the best interest of all children involved in its campaigns and projects. All children regardless of gender, race, religion, age disability, family or socio-economic background are equally protected from abuse and exploitation. All our staff and stakeholders are required to report any and all child protection breaches if and when they should occur.

 

Al-Ihsan Foundation has a zero tolerance policy for child abuse and exploitation. Everyone who works at Al-Ihsan Foundation is responsible for the care and protection of all children under our care and all those we come across. 

 

If and when child abuse and exploitation is suspected it is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to investigate and report the abuse. 

 

The protection and safety of all children is a shared responsibility between all Al-Ihsan Foundation staff, volunteers, contractors and associates. 

 

Al-Ihsan Foundation considers and takes into account the opinions and views of children when investigating and implementing its policies. 

 

Al-Ihsan Foundation supports and respects all children, staff and volunteers and is committed to the cultural safety of all children including those from linguistically and cultural diverse backgrounds.

 

Al-Ihsan Foundation is committed to the safety and care of children with disability and seeks to cater to all individual children and their disability. 

 

If anyone believes a child is at risk of abuse or exploitation, that person has a duty of care to alert local authorities and ensure the child is no longer at risk.

 

Responsibility

 

The Al-Ihsan Foundation committee is ultimately responsible for detecting and preventing child abuse and exploitation. The committee is also responsible for ensuring that all appropriate and effective measures are in place to deal with any breaches in the child protection policy by ensuring that there are clear procedures to follow if such a breach takes place. 

 

The Director of Al-Ihsan Foundation is responsible for:

  • investigating and dealing with any reports of child abuse.
  • Ensuring that all managers, staff, volunteers and contractors are aware of laws regarding the protection of children and the procedures that should be followed if and when a brach of the child protection policy takes place. 
  • Ensuring that all staff, volunteers and contractors working with Al-Ihsan Foundation know their duty of care to report any and all suspected sexual child abuse immediately. 
  • Supporting staff, volunteers and contractors through their undertaking of their responsibilities in ensuring child protection and reporting exploitation. 

Al-Ihsan Foundation managers must ensure: 

  1. that child safety is promoted and implemented at all times.
  2. that risks of child abuse are accurately assessed and eliminated. 
  3. the education of staff, volunteers and contractors on the detection and prevention of child abuse and exploitation. 
  4. the reporting of any inappropriate behaviour or suspected abusive activities is made to ensure the protection and safety of all children in our care. 

Management is required to familiarise themselves with the types of abuse that occur within their area of responsibility and also to respond appropriately with vigilance.

All staff, volunteers and contractors share in the responsibility to prevent and detect any forms of child abuse and exploitation. What this means is they must:

  • familiarise themselves with Al-Ihsan Foundations policies and procedures, the Code of Conduct and all relevant legislation as well as comply and execute them. 
  • report any reasonable belief of child endangerment and exploitation to relevant authorities.
  • report any suspicions of child endangerment to a supervisor (or if the supervisor is under suspicion) to another relevant authority. 
  • create an environment that supports and enhances the emotional and physical safety of all children. 

Procedures

The ultimate responsibility to protect a charity from abusing its power and endangering the safety of the children it is meant to protect and help lies with the relevant authorities it has designated; however, everyone has an important role to play. 

The child safety implementation procedures are numerous. They include the roles of staff, managers, directors, volunteers etc; all places where Al-Ihsan Foundation understands operation where children are involved; and business functions such as hiring staff, commissioning volunteering and inviting guests. 

The procedure is as follows: 

  1. Hiring new staff – educating them of the risks and legal obligations.
  2. Training new and existing staff – of the zero tolerance to child abuse and exploitation.
  3. Establishing and promoting a child-safe environment and mitigate risks with training and a clear set of policies and procedures. 
  4. Reporting any instances of child endangerment and exploitation including any financial or sexual abuse. 
  5. Investigating any concerns, suspicions or complaints of child abuse and exploitation. 
  6. Responding to any concerns, suspicions or complaints that arise immediately and accordingly.
  7.  
  8. Risk Management.

