The consortium members of Solrem are fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. The consortium members of Solrem acknowledge their duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
For the purposes of the present policy, a child is any person under the age of eighteen years.
Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
The purpose of this policy
- to protect children and young people who participate in the SOLREM activities. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
- to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection;
The consortium members of Solrem believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them to grow, mature and be challenged in a healthy and safe environment.
- To provide activities for children and young people to help them develop from childhood into adulthood and to provide support for them.
- To enable the children to express themselves.
- To assist the children in integrating into the community.
- To help children/young people appreciate the diversity of their cultures.
We recognise that
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- All children, regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to equality and to protection from abuse;
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
- All members and employees of the organisation should be clear on how to respond appropriately
Screening and Hiring Practices
The consortium members of Solrem establishes and sustains proper hiring and volunteer, internship selection practices, including completed applications, reference checks, Criminal Background Checks, Social Security checks and documented personnel files, and includes specific reference to Child Protection in its Code of Conduct.
- All prospective staff members/volunteers/interns will complete an application form to work or volunteer or intern that includes questions regarding past work history, volunteer experience, and education.
- All Application forms will include a statement that the consortium members of Solrem has a zero tolerance standard for abuse and inappropriate behaviour by staff members.
- All staff/volunteers/associates who may be involved in working with children and young people, or who are deemed likely to come in contact with children in the fulfilment of their duties, will be requested to provide a certificate of their national criminal record.
Principles of Conduct when coming in contact/working with children
- Prior to performing any work duties, staff members/volunteers will sign and date a copy of the Code of Conduct of the Organisation, to which the Child Protection Policy is annexed. They will receive the updated copy of the Code of Conduct and of the Child Protection Policy annually.
- The Code of Conduct will be maintained in the personnel file and is annexed to their employment contract.
- The consortium members of Solrem will review the Child Protection Policy periodically (minimum once per year), and share it with the Human Resources, all Department Coordinators and all Unit Coordinators, who will in turn share it with all staff/interns and volunteers. Staff, interns and volunteers will receive a copy and be requested to sign it.
- All external collaborators and associates will be provided the Child Protection Policy and the Code of Conduct and will be requested to sign it if they work or may come in contact with children and young people of less than 18 years of age.
- The Code of Conduct includes the procedures for data collection and treatment of data about children and young people. Data privacy and protection issues shall comply with relevant EU rules (especially the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679. If personal data about children and young people needs to be collected, written informed consent will be sought from their parents/legal guardians. The data will be collected and used only for the specific purposes for which they are provided. Staff working with children and needing to collect personal data about children or young people shall refer to the Data Protection Policy of PATRIR and to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679. PATRIR does not share the personal data provided with any other entity.
- Staff who may come in contact with personal data of research participants is required to sign a declaration of confidentiality before engaging in research. The declaration of confidentiality is specific to each case/project.
- All publications must comply with the Child Protection Policy, before being publicised or shared.
- Data, including images, of children and young people are only collected if strictly necessary and foreseen as specific activity of the Organisation or of a project that the Organisation implements. Their use is therefore only limited to the duration of the project, the specific purpose for which they were provided and collected. Specific permission of the child’s legal guardians as well as the approval of the child will be sought by the staff of the Organisation implementing the activity, according to law requirements. Acquired images and data are stored on the local server of PATRIR and YE designated for SOLREM and are accessible only by the staff who have the specific credentials and who have subscribed the Code of Conduct.
- The rules and expectations will be shared with each new employee/volunteer and intern and will be regularly reinforced with existing staff and volunteers. This will be done in new employee training, children’s rights training, and the use of a comprehensive Code of Conduct.
- All members of staff, volunteers, interns, external collaborators and associates have the obligation to report any child abuse concerns they may have or suspect. Staff/volunteers will be instructed to report anything they notice regarding a gap between protocols and practices. Staff and volunteers working with or coming in contact with children will be also instructed, through training, on the procedures to apply in case they suspect or have knowledge of a situation of child abuse.
- Reporting of suspected breach of the Code of Conduct, and specifically of the Child Protection Policy, follows a standard procedure, which includes a reporting form (annexed to the Code of Conduct). Reports will be treated by the Child Protection Policy Officer at PATRIR to this date: Ada Ardelean, reachable at email@example.com.
- Any member of staff/volunteer/intern/external collaborator or associate found in breach of the Code of Conduct, or of the Child Protection Policy on which the code draws, will be immediately suspended from their position, pending investigation, internal or by statutory authorities depending on the specific case. Disciplinary action will be undertaken, including and up to termination of employment/cessation of the professional engagement with the consortium members of Solrem. In case of an alleged or certain crime, the staff will be immediately removed from their position and their contract terminated.
Children’s Rights Training
All staff members (at minimum, all staff members/volunteers/interns working directly with children and youth) will participate in a comprehensive initial children’s rights and child abuse prevention training and in further training throughout their employment period, that includes information on the Rights of the Children (UNCRC, Lanzarote Convention, National regulation), Communicating with Children, Sexual abuse, Prevention, Early Identification, Responding, Documenting, and Reporting.
External collaborators and associates who may come in contact with children and young people in the fulfilment of their tasks as assigned by PATRIR will participate in the same child abuse prevention training.
This project is funded by the European Union’s Justice, Rights and Values Fund, through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV)