Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy
Updated January 18th, 2023
WezaCare Solutions (hereinafter also referred to as “WezaCare”) is a Kenyan Non-Profit Consultancy dedicated to strengthening family and community-based services. We support Care Reform through an accelerator program that builds and grows the capacity of charities to offer family and community-based care services. Our team is often in direct contact with children or charities that work directly with children. WezaCare recognizes that child abuse can occur in all societies, cultures, and organizations. We aim to raise awareness of child abuse: to prevent, denounce and react to child abuse through effective recruitment procedures, training staff, volunteers, and partners on child safeguarding matters, and developing an open and informed culture. WezaCare Solutions has developed a Child Safeguarding Policy with an underlying Code of Conduct to serve as minimum standards to promote well-being and safety for the optimal development of children. It is the responsibility of all staff to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, vulnerable adults, and beneficiaries with whom WezaCare Solutions engages.
WezaCare recognises that children can be extremely vulnerable, especially in situations of poverty, humanitarian crisis or conflict, and need to be protected. This Policy has been developed in order to:
1. Protect children engaged in WezaCare’s programs from all forms of abuse and exploitation.
2. Protect employees and representatives from false or malicious allegations of misconduct.
3. Protect WezaCare from being held liable for the failure to take “reasonable steps” to prevent or protect children from abuse.
For purposes of this Policy, “Staff” shall collectively mean all individuals working at all levels, including senior managers, ofﬁcers, employees (whether permanent or temporary), consultants, contractors, trainees, interns, or any other third-party persons associated with WezaCare, or any of our subsidiaries or their employees, wherever located.
“Third-party” means any individual or organisation that WezaCare comes into contact with during the course of their work for and with WezaCare, and includes actual and potential clients, customers, donors, partners, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisers, and government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and ofﬁcials, politicians and political parties. Consequently, this Policy applies to:
1. All Employees of WezaCare.
2. All assignees and
3. Representatives of WezaCare (which includes but is not limited to: volunteers, contractors, subcontractors, agents and consultants). All other third parties associated with WezaCare.
HOW WEZACARE SOLUTIONS ENSURES CHILD SAFEGUARDING
WezaCare Solutions aims to create a protective environment for children in all areas of its work by raising awareness, empowering children, training staff in the prevention of child abuse, and recognizing the signs of and reporting, and dealing with child abuse. We will also ask our local partner organisations to sign our Safeguarding and Protection Policy or use their own as long as it respects the standards laid down in this Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy. Wherever necessary, WezaCare Solutions can assist partners in implementing this policy. Recruitment of staff or volunteers will include questions and checks on suitability for working with children, the applicant’s criminal record (where national laws allow), job history checks, and following up with their references. Staff and project partners are encouraged to share concerns regarding child safety and development with the responsible management.
CODE OF CONDUCT
At all times, WezaCare Solutions staff should ensure that their behaviour and actions align with the WezaCare Solutions Code of Conduct outlined in the Human Resources Management Policies and Procedures Manual and any other relevant policy.
WezaCare Solutions Responsibilities
- WezaCare Solutions will have a safeguarding policy (this policy), including specific procedures for child protection and vulnerable adults and staff in abusive/vulnerable situations.
- WezaCare Solutions management team will monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy. There will be staff designated for safeguarding (the Safeguarding Officer). The staff will have a special responsibility to investigate issues, receive inquiries and complaints, and liaise with board members designated for safeguarding.
- Through the designated Safeguarding Officer, WezaCare Solutions will provide training to employees, board members, volunteers, interns, and partner organisations unfamiliar with safeguarding and provide external training where appropriate and relevant.
- WezaCare Solutions will give all staff, board members, interns, volunteers, and partners a copy of its safeguarding policy.
- All WezaCare Solutions staff, board members, interns, and volunteers must sign this policy.
- WezaCare Solutions will electronically provide the Safeguarding Policy to the general public and our partner agencies through a direct link on our website.
