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NGOs and Child Protection Policies
Does your NGO work with children? Do you have a Child Protection Policy? NGOs working with children, whether directly or indirectly, have a duty of care to safeguard and protect the children they work with.
One of the key requirements of the Children's Act, which came into effect in 2010, is that all organisations working with children, whether directly or indirectly, must have a Child Protection Policy in place in order to promote and protect the rights of children in South Africa. This policy should outline the measures that your organisation will take to safeguard children from harm, abuse, and neglect. It should also set out the procedures that will be followed in the event of an allegation of abuse or neglect.
Your Child Protection Policy should cover a range of areas, including recruitment and selection, training, and supervision, reporting and responding to concerns, and monitoring and review. It should also clearly set out the roles and responsibilities of all staff and volunteers and provide guidance on appropriate behaviour and conduct.
If your NGO works directly with children, it is important that you have additional measures in place to ensure their safety. This may include, but is not limited to, background checks and reference checks for all staff and volunteers who will be working with children, regular training on child protection, and the establishment of safe spaces where children can go if they feel unsafe or need to report any concerns.
Even if your NGO works indirectly with children, such as through fundraising or advocacy, it is still important that you have a Child Protection Policy in place. This policy will help to ensure that your organisation is providing a safe and supportive environment for children, and that you are meeting your legal obligations under the Children's Act.
In conclusion, as an NGO working with children in South Africa, it is essential that you have a Child Protection Policy in place that meets the requirements of the Children's Act. This will help ensure that you are providing a safe and supportive environment for children and meeting your legal obligations under the Act.
If you require any further information or guidance on developing a Child Protection Policy, contact Connect Network Quality@connectnetwork.org.za
Connect Network is an NP/GO recommended training service provider
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