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VOLUNTEER POLICY

Our safeguarding policy (connect it to volunteers page)
This policy applies to trustees, staff, local and international volunteers and anyone working on behalf of Healing Focus Orphanage Centre,
particularly when visiting Uganda and/or as part of the link with the Healing Focus Orphanage Centre
(HFOC) and associated projects.
The purpose of this policy:
• to protect children and young people who receive Healing Focus Orphanage Centres services;
• to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to
safeguarding and child protection;
Principles
Healing Focus Orphanage Centre believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind
(including neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse). We have a responsibility to promote the
welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe.
We recognise that:
• the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
• all children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
• working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
Nsumbi Trust expects that its volunteers and others who work with Nsumbi Trust have children’s best interests at the heart of their involvement.
Nsumbi Trust is committed to actively preventing child and vulnerable adult abuse.
It is the responsibility of the designated team leader on a visit to Uganda to ensure that all those on the trip are aware of and abide by this policy and applicable local procedures while working with Healing Focus Orphanage Centre.
Prevention – safeguarding children
The following forms a code of conduct for Healing Focus Orphanage Centre:
It is important for all staff and volunteers in contact with children to:
• be aware of situations which may present risks and manage these appropriately
• plan and organise the work and the workplace so as to minimise risks
• be visible to others when working with children whenever possible
• create and maintain a non-defensive attitude and an open culture in which to discuss any issues or concerns
• foster a culture of mutual accountability so that any potentially abusive behaviour can be challenged
• respect each child’s boundaries and help them to develop their own sense of their rights as well as helping them to know what they can do if they feel that there is a problem
• raise concerns about any case of suspected abuse in accordance with applicable local
procedures
• seek permission before taking any photos of children.
Staff and volunteers must never:
• develop sexual relationships with children or vulnerable adults
• develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or
abusive
• act in ways that may be abusive or may place a child at risk of abuse
• take children to your own lodgings, especially when they will be alone with you
• physically chastise a child
• disclose information that identifies families or children to unauthorized persons or make it available to the general public without the informed consent of the family and, when appropriate, the child
Staff and volunteers must avoid actions or behaviour that could be construed as poor
practice or potentially abusive. For example, they should never:
• use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive
• behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative towards a child
• condone, or participate in, behaviour of children which is illegal, abusive or exposes the child to danger
• act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade
The guiding principle is that the protection of the child is always the overriding concern.
Confidentiality
An allegation of child abuse is a serious issue. In following this policy and local procedures, it is essential that all parties maintain confidentiality. Sharing of information, which could identify a child or an alleged perpetrator, should be purely on a ‘need to know’ basis. Unless abuse has actually been proved to have occurred, one must always refer to “alleged abuse”.
Additional references
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Data Protection & Privacy Law
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
This policy was last reviewed on 1st February 2018
Signed: Patric Tusabe (on behalf of the Board of Directors)