- WezaCare Solutions will update and review the policy each year.
WezaCare Solutions will meet its commitment to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults through the following means: Zero Tolerance WezaCare Solutions will adopt a Zero Tolerance approach to any form of Child Abuse. Awareness WezaCare Solutions will ensure that all staff members, volunteers, interns, and partner organisations have a solid awareness of safeguarding, maltreatment, and risks to children and vulnerable adults. WezaCare Solutions will ensure recognition and promotion of children and vulnerable adults’ best interests. Prevention Ensuring by understanding and good practice that staff members, volunteers, and partner organisations prioritise child safety and well-being and minimise risk to children and vulnerable adults. Ensuring that children and vulnerable adults are active agents in their protection through promoting identity, life skills, and participation. Ensuring the use of the Risk Management approach to prevent child abuse. Reporting Ensuring that staff members, volunteers, and partner organisations take seriously any concerns raised and that there are clear steps to take regarding the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In doing so, WezaCare creates a positive safeguarding culture where people feel and are safe to report concerns. Reporting Procedure for Child abuse If WezaCare Solutions’ member of staff, volunteer, or partner organisation is concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, they should report immediately to the designated Safeguarding Officer. They should Act immediately because a child may be at imminent risk of serious harm if they don’t. They can use the available WezaCare Solutions Reporting Forms and channels.
WezaCare Management and the management of Partner Organizations should respect the following reporting principles:
- Take any concern raised exceptionally seriously.
- Take immediate steps to ensure the protection of the child who is the subject of the concern.
- Support children, staff, or others who raise the concern.
- Communicate clearly to staff, dissuading them from starting an investigation or questioning anyone after an allegation or concern has been raised as this may pose an immediate or further threat to a child. This is the job of the designated Safeguarding Officer or the local authorities. One is expected to just record the facts and report these to the officer as soon as possible.
- Listen to and take the views and wishes of the child seriously.
- Treat Reports and information with the utmost confidentiality.
Responding to Child Abuse
Ensure that appropriate and effective action is taken to support and protect children and vulnerable adults when concerns arise regarding possible maltreatment. Make sure that this action is documented and monitored.
INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES OF WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
The International Child and Youth Care Network (CYC-Net) has drawn a set of seven International Ethical Principles for all People Working with Children and Young People. WezaCare Solutions subscribes to these principles and as such WezaCare Solutions’ staff, volunteers, interns, third parties and partners, by virtue of their engagement with WezaCare, have the professional responsibility to uphold these principles to ensure the safeguarding of children and young people:
- Value and respect each child or young person as an individual in their own right, in their role as a member of their family, and their role as a member of the community s/he lives in;
- Respect the relationship of the child or young person to his/her parents, his/her siblings, other members of his/her family, and other significant persons, taking account of his/her natural ties and interdependent rights and responsibilities;
- Facilitate the optimal growth and development of each child or young person to achieve his or her potential in all aspects of functioning;
- Help each child or young person for whom they bear responsibility by preventing problems where possible, offering protection where necessary, and providing care and rehabilitation to counteract or resolve the problems faced;
- Use information appropriately, respect the privacy of children and young people, maintain confidentiality where necessary, respect the right of children and young people to be informed of matters concerning themselves, and avoid the misuse of personal information;
- Oppose at all times any form of discrimination, oppression, or exploitation of children and young people, and preserve their rights;
- Maintain personal and professional integrity, develop skills and knowledge in order to work with competence, work cooperatively with colleagues, monitor the quality of services, and contribute to the development of the service and of policy and thinking in the field of childcare.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Child protection refers to any measures aimed at safeguarding children from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Child protection includes all services designed to protect children and young people under 18 years.
Child protection systems are a set of usually government-run services developed to protect children and young people below 18 years. WezaCare Solutions believes that every child has the right to feel and be safe and protected from harm regardless of gender, ethnicity, faith, disability, or any other forms of diversity. WezaCare Solutions adopts the definitions within the UNCRC; which state that children have the right to be safe and protected from harm. Consequently, our work promotes the need for children to be safe and protected from harm.
