Child Protection Policy
(Preparing Children for brighter future)
Our main contact with children and young people will be in Cameroon and mainly at our schools, Football for Hope Centre and projects. It should be recognised that there are cultural differences guided the development of this child protection policy . This increases the need for this document to be seen as a ‘working document’ requiring frequent revisions.
As an example, in Cameroon, it is common for children as young as 6 to be given sole responsibility for looking after a 3 month baby, often for hours at a time. In Cameroon this is seen as empowering the child to take responsibility.
Since we have influence over the management of our schools/projects we will encourage the staff and management of these schools/projects to follow these guidelines. We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by –
- Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for Board Members and staff.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff, trustees and staff.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of Board Members and staff
- Providing effective management for members and staff through supervision, support and training
- We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice at regular intervals.
A/ CODE OF BEHAVIOUR: Statement of Intent: It is the policy of UAC Schools / Projects to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm. This organization is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secured while engaged in any of UAC Projects’ activities.Personnel (members and volunteers) should at all times show respect and understanding for individual’s rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of UAC Projects.Guidelines for all UAC Projects members and staff
Board Members and staff should be committed to:
- Treating children and young people with respect and dignity.
- Always listening to what a child or young person is saying
- Valuing each child and young person
- Recognising the unique contribution each individual can make
- Encouraging and praising each child or young person
Board Members and staff should endeavour to:
- Provide an example, which we would wish others to follow
- Use appropriate language with children and young people and challenge any inappropriate
language used by a young person or child or an adult working with young people.
- Respect a young person’s right to privacy
ONE TO ONE CONTACT
Board Members and staff should:
- Not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children, away from others
- In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child or young person make every
effort to keep this meeting as open as possible.
- If privacy is needed, ensure that other staff are informed of the meeting and its
Board Members and staff should never:
- Engage in sexually provocative or rough physical games, including horseplay
- Do things of a personal nature for a child or a young person that they can do for themselves.
- Allow, or engage in, inappropriate touching of any kind
Board Members and staff should:
- Be aware that someone might misinterpret our actions no matter how well intentioned
- Never draw any conclusions about others without checking the facts
- Never allow ourselves to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking situations such as
tantrums or crushes
- Never exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues or make suggestive remarks or gestures
about, or to a child or young person, even in fun
Board Members and staff who are involved in relationships with other members of staff or volunteers should ensure that their personal relationships do not affect their role or work within UAC Projects.
B/ SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION AND GOOD PRACTICE WITH, CHILDREN,
Board Members and staff
Good communication is essential in any organisation. In UAC Projects every effort will be made to assure that, should individuals have concerns, they will be listened to and taken seriously.
It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that information is available to, and exchanged between all those involved in this organisation and its activities. Some information is confidential and should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.
Children and young people
- Children and young people have a right to information, especially any information that could
make life better and safer for them. UAC Projects will act to ensure they have
information about how, and with whom, they can share their concerns, complaints and
- When sharing information, UAC Projects personnel will be sensitive to the level of
understanding and maturity, as well as to the level of responsibility, of the people with
whom they are sharing.
Parents / persons with parental responsibility are ultimately responsible for their children’s welfare at all times, and they should be assured that their children are involved with a credible organisation.
We achieve this by
- Publicising information on all our work.
- Publishing the named Designated Child Protection Person(s) and how to make a complaint.
Board Members & staff
As an organisation, which may have contact with young children in our schools, it is imperative that each member of UAC Projects is aware of their responsibilities under the Child Protection legislation and has a working knowledge of UAC Projects’ procedures. Each Board Member and volunteer will receive a copy of this document.
C/ SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CONCERNS WITH PARTNERS/STAKEHOLDERS WHO NEED TO KNOW AND INVOLVING PARENTS AND CHILDREN APPROPRIATELY
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
In any case where an allegation is made, or someone in UAC has concerns, a
record should be made. Details must include, as far as practical:
- Name of child or young person
- Home Address or approximate location of parent’s residence
- Date of Birth (if known)
- Name/s and Address of parent/s or person/s with parental responsibility
- Telephone numbers if available
- Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of
Somebody else? If so, record details
- What has prompted the concerns? Include dates and times of any specific incidents
- Has the child or young person been spoken to? If so, what was said?
- Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, record details
- Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? e.g. school,
designated officer, social services etc
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details
DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION PERSONS
In the event of any child protection issues or concerns, the following person should be contacted:
- All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files.
- Only the designated Persons will have access to these files.
- Never guarantee absolute confidentiality, as Child Protection will always have precedence
over any other issues.
- Listen to the child, rather than question him or her directly. Offer him / her reassurance
without making promises, and take what the child says seriously.
- Allow the child to speak without interruption, accept what is said – it is not your role to
investigate or question.
- Do not overreact.
- Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgment
- Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass the information on.
- Explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.
- Record the discussion accurately, as soon as possible after the event,
- Use the child’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you
have misconstrued what the child was trying to say.
- Contact the UAC Designated Persons for advice /guidance.
- The Designated Person may then discuss the concern / suspicion with the relevant
organisation, and, if appropriate, make a direct referral.
- If the Designated Person is not available, or it is inappropriate to approach them, the
volunteer / member of staff with the concern should make contact with another Board Member .
- Record any discussions or actions taken within 24 hours.
D/ FOLLOWING CAREFULLY THE PROCEDURES FOR RECRUITMENT & SELECTION OF TRUSTEES & VOLUNTEERS
UAC Projects operates employment and supervision procedures that ensure highest
priority is given to issues relating to child protection. Each person expected to spend time alone with children or young people will be required to undergo a security check as part of our recruitment /volunteer policy.
E/ PROVIDING EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR TRUSTEES & VOLUNTEERS THROUGH SUPERVISION, SUPPORT & TRAINING
UAC Projects encourage the development of Board Members and staff through its
on-going support, supervision and training.
Each new Board Member or staff is made familiar with UAC Projects’ policies and procedures including the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour
At yearly Board meetings, child protection legislation and concerns are discussed.
In UAC , the management take responsibility for the training needs of Board Members and staff. The individual, however, also plays a part in identifying areas they feel they require training in.