It may not be a fun topic, but child protection is both a necessity and a top priority at Children International.
Helping kids break the cycle of poverty involves much more than providing access to health services and educational resources. It entails working toward the holistic well-being of every child and youth in our care. And that means keeping them safe.
Children International operates off these five basic Guiding Principles of Child Protection:
Children International’s Child Protection Policy is made up of several components, all with the goal of keeping children and youth safe. It includes agency-specific child protection protocols, guidelines for reporting incidents, steps for preventing abuse, training for CI staff and volunteers, the rules we follow for using information in print and web materials and safety measures for sponsor-beneficiary interactions.
Each field office is required to have its own child protection protocols based on CI’s overarching Child Protection Policies and Guiding Principles. These protocols include local laws on child abuse, procedures that are required by local law, a list of local authorities to whom child abuse cases are reported, as well as a list of partner organizations to contact that can provide the appropriate support services for victims.
For all reported child-abuse incidents, CI requires that the child’s best interest be the first priority. In addition, all incidents must be dealt with promptly, and they must be handled in a confidential manner that does not harm the victim or the person reporting the abuse.
Of course, preventing abuse entirely is the ultimate goal for any child-aid organization. CI believes that we must do everything in our power to reduce cases of abuse as much as possible to help ensure children’s safety. The key to our strategy is education:
All field staff and volunteers attend mandatory annual trainings on our Child Protection Policy and agency-specific child protection protocols. All new employees and volunteers are also trained and commit to following the policy and protocols.
As you read through our web and print materials, you may have already noticed some of the measures we take to protect children. These include:
Additionally, children, youth and individuals featured in our materials must consent (or their parents or guardians must consent) to us using their image or story prior to publication.
It’s a sensitive subject, to be sure, but we absolutely must look out for the safety and best interests of our sponsored children and youth. Because of this, we have measures in place to make sponsor-child interactions safe:
For a copy of our complete Child Protection Policy, please contact our Care Team at 800-888-3089.