We emphasize the need to report any concerns about a child's safety to the relevant organisation.
DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE
Child / Minor
For this policy and reporting procedure, children or minors refers to every human being below the age of 18 years, unless under the law applicable to the child, adulthood is attained earlier (emancipated minors). If the local law lacks clarity on the subject or if the age is unreasonably low, the age of maturity lies at 18.
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the following categories of child abuse to act as a reference for local environments:
Physical abuse: Actual or likely physical injury to any child or a failure to prevent physical injury or suffering.
Sexual abuse: Actual or threatened sexual violence towards a child including all forms of sexual activity such as rape, incest, and pornography.
Emotional abuse: Persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or rejection. All abuse involves emotional ill-treatment.
Neglect: Failure to protect a child from exposure to danger, including cold or starvation, and failure to carry out essential aspects of care resulting in the impairment of the child’s health or development.
Exploitation: Using a child for economic purposes or making a child perform work that may be hazardous or that interferes with the child’s development. This includes educational programs focused on production rather than the acquisition of skills, asking children to perform excessive chores and tasks, asking children under the minimum labour age to perform paid labour, and keeping a child out of an educational facility to perform other tasks.
HOW WEZACARE SOLUTIONS ENSURES CHILD SAFEGUARDING
WezaCare Solutions aims to create a protective environment for children in all areas of its work by raising awareness, empowering children, training staff in the prevention of child  abuse, and recognizing the signs of and reporting, and dealing with child abuse. We will also ask our local partner organisations to sign our Safeguarding and Protection Policy or use their own as long as it respects the standards laid down in this Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy. Wherever necessary, WezaCare Solutions can assist partners in implementing this policy. Recruitment of staff or volunteers will include questions and checks on suitability for working with children, the applicant’s criminal record (where national laws allow), job history checks, and following up with their references. Staff and project partners are encouraged to share concerns regarding child safety and development with the responsible management.
ATTENTION!Although many situations that can cause harm have been covered, the list mentioned above will never be exhaustive. The paramount principle is to consider the best interest of the child. When in doubt, contact the Safeguarding Officer, manager or other responsible staff. This child safeguarding policy considers local concepts of regular adult-child interaction, culture, religion, and local law except in cases where these are deemed to be contrary to the child's best interest.
WezaCare Solutions considers child abuse unacceptable (zero tolerance) in all circumstances and is committed to ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to protect children's rights and well-being in all its activities and those of its partners. The code of conduct and the principles are to be respected by all WezaCare Solutions staff, all project partner staff, and those visiting projects, including volunteer work, internships, consulting, reporting or journalism, and other representatives.
Concerns about a child(ren)
- Where a WezaCare Solutions staff or board member has witnessed potential abuse or significant harm while taking part in any of WezaCare’s activities, the incident should be reported to the WezaCare safeguarding officer using the Safeguarding Form for Kenyan Contexts.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will then advise if a referral should be made to the local police or social/children’s services department. Any referral will follow the safeguarding procedure. The completed forms should be sent to the WezaCare safeguarding officer, who will then send them to the relevant authority and maintain a copy for internal reference.
- Suppose the incident occurred on the premise of a church, organisation, or any other location where WezaCare Solutions was giving a talk, presentation, or training, Wezacare Solutions may also contact the host organisation. This action is especially essential if WezaCare Solutions members do not have the necessary details to enable them to make a referral themselves.
- Any referral made to the police or social/children’s services will be followed up in writing the same or following day, and the response recorded.
- Concerns about a child/family known to partner Organisation
The first step, if concerned about a child or family.
Where a child or family is at risk of significant harm, WezaCare Solutions staff should raise their concern with the relevant partner organisation. Suppose the partner is already aware and is trying to remedy the situation as best as possible within the legislation, procedures, and resources available, then the situation should be deemed as being appropriately managed.
