Child Protection Policy

Street Children Project 

Child Protection Policy 

Background 
Child abuse is a global phenomenon. It occurs in all countries and in all societies. It involves the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and adolescents. It is almost always preventable. Children and adolescents can be potentially subjected to exploitation, abuse, violence and neglect in families, communities, institutions, organisations, private places, public places by various circumstances by variety of people, including delegates, support staff, and ancillary personnel people associated with the conference. In order to address and protect children and adolescents from potential abuse and exploitation during their involvement with Street Children Project this Child Protection Policy has been developed. 


All children have the right to protection. They have the right to survive, to be safe, to belong, to be heard, to receive adequate care and to grow up in a protective environment.
A family is the first line of protection for children. Parents or other caregivers are responsible for building a protective and loving home environment. Schools and communities are responsible for building a safe and child-friendly environment outside the child's home. In the family, school and community, children should be fully protected so they can survive, grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential.

Millions of children are not fully protected. Many of them deal with violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, exclusion and/or discrimination every day. Such violations limit their chances of surviving, growing, developing and pursuing their dreams.

Any child can be vulnerable to violations in many places, including the home. Governments, communities, local authorities and non-governmental organizations, including faith-based and community-based organizations, can help ensure that children grow up in a family environment. They can make sure that schools and communities protect all children and prevent child maltreatment. They can protect girls and boys from violations such as abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking and work in hazardous conditions, as well as harmful practices, including child marriage. Girls and boys should be encouraged and supported to speak up for children's rights and to take an active role in their own protection against abuse, violence, exploitation and discrimination. 

Street Children Project, Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi is a non-governmental organization working in Ghana to promote the rights and well-being of children and young people. We believe that child protection is crucial to ensuring that children under the age of 18 have the rights, information and space in which they can express their views and communicate effectively with other children and adults. Children can only become empowered agents of change to improve their lives and that of their families and communities if they are safeguarded from abuse, discrimination and harm of any kind.

Child Protection 

Child protection is a broad to describe standards and guidelines to protect children from both intentional and unintentional harm. In the current context, it applies to SCP's duty to make sure its staff, operations and programmes do no harm to children.

SCP's Core Child Protection principles and values

  • Based on the UN Convention on the rights of the Child
  • Non- negotiable duty
  • Open environment
  • Children's participation
  • Implementation and accountability


The need for a child protection policy 

All organisations and professionals working or in contact with children are obliged to ensure their operations are 'child safe' and therefore need to have a Child Protection Policy'. SCP needs a child protection policy because:

  • Children are protected: Some children are in particular vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and ill-treatment at the hands of carers, project workers, and those with access to their personal information. Many children growing up in vulnerable circumstances have already experienced ruptured relationships of trust or abuse of an adult-child relationship in the form of physical, psychological or sexual abuse.
  • Organisation staff are protected: All children have a right to freedom from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation, based on the UNCRC. It is therefore the responsibility of Street Children Project to ensure that all its activities, policies, projects and programmes are 'child safe'. This means that staff do not represent a risk to children and that programmes, policies and practices can be designed and developed in ways that promote the protection of children.
  • The organisation and its reputation is protected: Organisations working with vulnerable children have been, are and will continue to be vulnerable to abuse until the issues are brought into the open. Organisations without protection policies, guidelines and systems are more vulnerable to false or malicious accusations of abuse.
  • Without a proper child protection policy and child protection standards in place, allegations of abuse, whether founded or unfounded, can destroy an organisation's reputation. This will have serious implications for fundraising as well as damaging the reputation of the children's rights NGO sector as a whole.

The scope of a child protection policy SCP's child protection policy applies to: All staff; Management Board members; interns and volunteers. All those acting on behalf of SCP, such as members, consultants or trainers. All those adults accompanying children to events and activities organised by SCP. All those who participate in SCP's events and meetings involving children, including journalists, sponsors, donors, policy makers, etc. All the individuals cited above will be expected to read SCP's Child Protection Policy and sign a commitment to adhere to its principles and procedures.  


Implementation 

This Policy is developed to ensure the highest standards of professional behavior and personal practice to ensure no harm occurs in any situation to children during their involvement in any SCP activities or projects.  

For effective implementation of the Child Protection Policy, it needs to be understood accurately by all those that the policy applies to. SCP will ensure that all its staff, interns, volunteers, consultants, etc. are informed about this policy and act in accordance with all its provisions, and do no harm to children who may come into their contact within or outside their work. The Child Protection Policy will be sent to all responsible adults after they have joined Street Children Project. 

As a condition for working with SCP all staff; Management Board members; interns and volunteers and all those acting on behalf of SCP are required to undergo the following: 

1. Both acceptance and commitment to our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct for working with children by signing a commitment to adhere to the Child Protection Policy principles and procedures. 

2. Education and training are essential to implement the Child Protection Policy. These includes: 

>  At the beginning of the induction period (within 3 weeks of taking up the position) of staff/volunteers/interns/MB members they will receive an introduction to CSP's Child Protection Policy and procedures from the Child Protection Officer and Assistant. This will include training on behavior guidelines for those in direct contact with children, and guidance on the acceptable and unacceptable sharing of information on children. Training will also allow staff to be able to identify sources of support for children and their families. 

>  Child Safeguarding Training will be given to all staff, volunteers and interns, appropriate to their roles and responsibilities on regular basis. 

The Child Protection Officer 
The Child Protection Officer together with the assistant is the appointed person who is responsible for: 
- Promoting awareness and implementation of the Child Protection throughout the organisation 
- Monitoring implementation of the Policy and reporting on developments at team meetings and for the Management Board. 
- The development of Child Protection Training resources 
- Maintaining knowledge of best practices and staturory requirements
- Acting as a source of support and information for staff on safeguarding issues 

The Managements will have the overall responsibility to oversee and ensure the Policy's implementation.