The ﬁrst International Child Safeguarding Standards were launched in 2002 by a coalition of relief and development agencies that later became known as Keeping Children Safe. The Standards represent a commitment by those working with and for children to ensure that their organisations “do no harm” and that they meet the responsibilities set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the independent expert for the UN study on violence against children, acknowledged the importance of the KCS standards stating that ‘they offer an excellent opportunity not only for the improvement of the quality and professionalism of those working with children but most importantly, it will help to achieve a greater impact for children.’
Since the standards were ﬁrst published, tens of thousands of organisations and professionals worldwide have implemented them. The increasing demand for this service reﬂects growing recognition by organisations that they have a responsibility, in all of their work, to keep children safe.
What are the standards?
Four globally recognised Keeping Children Safe standards are now used widely in all sectors to ensure best practice in child safeguarding, as well as better accountability to those who are using or beneﬁting from the services of an organisation. Each standard outlines the key elements that should be put in place to keep children safe and lists the requirements needed to meet these standards.
The four International Child Safeguarding Standards
Standard 1: Policy
The development of a policy that describes how an organisation is committed to preventing harm to children, outlining the steps that must be taken should an incident occur.
Standard 2: People
The identification of clear responsibilities and expectations for all staff and associates, supporting them to understand and act accordingly.
Standard 3: Procedures
The creation of a child-safe environment by implementing high quality safeguarding procedures that are applied in all programmes and activities.
Standard 4: Accountability
The regular monitoring and review of an organisation’s its safeguarding measures.
The standards are based on the following set of principles:
- All children have equal rights to protection from harm
- Everyone has a responsibility to support the protection of children
- Organisations have a duty of care to the children with whom they work, are in contact with, or who are affected by their activities and operations
- If organisations work with partners they have a responsibility to help them to meet minimum requirements on child protection
- All actions on child safeguarding are taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount
You can download and learn about the KCS Child Safeguarding Standards (pdf) for more details, guidance notes, benchmarking tools and help on how to evaluate risks.
We are here to help
KCS can take you through all the steps needed to ensure that your organisation meets these International Child Safeguarding Standards. From your initial self-assessment, providing expertise and high-quality audits, to achieving KCS certification, we help organisations of all types and sizes to raise their understanding on how to safeguard children.
If you haven’t done so yet, test the resilience of your organisation with our free self-assessment tool, which will help you discover organisational strengths and weaknesses – or, for advice and more information on how we can help you, get in touch with our team today.