WezaCare Solutions staff should record their concern in the contact log, detailing the actions taken by the partner organisation.
Second step; if not content with the response of the relevant partner organisation Suppose the matter is raised and the WezaCare Solutions staff remains concerned that the partner organisation has not taken sufficient steps to address the issue, then the
WezaCare Safeguarding Officer should be consulted for further advice.
- WezaCare Solutions staff should record their concern in the contact log and record that they have completed a referral to the Safeguarding Officer.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will determine the next steps and liaise with the board for further steps in safeguarding. The safeguarding officer will complete the contact log.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will decide whether there is enough information for a referral if the referral will safeguard the child and family and not put them at further risk of harm and if any alternative options are available. WezaCare solutions referral form can be used if no partner form is available.
- WezaCare Solutions staff who are in contact with the partner organisation should find out the outcome of the referral, record it in the contact log, and advise the safeguarding officer.
- In cases where WezaCare Solutions lacks the information to make a referral, the actions taken will be noted on the contact log and raised with the partner organisation.
- If a referral places a victim at a greater risk of harm, then the WezaCare safeguarding officer and safeguarding board member will advise alternative actions.
- The WezaCare safeguarding officer, through the board safeguarding officer, will be required to advise the board on whether WezaCare Solutions can continue working with the partner organisation according to WezaCare’s set standards, terms, and conditions.
- Concern about a member of staff of a partner organisation
- Suppose a WezaCare Solutions staff holds concern about the conduct of a member of staff of a partner organisation towards a child. In that case, this should be reported to the WezaCare Safeguarding officer and recorded in the contact log.
- The WezaCare Solutions safeguarding officer will discuss this with the partner organisation and determine a way forward, including referrals to national or statutory authorities or an investigation by the partner organisation or other agreed resolution. WezaCare Solutions should record this concern on the contact log; including actions taken.
Concern about WezaCare Solutions staff/volunteer/board members
- Suppose there is concern about a member of WezaCare Solutions staff (employee, contractor, intern, or volunteer) or board member's conduct towards children, this should be reported to the WezaCare Solutions safeguarding Officer.
- This concern may be raised by someone within WezaCare Solutions or a partner organisation concerning WezaCare staff.
- Where the concern arises out of a report made by any external persons whomsoever to any staff of WezaCare, then the Staff in receipt of the report (howsoever made) is under strict obligation to escalate the report to the Safeguarding Officer.
- The referral person is bound to strict confidentiality thereafter and must not discuss the matter or their fears with others within WezaCare or outside the organisation.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will then investigate as necessary as well as consider the matter in line with the WezaCare disciplinary and grievances procedures and local authority safeguarding processes. This may include a referral to relevant authorities (social services and police).
- WezaCare Solutions board members will be informed.
- WezaCare Solutions board will determine reporting procedures.
- Information about the alleged incident and follow-up outcomes will be recorded on the Child Safeguarding Form for Kenyan Contexts or the Child Safeguarding Form for International Contexts and kept in the individual's file.
- Where the allegation involves a violation of either the laws of the country in which the incident occurs or the Laws of Kenya, the incident will immediately be reported to appropriate authorities and the staff will be immediately suspended or placed on compulsory administrative leave/temporarily disengaged from any contracts and payments pending an investigation.
- If the incident involves a breach of the WezaCare Code of Conduct (but is not a violation of national laws), the accused staff shall still be suspended/disengaged pending an investigation.
- Where a breach of the Code of Conduct is found to have occurred, the staff involved will be immediately and summarily dismissed from employment or any engagement with WezaCare; and shall be permanently black-listed from any future engagements or employment with WezaCare.
- All efforts will be taken to ensure the confidentiality and rights of the accused person and information related to the incident will only be shared on a “need to know basis.” Where allegations amount to a violation of the Laws of Kenya, confidentiality will no longer be the prime-most priority save only where necessary to uphold the rights of the victim.
