A child safeguarding policy provides a set of directives and guidelines to be implemented at the organizational and staff management level to promote the highest standards of personal and professional behavior and practice in order to create safe environments and prevent harmful situations from occurring to children during their involvement in activities, projects, or programs.
The development of a child safeguarding policy is an opportunity for any entity to align its strategy and programming with its organizational mission.
This is a tool that protects both children and staff by clearly defining what actions are needed to keep children safe and ensure consistency of behavior and more transparent processes for all. When adopting a safeguarding policy, the organization in question will work to minimize risks and address concerns and incidents appropriately and seriously when they arise. Internationally, inumerous entities require the adoption of their own child safeguarding policy in order to access funding calls and initiatives. In fact, the adoption of an appropriate and specific child safeguarding policy is an indication of any organization’s commitment to the youngest generation, as well as a tool through which institutions and agencies can consolidate and strengthen the degree of trust of the citizenry.
The adoption of a Child Safeguarding Policy that is in line with the organizational purpose and mission and that considers the expertise of practitioners and the specificities of the age group to which it relates is essential to its successful implementation in practice.
In light of its proven experience, DCI Italy proposes to support entities by offering a path of awareness-raising and training, as well as support during the process of drafting the Child Safeguarding Policy to arrive at a final consolidated document.
The main actions to be followed are:
In 2018, DCI Italy dedicated itself to revising and broadening its child safeguarding policy. Following an in-depth study of the main international references, DCI Italy began a process aimed at supporting entities interested in developing their own safeguarding and protection policies for children based on their own organizational structure, building on international standards, and following a child rights-centered approach.
To date, DCI Italy has supported various organizations with different measures. In 2018, the Fondazione Teatro della Toscana - Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards - requested DCI Italia’s support to undertake a path aimed at developing its own specific and proactive Child Safeguarding and Wellbeing Policy, directed at increasing the levels of safeguarding and protection of children and adolescents, in order to prevent, address and manage situations of possible violations and abuse of children.
During 2019, DCI Italy also worked with the Region of Liguria to draft and submit a proposal for a regional law that would enshrine the obligation for entities working with and for minors to adopt their own Safeguarding Policy defining mandatory standards to be implemented, in line with international standards.
During 2020 DCI Italy supported the definition of the International Standards for the Promotion and Safeguarding of Children’s Rights of the International Social Service. This document is to be applied in more than 120 sections scattered around the world.
Also in 2020, DCI Italy provided training to the staff of the Vicorosa and Pollicino Nursery, supporting a path to develop its Safeguarding and Child Wellbeing Policy. Since 2021, DCI Italy has integrated and managed Defence for Children International’s working group on Child Safeguarding, supporting other sections of the movement to adopt and implement child safeguarding and wellbeing procedures. In addition, Defence for Children Italia and has been selected by the Con i Bambini Foundation to incorporate the list of expert bodies on Child Safeguarding. It has already initiated training and policy development in safeguarding and wellbeing for several national entities in this framework.
DCI Italy is interested in offering its expertise in the subject matter to accompany processes for the development and adoption of appropriate Child Safeguarding Policies procedures and models, as well as integrated training of practitioners, advocating for the need for a legislative bill on the subject at both regional and national levels.
DCI Italy offers two types of pathways, proposing to support the entity throughout the Child Safeguarding Policy development process so that it can be defined, developed, understood and shaped according to the philosophy and specificities in which it operates.
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