Child Safeguarding Policy
Fondazione Internazionale Don Luigi di Liegro (FDL) is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in its care. It recognizes the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse, and exploitation. For the purposes of this policy and associated procedures a child is recognized as someone under the age of 18 years. Staff and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people. This document outlines FDL commitment to protecting children.
We believe that:
- Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind.
- We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practice in a way that protects them.
We recognize that:
- the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take all children, regardless of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and all communities.
1. STATEMENT OF INTENT
It is the policy of FDL to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm. This organization is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of organisations programmes/activities.
2. DEFINITION OF TYPES OF ABUSE
Neglect: is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
- Physical abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional abuse: is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill- treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
This policy is based on the following principles:
- The welfare of children and their wellness is the primary concern.
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender identity, language, racial origin, socio- economic status, religious belief, and sexual orientation have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse.
- Child protection is everyone’s responsibility.
- Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.
- Organizations shall work in partnership together with children and parents/carers to promote the welfare, health, and development of children.
2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose is:
- to protect children and young people who receive FDL’s services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
- to provide staff and volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of FDL including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, occasionall workers, agency staff and students. It is also binding for individuals and/or organization working with or representing FDL, including partners, consultants, contractors/suppliers/vendors, visitors (e.g. donors).
3. IMPLICATION FOR FDL
To guarantee the implementation of the present Children Safety Policy FDL will:
- valuing, listening to and respecting all children;
- promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in activities and projects safely.
- respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children.
- promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and protect them from abuse.
- promote the open and free discussion about all issues related to child protection and keeping children safe from abuse and violence
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behavior codes confidently and competently.
- require staff, members, and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Child Protection Policy and these procedures to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents or concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual(s) who raise or disclose the concern
- recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made • recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance
- respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children in line with this Policy and these procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.
- observe guidelines issued by local Child Protection Committees for the protection of children.
- regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and these procedures.
To summarize, FDL will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
- ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
- building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children, young people, and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.
4. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in Italy, based on the following documents:
- Comment No. 13 (2011) of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN (1989)
5. ROLES AND RESPONSABILITIES
Staff must never:
- Act in ways that may be (or be perceived to be) abusive or exploitative (physically, emotionally, or sexually) toward children.
- Have sexual intercourse or participate in any form of sexual activity with any person under the age of 18 or under the local age of consent (whichever is greater). The presumption of age of majority based on appearance is not an excuse.
- Abusing one’s position of power by denying professional assistance, giving preferential treatment to children, or behaving in any way that discriminates against certain children, such as children whose parents are sex workers, or children with disabilities.
- Using corporal punishment of any kind against children.
- Using any form of technology (computers, cell phones, cameras) to exploit, harass or bully children or to access, view, create, download or distribute indecent images of children (such as pornographic images).
- Concealing convictions or investigations related to possible crimes against children.
- Investigate a suspicion or allegation of child abuse, unless you are directed to do so by an appropriate authority.
- Tolerating or participating in the commission of illegal, unsafe, harmful or abusive conduct or activities with respect to children.
- Engaging in acts of sexual exploitation of children (exploitation for support).
- Using inappropriate, harassing, offensive, sexually provocative language with children.
- Disempowering children: staff should discuss their rights with children, what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable towards them and what they can do if there is a problem.
- Promote any form of child labor.
- Contact children and engage in activities with them outside those that are foreseen by their role (e.g., sleeping in the same room, taking children to their own home).
The General Secretary, identified as the Child Protection Focal Person (CPF), must:
- Create a safe environment in which staff feel able to raise concerns without fear of reprisal.
- Be aware of national and international laws and best practices that apply to children by ensuring that all activities reflect and are inspired by them.
- Work with all staff to respond decisively when reports of child exploitation and abuse are raised.
- Ensure that procedures for reporting and investigating suspected cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse are followed and ensure that they are in line with this policy and local laws. ● Ensure that necessary reports are made to the appropriate authorities when the specific situation requires it.
- Ensure that disciplinary procedures are properly enforced for violations of this policy.
- Ensure that all staff members are trained on the policy.
- Ensure that FDL adopts stringent selection procedures (staff, partners, volunteers). For candidates who will work directly with children, specific questions will be asked during the selection process to assess the suitability of the candidates. In specific situations, the General Certificate of Criminal Records might be required.
6. REPORTING PROCEDURES
All staff, volunteers and interns should be alert to signs that may suggest a child is in need of help. If a staff member, collaborator, or representative of FDL thinks that abuse, exploitation, or harassment is occurring or is at risk, they should report it immediately. All witnessed, suspected, or alleged violations of FDL’s Child Protection Policy will be immediately reported to the CPF. The guiding principle here is that the safety of the child is always the most important consideration.
Reports can be made via email or phone through one of the following channels:
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Telephone: 066792669
- Address: Fondazione Internazionale Don Luigi di Liegro Onlus Via Ostiense 106, 00154 Rome, Italy
Any complaints made will be dealt with in a confidential and respectful manner to ensure that people’s personal data and information and the safety and privacy of everyone involved are protected.
7. POLICY REVIEW/MONITORING
This Policy and the relevant Procedures will be regularly reviewed:
- In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protection of children or following any changes within FDL.
- Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children within FDL.
- In all other circumstances, at least every three years.
Rome 09 July 2021