- Where an allegation against staff is found to be false or unfounded, all efforts will be taken to ensure the rights of the accused person are upheld including, where possible, restoration of any damage to reputation or dignity within WezaCare. For the avoidance of any doubts, no monetary compensation whatsoever shall accrue.
- For the avoidance of any doubts, WezaCare shall expect its staff to abide by this policy whenever interacting with any child whomsoever, irrespective of whether the child is a direct recipient or beneficiary of the programs of WezaCare. Any Staff of WezaCare, then, must be above reproach and uphold utmost integrity towards interactions with children. For instance, it shall be unconscionable for a staff of WezaCare to employ a child as a domestic employee and this policy shall fully apply under any such circumstances.
- Suppose there is concern about the conduct of the Safeguarding Officer towards children, such concern should be reported to the WezaCare Solutions Board Member. The WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Board Member shall investigate as necessary as well as consider the matter in line with the WezaCare disciplinary and grievances procedures and local authority safeguarding processes. This may include a referral to relevant authorities (social services and police).
ADULT PROTECTION POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Any adult can be vulnerable if, for example, they have learning disabilities, poor mental health, significant disability, addictions, or are vulnerable by circumstances to exploitation, bullying, and abuse. Where adults are powerless by structural systems or values, vulnerability is further escalated, leaving adults in vulnerable situations.
WezaCare Solutions believes every adult has a right to feel safe and be safe.
WezaCare Solutions’ work with children may sometimes involve vulnerable adults (parents, carers, extended family, and even those that work in the partner organisations). Sensitivity is required to work through cultural barriers or stereotypes, challenge behaviours, thoughts, and actions, and support vulnerable adults.
Support for vulnerable adults may be limited and can make interventions problematic, but this should not prevent activities where a person's vulnerability is a risk to their safety and welfare, especially where they are at risk of significant harm.
Kenya Context Adult Safeguarding and Protection
If WezaCare Solutions staff or volunteers believe an individual is at risk of substantial harm, they should inform the WezaCare Solutions safeguarding officer, who will offer the appropriate advice, including a referral to social services or the police.
Where such measures are taken; Child Safeguarding Form for Kenyan Contexts should be completed and stored in the safeguarding file.
Concerns about an adult known to a partner.
The first step; if concerned about an adult
Where an adult is at risk of significant harm, WezaCare Solutions staff should raise their concern with the relevant partner organisation. Suppose the partner is aware and is trying to remedy the situation as best as possible within the legislation, procedures, and resources available, then the issue is deemed as being appropriately managed.
WezaCare Solutions staff should record their concern in the contact log and actions taken by the partner organisation.
Second step if not content with the response of the relevant partner organisation
If the matter is raised and WezaCare Solutions staff remains concerned that the relevant partner organisation has not taken sufficient steps to address the issue then the WezaCare Safeguarding Officer should be consulted for further advice.
- WezaCare Solutions staff should record their concern in the contact log, detailing that they have completed a referral to the Safeguarding Officer.
- They should email the WezaCare Solutions safeguarding officer and follow up with a call via telephone or zoom to confirm receipt of the email.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will determine the next steps and liaise with the board of directors for safeguarding.
- WezaCare Solutions' safeguarding officer will determine if there is enough information for a referral, if the referral will safeguard the adult and not put them at further risk of harm and if any alternative options are available.
- Where it is advised that a referral be made to local /national statutory authorities the relevant WezaCare Solutions staff will complete the local form or process and record it on the contact log.
- The WezaCare Solutions staff should find out the outcome of the referral and record it in the contact log and advise the safeguarding officer.
- Where a referral is not possible as WezaCare Solutions lack the information necessary to make the referral the actions taken will be noted on the contact log and raised with the partner organisation.
- If a referral will place a victim at a greater risk of harm, then the WezaCare safeguarding officer and board members will advise on alternative actions.
