AfriKids has measures in place to safeguard the children we interact with in the delivery of our work, including a comprehensive Child Protection Policy. AfriKids’ Child Protection Policy was originally developed with support from UK experts in child trafficking, and draws on best practice examples from the UK and around the world. This global policy is adopted by both AfriKids UK and AfriKids Ghana (independent organisations working in partnership) and outlines child protection responsibilities and procedures across all areas of our work, including personnel recruitment; staff education and training; operations (including management of the policy); behavioural guidelines/codes of conduct; communication guidelines; reporting and reaction protocol; and the ramifications of misconduct.
AfriKids’ policy manuals including the Child Protection Policy are a core part of the induction process for new AfriKids staff, who, once taken through them, are required to sign the child protection code of conduct. Both organisations are strongly committed to the continuing professional development of staff, and for those on the front-line of our projects supporting vulnerable children, there are opportunities every year for further training in child protection and safeguarding.
In October 2017, twenty of AfriKids Ghana’s local directors, senior managers, managers and field staff were trained as trainers in child protection, by staff from the (UK) NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (as part of a wider collaborative project). These staff are now extending this training to stakeholders across AfriKids’ work in Ghana, including parents, community members and public and private sector partners. This training is educating more people on what child abuse is, the laws and systems protecting against it and how to identify and respond to cases of children at risk.
AfriKids’ Child Protection Policy and procedures are periodically reviewed, as they are due to be again in 2o18. Planned improvements include making the policy more visible and accessible to external stakeholders, including publishing it in the public domain (e.g. on our website) and producing resources such as posters for local use, which will clearly outline our code of conduct and how anyone can report incidents or concerns.
Beyond AfriKids’ own Child Protection Policy, both organisations monitor and comply with local regulation and legislation, including the guidelines of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the national Child and Family Welfare Policy of the Government of Ghana.