Child abuse in organisations can be prevented, but abusers can and will exploit any gaps in an organisation’s child safeguarding framework. All gaps need to be closed with robust safeguarding measures that create safer organisations.
We believe every organisation should clearly state what child safeguarding actions they have taken. This is why, as part of the #StopAndCheck Campaign, we have published here our very own list of measures taken, to clearly demonstrate what we have done to safeguard any children we come into contact with.
A robust child safeguarding policy
KCS’ Child Safeguarding Policy is based on the International Child Safeguarding Standards; the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (and its optional protocols); the UN Statement on the Elimination of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and all child-related UN conventions; national child protection legislation of the countries in which we work and international good practice. The KCS Child Safeguarding policy was approved by the Keeping Children Safe Board of Trustees in January 2011 and is reviewed annually, unless changes in legislation or best practice guidance prompt an earlier review.
Details of how the policy is communicated to children, so they understand their rights and how to report abuse
KCS has a child-friendly version of our main safeguarding policy that communicates the complexities of the policy in a way that children will understand. It ensures that they know their rights to be safe, helps to explain and identify possible issues, to find out what they should do and what they can expect when they seek help.
Safe ways for children and adults to report abuse
Safeguarding concerns may be reported to KCS by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By letter to our office address or by telephone: +44 (0) 20 7250 8325. To our CS Focal Point, Stefan Yordanov or to any member of the Safeguarding Committee.
Every member of the KCS team has received safeguarding training and any one of them can be contacted should you need help.
We will share identifying information about children on a “need-to-know” basis only.
We will protect our staff as far as possible from victimisation or any other detrimental treatment if they come forward with serious concerns, provided that concerns are raised in good faith.
We require the subject of the complaint (alleged perpetrator) and all witnesses to cooperate fully and openly with internal and statutory investigations and hearings. Their confidentiality will be protected as far as we are able to do so, and information which could identify them will only be shared on a “need-to-know” basis.
A commitment to always act in the best interests of the child or children
KCS has a responsibility to make sure its staff, operations and programmes do no harm to children, that is that they do not expose children to the risk of harm and abuse and that any concerns about children’s safety within the communities in which we work are reported to the appropriate authorities. We conduct local mapping exercises to ensure that the best routes for reporting and ensuring the safety of children are identified should the need to report an incident arise.
Some of our guiding principles:
- All children have equal rights to protection from harm.
- Everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children.
- KCS has a duty of care to children with whom it works, is in contact with, or are affected by their work and operations
- KCS has the responsibility to help partners meet the minimum requirements for protection.
- All actions on child safeguarding are taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount.
A policy of background checks to stop child abusers from working with children
KCS always carries out robust background checks of all its trustees, staff and volunteers. This includes criminal record checks, no matter where in the world the person is based, taking up at least three references and checking full employment history.
Mandatory child safeguarding training for all trustees, staff and volunteers
KCS makes this a priority when inducting all new trustees, staff and volunteers. We have a system in place where KCS trustees, staff and volunteers have access to regular training on child safeguarding that is appropriate for their role and responsibilities and to ensure they understand our reporting mechanisms. Our staff, trustees and volunteers can attend all of our safeguarding training and are encouraged to do so.
Written standards for acceptable and unacceptable behaviour towards children and for children towards other children
This forms an intrinsic part of our child safeguarding policy our Code of Conduct is incorporated as an annex. All KCS trustees, staff and volunteers must agree to the terms and sign the code of conduct as a condition of their appointment.
There are sanctions for breaches of our safeguarding policy and for failure to comply with its requirements:
- for KCS Staff – disciplinary action leading to possible dismissal
- for KCS Associates – up to and including termination of all relations including contractual and partnership agreements with KCS
- where relevant – appropriate legal or other such actions (referral to statutory authorities for criminal investigation, for example).
The name and contact details of Child Safeguarding Focal Points
Our CS Focal Point is: Stefan Yordanov.
The members of the KCS Safeguarding committee are:
- Jon Brown, Trustee
- Sarah Blakemore, Chief Executive
- Alex Dressler, Head of Standards and Learning
- Stefan Yordanov, Senior Child Safeguarding Programme Manager
- Helen Carter, Head of Finance and Operations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 8325