Concerns about Untoward Behaviour Meted Out by Staff from a Partner Organisation on a WezaCare Member of Staff
Where a WezaCare solutions staff is making an allegation or grievance of harassment (including sexual), bullying, or inappropriate behavior by a person working in a partner organization, this must be reported to the WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Officer or Manager at the first safe opportunity.
The following steps will then be taken:
- Assess immediate risks to safety and an action plan to safeguard the individual including agreed steps to either end the trip or to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent further incidents.
- WezaCare Solutions safeguarding officer and Executive Director to discuss the issues with the partner organisation to determine further appropriate actions and to review working arrangements.
- The Grievances provisions of the WezaCare Solutions HR Manual shall apply.
- Specific Issues Relating to Wezacare Solutions staff/Volunteers
- Colleagues must report concerns to a WezaCare Manager, who must then inform the WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Officer.
- Responses to the information will be a balance of support for the staff member, coupled with any safeguarding actions required to protect others. Further consideration will be made to any breaches of the WezaCare Solutions Code of Conduct for employees.
- Where a member of staff’s /volunteer’s actions has put others' safety at risk, WezaCare Solutions must investigate under the prevailing disciplinary procedures and the WezaCare Solutions code of conduct. The Board members need to consider any referral to the relevant authorities.
- Where a member of staff, intern, or volunteer is making an allegation of harassment (including sexual), bullying, or inappropriate behavior meted out to them by a colleague, this allegation will be dealt with through the employment grievance and disciplinary procedures.
- Forms in the appendix are used for internal and external referrals about safeguarding issues.
- Discussions that occur between the WezaCare Solutions designated safeguarding officer and board members should be recorded in the Safeguarding contact log.
- The partner organisation contact log should include the entry from WezaCare Solutions staff making a referral and the decision made following advice from the WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Officer.
- The contact log and the Child Safeguarding Form for Kenyan Contexts or the Child Safeguarding Form for International Contexts outcomes should be completed by WezaCare Solutions’ Designated Safeguarding Officer.
WezaCare Solutions should ensure their behaviour, language, actions, and interactions are respectful, polite, appropriate, and safe for children at all times. Further guidance for safeguarding may include but is not limited to the following:
- While taking part in WezaCare Solutions’ activities, WezaCare Solutions staff should never be left alone with children, care for children, or offer to care for children unless agreed with a partner organisation.
- WezaCare Solutions cannot and must not complete independent investigations or assessments of children and families, nor complete such activities on behalf of a partner organisation. They can accompany a partner organisation and offer advice during an investigation but must not take the lead.
- WezaCare Solutions should not proactively offer to hug or physically interact with a child unless the child seeks it and there is another staff around. Direct interaction should be appropriate, limited, and minimal.
- WezaCare Solutions should not invite unaccompanied children into their home or office or such other private space unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger.
- WezaCare Solutions should not hire children for domestic or other labour which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage, which interferes with their time available for education and recreation activities, or which places them at significant risk of injury
- WezaCare Solutions Staff should not exclude or favour a particular eligible child in any entitlement to be accorded to several children.
- WezaCare Solutions staff should always promote children's rights in a respectful and considerate way.
In its communications and reporting, WezaCare Solutions may, at times, use images and recordings of children.
- Taking pictures or statements from children without the informed consent of parents or guardians as well as the Children’s assent where the children are ten (10) years or older.
- Failing to inform both the organisation and the individual how their photo will be used and stored by WezaCare Solutions, including use in any social media or fundraising activity, will be an act of gross misconduct punishable in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
- Inaccurate representation of children through words and images.
- Communication that shames, degrades or victimises children.
- Depicting children in sexually provocative poses.
- Sharing any personal or physical identifying information that could put a child at risk.
Guidance for Reporting on Children
- Do not further stigmatize any child; avoid categorizations or descriptions that expose a child to negative reprisals - including additional physical or psychological harm or lifelong abuse, discrimination, or rejection by their local communities.
