GOC Child Protection Policy


This Child Protection Policy was ratified by the Managing Committee on (Insert appropriate date)



Purpose

Gods Own Children Foundation(GOCF) is committed to safeguarding the children it supports in Sri Lanka against all forms of abuse and exploitation from any persons.

This Child Protection Policy sets out Gods Own Children Foundation's (GOCF) policy for protecting children in Children's Village, managing and monitoring the activities of visitors, volunteers and staff in relation to children.

The Policy addresses GOCF's responsibilities in respect of child protection and ensuring individuals who have a criminal conviction are not involved in GOCF Children's Village activities.

This Policy applies to GOCF members, staff, partner organizations, volunteers and visitors.



Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply.

Children - Sri Lankan children under the age of 18 who are residents of GOCG Children's Village or who are participating in activities run by GOCF or partner organizations.

Volunteers - Are authorized by GOCF to attend Children Villages in a volunteer capacity and who have undergone the required checks detailed in Procedures below.

Staff - Are resident members of the GOCF Managing Committee, local Sri Lankan Children's Village committee and staff members and other local Sri Lankan partner organisation committee or staff members, employed under local law to supply services to GOCF, Children's Village or other partner projects.

Visitors - Are all other members of the public who visit Children's Village or participate in activities run by GOCF, Children's Village or partner organizations.



Procedures

Volunteer Approval

GOCF has volunteers come to Sri Lanka to volunteer at its various projects.

GOCF is committed to safeguarding the children it supports in Sri Lanka against all forms of abuse and exploitation from any persons. In accordance with this GOCF has clear policies and procedures that all volunteers to Children's Village or any other of GOCF's projects involving children must adhere to.

Before being accepted to become a volunteer with GOCF, all applicants must complete and sign the full Volunteer Application form including all Terms and Conditions.

A member of the GOCF Managing Committee, reviews the Volunteer Application, interviews each applicant and determines whether the volunteer is approved to assist GOCF or its projects in Sri Lanka, and particularly assesses any risk to child protection.

All Volunteer Applications and supporting documents are retained by GOCF and a copy is held by the local Sri Lankan committee at the project site in Sri Lanka, in accordance with the laws of the Sri Lanka government.

Visitors to Children's Village are required to sign Visitor Agreements, which mirror the procedural requirements of this Policy.


Operational Procedures

The procedures which GOCF, Children's Village and its partners strictly followed in order to protect the children from potential risk are outlined below.

Visitors/volunteers must have read and fully understand GOCF's Child Protection Policy on www.gocfoundation.org

Visitors/volunteers must not seek or accept any accommodation within Children's Village, or with any families, friends or community members that GOCF works with, which has not been pre-arranged by GOCF

Visitors/volunteers must show respect to the children, staff, committee and members of the local community in the way they speak, dress and behave to ensure they act in a culturally sensitive manner at all times

Visitors/volunteers must ensure that any gifts they buy or donated items brought to Sri Lanka for the children are pre-approved by GOCF representatives, that being the Volunteer Co-ordinator in Australia or GOCF Country Director in Sri Lanka, before giving to any children or staff at Children's Village or other GOCF projects

Visitors/volunteers must not give cash to any staff or committee members of Children's Village or other GOCF projects. Donations of any kind, whether they are monetary, goods or services must go through GOCF.

Visitors/volunteers must not provide their email address or other contact details directly to any child, staff or committee member of any of GOCF's projects, nor ask directly for any contact details.

Visitors/volunteers must not hold GOCF not any of GOCF's project partners in Sri Lanka responsible for any injuries, accidents or illnesses that may occur during or resulting from their stay at Children's Village or visits to other GOCF projects.

Visitors/volunteers must not under any circumstances be alone with a child that GOCF supports, whether it is at Children's Village or one of GOCF's other project sites and they are only allowed to interact with the children in the presence of a designated member from GOCF or the local partner.

Visitors/volunteers must not take any child out of the orphanage alone, whether it be to school, hospital, shopping or any other place, and a minimum of one other adult GOCF or project partner staff member must accompany them.

Visitors/volunteers must seek permission before taking any photos of the children and photos may only be taken for personal use, and may not be given to any media or distributed in any public forums including the Internet, without prior permission from GOCF.

Visitors/volunteers must not make any promises to the children or staff members with regards to future visits or communication, gifts or any other support as this may lead to disappointment for the child/ person involved.

Visitors/volunteers must not smoke, use of drugs or consume alcohol of any kind whilst at Children's Village or on site at any other of GOCF's projects



Monitoring Procedures

The Child Protection Policy shall be available to members of GOCF and the public via the website.

Responsibility for monitoring for compliance with the Child Protection Policy resides with the Managing Committee and individual Office Holders