Supportive documentation available upon request.
This document sets out the policies that EACDT in the UK and its associated charitable trust in Kenya, FYCEK, will follow in relation to safeguarding the participants in the programmes that it runs in Kenya. These participants will usually be young people, many of them children; but from time to time, adults may also be participants.
What is Safeguarding? In the UK, safeguarding means protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
The purpose of this document is to enable EACDT/FYCEK to use good management policies and practices as a means of preventing the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of the participants in its programmes by anyone associated with the Trusts. This policy supports and reinforces existing legislation in both the UK and Kenya, and sets out some key principles intended to help EACDT/FYCEK fulfil its duty of care.
This policy must be implemented in conjunction with related policy statements and The Code of Staff Behaviour.
This policy statement applies to all permanent and temporary employees, all job applicants, volunteers, contractors, consultants and trustees.
4. POLICY STATEMENT
EACDT/FYCEK’s mission is to impart to young people in East Africa, irrespective of gender, religion or any other factors, the seven key personal characteristics that are widely recognised as the best facilitators of personal and professional success
In achieving this mission, EACDT/FYCEK believe that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. EACDT/FYCEK will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by Employees or Associated Personnel.
Stringency in recruitment, awareness in the work place, a formal process for raising concerns, and appropriate staff training and induction are all key elements in ensuring the Trust meets its commitments to safeguard young people.
5. FURTHER BACKGROUND
It is usually the case that the abuse of young people entails an abuse of power: someone with greater power than the young person and who exercises that power in a way that results in harm to the young person concerned. Abuse is: “a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons”. Children and young adults from economically deprived backgrounds, the category of young people who will usually be the participants in EACDT/FYCEK’s programmes, are at much greater risk of abuse than other young people, as they may, for example, be willing to submit to an older person’s requests or demands in order to improve their quality of life, their material wellbeing or to feel more successful.
Protecting young people from abuse is not an optional activity to be added to the Trusts’ programme, but is an integral part of our duty of care for the young people with whom we work. All those employed by or involved in EACDT/FYCEK have a duty to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of all children and young adults with whom they come into contact. It is therefore vital for EACDT/FYCEK that everyone involved in the Trusts is aware of the issue of abuse and of what to do to prevent it. Equally, where abuse is suspected, employees and others need to be clear about the responses they should make in reporting their concerns and offering support wherever possible.
6.1 Young People
Any reference to Young People in this policy document and it’s related statements on Recognition and Reporting, Guidance Material and the Code of Staff Conduct includes:
- All the children in the primary schools who form the bulk of our programme participants
- All the youths and girls in secondary schools in our programmes
- any person younger than 18 years of age with whom staff of EACDT/FYCEK come into contact with
- any person younger that 25 years of age who suffers from any physical or mental handicap.
6.1 Abuse of Young People
Abuse of young people is a general term used about situations where a child or young adult may experience harm, usually as the result of failure on the part of the parent or carer to ensure a reasonable standard of care and protection. It may include both actions and omissions on the part of the parent or carer and is normally categorised into four main forms:
- sexual abuse
- emotional abuse, and
It is often the case that a young person discovered to be suffering one form of abuse will also be experiencing others:
- Physical abuse – the actual or likely physical injury to a young person, or a failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a young person. For example:
- physically hurting or injuring young people
- giving young people (under the age of 18) alcohol, cigarettes, inappropriate drugs or poison.
- Neglect – neglect is defined as the persistent or severe neglect of a young person, or the failure to protect a young person from exposure to any kind of danger, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in a significant impairment of the young person’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive. (NB: neglect may be wilful or otherwise.) For example:
- when a young person or young adult’s basic needs are not met (e.g. food, warmth)
- when a young person or young adult requiring support is consistently left alone and unsupported.
- Sexual abuse – sexual abuse is the actual or likely sexual exploitation of a young person or young adult. For example:
- full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, or fondling
- showing pornographic books, photographs or videos or taking photographs for pornographic purposes.
- Emotional abuse – emotional abuse refers to the actual or likely adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a young person caused by persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or rejection. For example:
- when there is a persistent lack of love, affection or attention shown to a young adult
- when young people or adults at risk are overprotected preventing them from socialising
- when young people or adults at risk are frequently shouted at or taunted.
6.2 Abuse specifically of Physically or Mentally Disadvantaged Young Adults
‘Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons’.
In addition to the above abuse may include one or more of the following:
- Discriminatory abuse, including that based on a person’s ethnic origin, religion, language, age, sexuality, gender, disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
- Sexual abuse, including contact or non-contact sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressurised into consenting.
- Financial or material abuse, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits;
- Institutional abuse; indicated by repeated instances of unsatisfactory professional practice, pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct indicating an
- Abuse of power – including not allowing contact with friends and family.
NB. Abusers can be other physically disadvantaged young adults.
6.3 Significant Harm
When deciding on whether a young person has been or is being treated in an abusive or neglectful way, it can be helpful to consider if the young person is, as a result, suffering significant harm. The concept of significant harm helps to focus on the likely consequences to the young person, and to assess the seriousness of the concerns about the young person’s safety or welfare. Harm resulting from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or from neglect, may take the form of impairment of the young person’s health and development.
The level at which harm to a young person can be regarded as significant is difficult to define but should nevertheless form the basis of discussions of any concerns. Consideration must be given to the nature of the abuse and the level of concerns that exist, as well as to the context within which the abuse or harm takes place. It is important to discuss all concerns with managers and relevant others in order to assess the levels of risk to young people/adults at risk.
6.4 Criminal Offence
Some instances of abuse will constitute a criminal offence. In this respect, adults at risk are entitled to the protection of the law in the same way as any other member of the public. In addition, statutory offences have been created which specifically protect those who may be incapacitated in various ways. Examples of actions which may constitute criminal offences are assault, whether physical or psychological, sexual assault and rape, theft, fraud or other forms of financial exploitation, and certain forms of discrimination, based on race or gender.
Individuals are responsible for ensuring that this policy is applied within their own hub or school. Any queries on the application or interpretation of this policy must be discussed with the Project Director or Designated Trustee prior to any action being taken.
All employees must become acquainted with the requirements of this policy and act in accordance with it and its associated practice statements.
If it comes to light that anyone associated with EACDT/FYDEK commits acts in relation to young people, whether within or outside the context of the Trusts’ work, which are criminal, grossly infringe the rights of young people, or contravene the principles and standards contained in this document, the Trusts will take immediate disciplinary action and any other action which may be appropriate to the circumstances. This may mean for:
- Staff – disciplinary action/dismissal
- Volunteers – ending the volunteering relationship
- Partners – withdrawal of funding/support.
Depending on the nature, circumstances and location of the case, EACDT/FYDEK will also consider involving authorities such as the police to ensure the protection of young people and criminal prosecution where this is appropriate.
The Executive Trustee has the responsibility for ensuring the maintenance, regular review and updating of this policy. Revisions, amendments or alterations to the policy can only be implemented following consideration and approval by the Executive Trustee.