 

Hiring New Staff and Volunteers

Al-Ihsan Foundation has a comprehensive recruitment and screening process for any and all new staff and volunteers. This screening process sets out to: 

  • promote and protect the safety of all children who come into contact with our organisation and its staff, volunteers and contractors it employs. 
  • identify the most suitable people who share Al-Ihsan Foundations values and commitment to protect children.
  • Prevent or cease employment of any person who is proven to pose a risk to the safety of children.
  • All applicants must possess a working with children’s check prior to commencing any work with Al-Ihsan Foundation.  
  • Once engage in employment, all workers and volunteers are required to review and fully understand Al-Ihsan Foundations child protection policy and procedures.

Staff and Volunteer Training 

Al-Ihsan Foundation provides mandatory child safety training to all existing and new staff and volunteers who work with children. This training involves:

  • reading, understanding and signing-off on the Al-Ihsan Foundation policy and procedure document.
  • understanding the child protection measures put in place to protect children against child-abuse and exploitation. 
  • understanding the basic steps of risk management against child-abuse.
  • reporting any cases or suspected cases of child abuse or exploitation to the relevant authorities.
  • Protecting the privacy of all parties involved. See ‘privacy’ section for more information. 

Training is conducted annually by all relevant staff to serve as a refreshment, and all new staff and volunteers who work and deal with children.

Promoting a Child-Safe Environment

Al-Ihsan Foundation supports and promotes a child-safe culture by highlighting its importance wherever and whenever it’s relevant. 

Child-safety is an important topic which is discussed throughout the organisation and its hierarchy. Its importance is highlighted in staff meetings and we are constantly trying to improve and adjust our approach to its prevention. 

Child-safety, and its importance, is also highlighted at different locations of operations such as head offices, orphanages, field-offices and training centres. 

The importance of child-safety is also highlighted through different media outlets as well as through training sessions and communications. 

Reporting 

Any member of staff, volunteer and contractor who suspects or has a ‘reasonable belief’ that child abuse or exploitation is or has taken place must immediately report such suspicions or reasonable beliefs to child protection services, police or the appropriate party. Supervisors should also be notified of any suspicions or concerns. 

In situations where the supervisor is under suspicion of child-safety misconduct or is suspected of being involved in any way, the matter should be reported to the next highest level of supervision as well as to child protection services, police or another appropriate party. 

Once the matter is reported to supervisors, if it is not adequately addressed, the matter should be reported to the next highest level of supervision as well as the relevant authorities. 

Supervisors are required to report complaints of suspected abuse or exploitation to Directors as well as to relevant authorities such as the police.

Investigating

If and when relevant authorities (such as the police) decide to investigate a child abuse complaint or suspicion, all Al-Ihsan Foundation employees, volunteers and contractors are required to co-operate fully with the investigation. 

The Director will consult with the relevant authorities to determine whether an internal investigation is appropriate or necessary. If it is decided that an internal investigation may be conducted without conflicting with the investigation of the authorities, then all employees, volunteers and contractors are required to co-operate with the internal investigation also. 

Such an investigation will be kept confidential to the best of abilities, and must be conducted according to the rules of natural justice. 

Responding

If a member of staff, volunteer or contractor is suspected of committing an offence and/or to have breached the organisations child-protection policies, the person suspected may be stood down while an investigation is being conducted. 

If the results of the investigation find that, on the balance of probabilities, an offence (or breach of the organisations policies and trust) has been committed; disciplinary action will follow. This may include dismissal or cessation of any sort of involvement with the organisation. The findings of the investigation will be forwarded to relevant external parties, as required. 

Risk Management

Al-Ihsan Foundation ensures that child safety is part of its overall approach to risk management. 

Al-Ihsan Foundations risk management approach involves routine training and upgrading to all existing and new employees, volunteers and contractors who work or deal with children. 

Privacy

Al-Ihsan Foundation respects the privacy of all individuals. Any and all personal information collected and recorded will remain private and confidential, unless there is a risk to a persons or child’s safety. Al-Ihsan Foundation has safeguarding practices in place to protect the personal information of all the parties it deals with, this includes (but is not limited to) employees, volunteers, contractors, clients, children and orphans. 

All parties involved have the right to know how their personal information is being stored, how and who can access it.