- Always provide an accurate context for the child's story or image.
- Always change the name and obscure the visual identity of any child who is identified as
- A victim of sexual abuse or exploitation or any other form of abuse;
- A perpetrator of physical or sexual or any other form of abuse;
- HIV positive, or living with AIDS or any other ailment, illness, condition, challenge or disability, unless the child, in consultation with a parent, or guardian gives their informed consent;
- A child in conflict with the law;
- In certain circumstances of risk or potential risk of harm or retribution, change the name and obscure the visual identity of any child who is identified as an asylum seeker, a refugee, or an internally displaced person.
- Protect the safety and privacy of children and their families by not using (location) identifiable images in the media or internet or using them to reveal their location. e.g., don’t include name, country, and/or mention street name where the child stays.
- Confirm the accuracy of what the child has to say, either with other children or an adult, preferably with both.
- When in doubt about whether a child is at risk, report on the general situation for children rather than an individual child, no matter how newsworthy the story is.
- Maintain good taste and decency standards that match WezaCare Solutions’ values and those of our supporters (such as avoiding images with nudity).
- Do no harm to any child; avoid questions, attitudes, or judgmental comments that may be insensitive to cultural values, place a child in danger or expose a child to humiliation/embarrassment/shame/stigma for any reasons whatsoever, e.g. age vis-a-vis learning abilities, or reactivate a child's pain and grief from traumatic events.
- Do not discriminate in choosing children to interview because of sex, race, age, religion, status, educational background, or physical abilities.
- No staging: Do not ask children to tell a story or take an action that is not part of their story.
- Ensure that the child and their parent or guardian know they are taking part in an interview. Explain the purpose of the discussion and its intended use.
- For all interviews, videotaping, and documentary photographs, obtain permission from the child, their parents, or caretakers in close cooperation with the local project partner and accompanying WezaCare Solutions staff present. This permission should be in writing (consent form) and always applies to individual photos and videos of children. Permission must be obtained in circumstances that ensure that the child and guardian are not coerced in any way and that they understand that they are part of a study that might be disseminated locally and globally. This is usually only ensured if the permission is obtained in a language the child understands and if the decision is made in consultation with an adult the child trusts.
- Pay attention to where and how the child is interviewed. Limit the number of interviewers, audiences and photographers. Try to make certain that children are comfortable and able to tell their story without outside pressure, including from the interviewer. Ensure that the child would not be endangered or adversely affected by showing their home, community, or general whereabouts.
Where a crime is suspected by WezaCare personnel or someone we are aware of and is a safeguarding issue, the case should be reported following the guidelines for a child protection referral. Where reporting an incident to the police is required, this must be done with the local police force unless it may cause significant harm to the victim or the perpetrator.
A clear record of decisions and steps taken should be made in the contact log of the partner and in the safeguarding contact log.
MONITORING AND REPORTING
An Annual Safeguarding Report will be completed by the WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Officer and the Safeguarding Board Member for wider board scrutiny. This record should include any concerns, actions taken, decisions to refer matters to regulators or statutory agencies, and monitoring of any ongoing occurrences.
ROLE OF MANAGEMENT
WezaCare Solutions management is responsible for implementing the policy in the organisation and upholding good practice. Whatever their status and role, all individuals who come into contact with children must be fully informed about this policy and its accompanying procedures. Records of staff training should be filed and compiled for subsequent monitoring purposes and used to partly determine the effectiveness of policy implementation during evaluation.
Where child abuse concerns arise, the WezaCare Solutions Safeguarding Officer takes a leading role in protecting the child, ensuring correct reporting and the correct course of action. In all cases, the child's best interest is paramount.
Management should inform Staff that in the event that their behaviour is in violation of the Child Safeguarding Policy of WezaCare Solutions, the organisation would take administrative and/or legal measures against them.
The organisation also reserves the right to terminate the employment contract or any other contract.