Child Safeguarding, by definition, includes all activities an organisation undertakes to ensure that its co-workers, operations, and Programmes do no harm to children and do not expose them to the risk of harm and abuse; that appropriate responses and effective management of child safeguarding concerns are in place; and that any concerns the organisation has about children’s safety in its own Programmes and within the communities they work in are reported to the appropriate authorities.
At SOS Children’s villages, we concentrate on four main Child Safeguarding Principles:
2. CREATING AND MAINTAINING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT – PREVENTION: Provide guidance on how to safeguard children from abuse. The focus is on implementing suitable human resource recruitment and development approaches. Combined with this, it is essential that we listen carefully to children, take their views seriously, encourage them to participate in discussions on child protection issues, and offer them the opportunity to build trust-filled relationships. It is clear that child abuse is less likely to occur within a context that fosters child participation at all levels.
3. FOCAL PEOPLE FOR CHILD PROTECTION NATIONALLY AND IN ALL PROGRAMMES – REPORTING: Set up and adhere to a clear and simple reporting procedure. We take all concerns raised seriously – be it in an SOS Children’s Village, Family Strengthening Programme or other programme – and take appropriate action. Each national association defines and implements clear reporting and responding procedures, including internal communication lines, and defines the roles and responsibilities of all people involved. Quick and transparent measures that consider local legal responsibilities are undertaken.
4. THERE IS ALWAYS RESPONSE – RESPONDING: Ensure clear action is taken when child abuse is suspected or reported. All forms of child abuse are taken seriously, without exception and in all SOS programmes, and are responded to according to the gravity of the offence. We ensure that there is always a response, regardless of whether the abuse committed is considered large or small. By responding, we guarantee that a transparent and fair procedure is followed, so that nobody is falsely convicted and the rights of everyone involved are protected.