Child Protection Policy

Below you will find the complete Child Protection Policy for Sovann Komar. If you are considering volunteering, please read it thoroughly. This document is intended to safeguard our children. We expect everyone within Sovann Komar to adhere to our Child Protection Policy. Any breaches will result in the volunteer or staff member being asked to leave. If you have any questions, please contact Sovann Komar.

Child Protection Policy

Sovann Komar as an organization, and all adults involved in Sovann Komar, accept the duty to safeguard the welfare of children in its care. This policy outlines our commitment to providing the children who live and study at our facilities or participate in our activities with the safest possible environment. This requires action to prevent harm of all kinds.

This policy applies to parents, employees, volunteers, and contract workers, collectively referred to as “staff”. It also applies to adult visitors to Sovann Komar, including trustees and sponsors. For the purposes of this policy, “children” shall mean anyone under the age of 18 years and under the care, or participating in activities, of Sovann Komar.

Definition of “Harm”

Harm may be intentional (done purposefully) or unintentional (due to negligence) and may be of a physical, mental, or emotional nature. Harm includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hitting, or otherwise hurting, a child,
  • Sexual contact with a child,
  • Engaging a child in hard labor (such as carrying heavy objects) or dangerous labor of any kind,
  • Yelling at a child as a regular method of discipline,
  • Disgracing a child,
  • Failing to properly keep away from a child dangerous objects and substances (e.g., sharp knives, flames, medicine),
  • Failing to correct a child when he or she engages in behavior that can likely result in accident or injury. For example: jumping in front of moving cars, putting hands on a hot stove.

Intentionally hurting a child and sexual contact with a child are zero tolerance issues that can result in immediate dismissal and/or removal from the premises. Sexual contact with a child will be reported to local authorities.

Awareness

  • Staff and visitors at Sovann Komar are individually and collectively responsible for child protection and safety.
  • Staff and visitors will behave with children in a way which fully respects their dignity and rights, and minimizes any possible situation of risk
  • Sovann Komar will provide orientation and training regarding this policy and any related guidelines and procedures to all staff that have regular contact with children at Sovann Komar.
  • Child-­friendly information will be provided to ensure children understand about their safety and protection and feel comfortable about speaking out if they have any concerns.
  • The Executive Director is responsible for monitoring child protection issues and will facilitate policy implementation, staff training and awareness, and incident reporting.
  • The Executive Director will designate another staff person to implement this policy if he is away from the premises for an extended period of time.

Selection and Management of Staff

  • Recruitment/selection of all staff working on-­site at Sovann Komar will include criminal background and reference checks. The Executive Director may take this information into account and use it at his discretion to accept or reject applicants.
  • All staff will be requested to review this policy and sign it to indicate agreement with it. Failure to do so is grounds for immediate dismissal and/or removal from the premises.
  • Child protection issues will be considered during appraisals and evaluations.
  • Visitors are allowed at Sovann Komar by invitation only with approval of the Executive Director. All visitors will be registered at the front gate and issued a Visitor I.D. Card. Visitors are to be escorted by an authorized representative at all times.

Communications & Information

  • No information or images of the children at Sovann Komar will be used in a way that compromises the child’s dignity, safety or places them at risk.
  • Images of children at Sovann Komar may not be taken, used or distributed without advance permission from the Executive Director.
  • All personal information will be kept confidential. It will only be accessed by parents and employees on a ‘need to know’ basis. Volunteers and contract workers will not have access to personal information regarding children, except as specifically authorized by the Executive Director.
  • Personal information includes health status and history, family background, school records and personal history.
  • All personal information will be maintained in locked filing cabinets.
  • All personal information that becomes known to staff will be kept confidential.

Procedures for Reporting & Response

  • When reacting to concerns or claims of harm, the ultimate guiding principle will be the best interests and well-­being of the child.
  • In the event of any incidents, comments, suspicions or concerns, the case will be immediately reported to the Executive Director. Any cases of harm or abuse will be investigated thoroughly. A staff person may be suspended and removed from the premises during the investigation.
  • Failure to report serious cases of harm or abuse may result in disciplinary action.
  • A child reporting concerns or claiming to be the subject of abuse will be protected, taken seriously and treated with respect. They will be reassured that they are not to blame. They are never to be treated with disbelief or in a way that might induce shame or embarrassment.
  • Any adult reporting a concern will be treated seriously and with respect, and given support in dealing with the concern.
  • Any parent, employee, volunteer or contract worker who knowingly makes a false accusation against another adult will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and removal from the premises.