Child, Youth & Young Adults Protection Policy

International China Concern believes protecting children from risk of harm is a responsibility that we must all undertake. We are committed to a pro-active role that will protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

This policy will help to foster a safe and positive environment for children and provide guidance to all international and field staff (staff) on the acceptable behaviours and appropriate boundaries when working with children.

International China Concern will ensure that all staff and visitors are aware of this policy and commitment to ensuring risks of abuse to our children are minimised. We will ensure our staff are clear what steps to take when concerns arise regarding the safety of our children and understand that we will respond immediately to investigate concerns raised.

Definition of Terminology: The terminology of child/children covers all residents within an International Child Concern project regardless of age, sex, physical or mental capacity.

Our values, principles and beliefs require staff and volunteers to:
  • Treat every child with dignity and respect at all times
  • Conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their position as a positive role model to children
  • Immediately raise concerns for the safety or wellbeing of a child in line with the International China Concern reporting procedure
  • Listen to our children and take any concerns raised seriously
  • Be visible when working with children, endeavouring to ensure that other adults are present when working with children and avoiding being alone with them
  • Work in partnership with carers and/or other professionals to ensure the protection of children
  • Not personally criticise a staff member for perceived actions towards a child but follow defined reporting processes for alleged incidents

International China Concern staff and volunteers will not:
  • Engage in any behaviour that is intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children
  • Use language, make suggestions or offer advice that is inappropriate, offensive or abusive
  • Smack, hit, physically assault children or apply extreme physical or emotional discipline measures
  • Develop sexual relationships with children nor any kind of relationship that is deemed exploitative or abusive
  • Spend excessive time alone with children away from others
  • Act in ways that may be abusive or place a child at risk of abuse
  • Behave physically in a manner that is inappropriate or sexually provocative
  • Take children to their own home without prior approval by the relative project manager
  • Sleep in the same bed as children
  • Purposely neglect a child outside of recognised and approved palliative care systems. Palliative care must be approved by the relative Project Manager prior to implementation. Neglect extends to withholding food, fluids, basic care, necessary medical treatment or provision of adequate clothing to meet basic needs.

Upon an allegation being made the International China Concern Project Manager in conjunction with the China Operations Director will put in place an action plan to ensure the safety of the child as a priority.

Disciplinary procedures will be applied to staff who have been found to have acted outside our policy guidelines. Where dictated by in-country laws, confirmed instances will be reported to welfare centre and/or legal authorities.

Consensual Relationships
While we recognise the right of a young adult to engage in relationships once past the lawful age of consent, staff may not at any time engage in any consensual relationships due to the ethical nature of the relationship between staff and care recipient. Relationships of this nature may not result in legal prosecution however they will lead to dismissal and/or removal from working within our Projects.