CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULTS PROTECTION POLICY
GLA is committed to making sure that the welfare and rights of children and vulnerable adults are promoted, and that children are not harmed, exploited or abused on behalf of our programming. This Safeguarding policy was developed for use across all programs. All permanent and seasonal staff must familiarize themselves with the policy.
Our staff are elected mandated reporters and they are trained to escalate any sensitive information that can impact the safety of the student to our leadership team which is handled on a case by case basis, involving local agencies as necessary.
This policy outlines Seven (7) sets of standards, defined and advocated for by UNICEF. These standards define what needs to be in place on GLA programs to keep children and vulnerable adults safe. Standards also list criteria that can help people and staff determine whether GLA is meeting this standard.
Standard 1: Policies and procedures to protect children from harm are established and enforced.
GLA is committed to encouraging a culture of safety and preventing or reducing risk of harm to children and vulnerable adults. GLA will do this through; safe recruitment, program staff policies for staff, code of conduct for students and vetting activities and service projects (especially those involving vulnerable populations) to be safe, ethical, sustainable and socially responsible prior to the start of programs.
Standard 2: Policy is enforced during the program.
A child’s right to dignity of life and bodily integrity shall be respected, nurtured and protected by all.
Every person involved in the program must make sure that the basic rights of children are respected. These basic rights are enshrined in the Children’s rights Charter established by the UN (United Nations).
This policy has been written to make sure that every member of the GLA community does everything that they can to prevent abuse. This policy aims to make sure that none of the staff on GLA programs – staff or students – does anything that could allow abuse to occur (E.g. through not following guidelines such as the Student Supervision Policy), or that could be misinterpreted by children, their families or other adults as being, or leading to abuse.
Standard 3: Reporting procedures are established and enforced.
As elected mandated reporters, GLA holds that the safety and wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults is an important consideration in our programs, and at no time will anyone be put at further risk of harm by delay or inaction. When it is known or suspected that an abuse has taken place, it is required that all legal and GLA procedures are followed. It is not the responsibility of anyone working for GLA, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to an appropriate supervisor who will decide the next steps.
Standard 4: Arrangements for ongoing training and education of staff are in place.
GLA recognizes that appropriate child safeguarding training for all those who work with children, or have a designated child safeguarding/welfare role, is an integral and vital element in ensuring best practice. Every person who works with children, or who comes into contact with them, has a role to play in protecting them. In order to carry out this role effectively and confidently, each person needs to be aware of child safeguarding issues, and should have the necessary knowledge and skills.
All personnel (permanent and seasonal) who need to access child safeguarding training (which includes the GLA sexual harassment and supervision trainings) will be given it. Suitable people to train those personnel who need training will be sought and chosen. Personnel will be freed to get this training.
Standard 5: A variety of methods to communicate this Child Safeguarding Policy are in place.
GLA will ensure that all people involved with the implementation of programs from admissions through to implementation and external agencies know about this child safeguarding policy. GLA is aware that policies and procedures are only effective if all the people involved, including children, know how to use them.
Standard 6: Advice and support are available to those who need it.
GLA is aware of how distressing child abuse can be, and how difficult it is to deal with. Seasonal staff will make sure that students will know where they can go for help and advice if they have a concern [as outlined in the Program Manual]. The Sexual Harassment Policy outlines the reporting structure available to students and staff so that they can gain support in the way they need it, whether anonymously or in person.
Standard 7: Standards are made to work, and are regularly checked to see if they are working. Annual reporting and data collection will be reviewed to determine if the implementation of this policy is meeting its intention. An annual, post-summer review of cases will showcase any issues that stemmed from the field that were in direct or indirect violation of this policy. This information will be used to:
- Analyze and review cases that occurred over the summer with a debrief among the Programing and Executive Teams.
- Learn from, evolve and make annual updates to our policy and implementation as needed to ensure we are meeting the mark on managing this policy to the highest standard.
GLA will work out a plan for putting the Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy Safeguarding Policy in place and making it work, and also for making sure that people know about it. A plan to check on the steps taken to protect children & vulnerable adults, especially looking at how well they are working, will be in place. GLA will ensure that people know about it, both formal and informal procedures will be used. The procedures that will be used can include:
- Briefings and Meetings, Newsletters, Memos, All-Staff Emails, Conferences, Policy Documents, Networking, Listening & Talking Sharing, Discussion Training
- Questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and formal feedback to check on the steps taken to protect children, especially looking at how well they are working, may also be used.