Child Protection Policy
Volunteering Experiences is committed to ensuring that child abuse, in any form, will not be tolerated.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:
- All children have an equal right to protection from abuse and exploitation.
- Everybody has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children.
- “Child” refers to every human being below the age of eighteen years.
- “Child abuse” refers to sexual abuse or other physical or mental harm deliberately caused to a child.
- “Volunteering Experiences Child Protection Policy” is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to protect children from harm, and clearly defines what is required to protect all children involved in Volunteering Experiences programs, or participating in any functions related to Volunteering Experiences.
Statement of Commitment
While assisting developing communities through providing international participants to local organizations, the first priority of Volunteering Experiences is the safety and protection of the children and people they are working alongside. Volunteering Experiences is committed to ensuring that the children are not exposed to abuse, exploitation, violence or neglect.
Best Interests of the Child
- All decisions and actions concerning a child will take the best interest of the child as the most important consideration.
- It will be the policy of Volunteering Experiences that decisions or actions regarding any child or group of children should ensure that the positive impact of the decision or action will outweigh any negative impact.
Volunteering Experiences is committed to enforcing a policy of non-discrimination at all times. All children involved with Volunteering Experiences will be treated with respect and equal consideration.
The guidelines in Volunteering Experiences Child Protection Policy protect both the child from abuse and adults from false accusation.
- It is the policy of Volunteering Experiences to:
- Respect the rights and dignity of the children, families and communities with whom Volunteering Experiences works, and always act according to the best interest of children.
- Demonstrate commitment to actively preventing child abuse.
- Take positive action to prevent child abusers becoming involved with Volunteering Experiences, and enforce stringent measures against any associate of Volunteering Experiences who commits child abuse.
This policy applies to all the associates of Volunteering Experiences, including staff, local partners and participants.
Participant Recruitment, Screening & Orientation
- Volunteering Experiences participants may be required to provide a criminal background check to local staff during orientation before they can begin helping on the program.
- Volunteering Experiences reserves the right to terminate a participant’s program if a criminal background check or reference check reveals that the participant is not suitable to work with children, for any reason that may put children at risk.
Code of Conduct for Volunteering Experiences Participants
This Code of Conduct provides guidelines deemed to be appropriate and proper behaviour for Volunteering Experiences participants when interacting with children. These guidelines are primarily designed to protect children, but are also intended to protect participants from false accusations of inappropriate behaviour or abuse.
- No child is to be taken outside of the placement site, without making prior arrangements with the placement staff.
- No child is to be taken to any participant’s homestay, guesthouse, hotel or accommodation.
- Volunteering Experiences participants are not permitted to take any child to a cafe, restaurant or buy them food, unless permission has been given by the placement staff.
- Volunteering Experiences participants are not permitted to share a bed or room with any children while participating on a Volunteering Experiences program.
- No presents are to be bought for children without prior approval from the placement staff.
- Photography of children is only permitted with permission from the placement staff and photos should not be taken in a way intended to belittle or degrade the children.
- Volunteering Experiences participants should not act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children or perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
- Volunteering Experiences participants must display appropriate language, actions and relationships with children at all times.
- Volunteering Experiences participants must take extreme care when interacting physically with children. Under no circumstances should any physical contact be, or have the appearance of being, sexual in any way.
- Volunteering Experiences participants must not exert inappropriate physical force when dealing with children. This includes pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping or any other action that could cause fear, intimidation or distress.
- Volunteering Experiences participants must not discriminate against, show differential treatment, or favour particular children to the exclusion of others.
- Volunteering Experiences participants are responsible for their actions and reactions to children at all times. The adult is always considered responsible for his or her actions regardless of how a child behaves towards them.
- Where possible and practical, Volunteering Experiences participants should implement the ‘two adult’ rule, whereby two or more adults supervise all activities with children.
- Inappropriate conduct toward children, including failure to follow the behaviour standards stated above, is grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal from Volunteering Experiences program and/or police notification and legal action.
- Please note, this is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. The principle is that participants and staff should avoid actions or behaviour which may constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour.
Ask for futher information