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About us :: Policies :: Policy for protecting and supporting children, young people and vulnerable adults

Policy for protecting and supporting children, young people and vulnerable adults

Policies

Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
Policy for protecting and supporting children, young people and vulnerable adults

Values

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) as a member of the International Planned parenthood Federation (IPPF) and of the National Network for Children (NNC) has among its core values to support, strengthen and promote the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
A key element in working to safeguard the welfare of all children young people and vulnerable adults is the promotion of their rights to:
• have their health, safety and well-being, and their best interests considered at all levels of work
• have their welfare and development promoted and safeguarded so that they can achieve their full potential
• be valued, respected and understood within the context of their own culture, religion and ethnicity, and to have their needs identified and met within this context and within the context of their family wherever possible
• be listened to and to have their views given careful consideration, and to be encouraged and helped to participate in decisions which affect them.

This policy is applied in harmony with the other policies of BFPA and as integral part of the strategic plan of the organization and in the light of its mission and strategic goals - to work for the improvement of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Bulgaria and to create conditions for realization of the Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) of everyone.

Policy and procedures

1. The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of guiding principles and minimum standards for creating a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults at all levels of work of BFPA ;
2.  The policy applies to all BFPA staff, members and volunteers. As a natural follow-up of this, individuals, experts, NGO employees and organizations, which have a contractual relationship with BFPA will share this policy and may access the training made available under this policy.
3  BFPA will only collaborate with an institution or other organization that agrees with the standards and principles of BFPA on protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults;
4  Safe recruitment supportive supervision and monitoring processes will be ensured for all staff members who will be working with children, young people and vulnerable adults;
5  A protection code of conduct must be acknowledged by all members of BFPA whatever their status is, including all staff, volunteer and consultants;

Statements

1 BFPA  recognizes that, as rights-holders, children, young people and vulnerable adults are entitled to access sexual and reproductive health information and services and to do so in ways that keep them safe from abuse or exploitation.
2 BFPA does not tolerate any type of abuse or exploitation towards any child, young person or vulnerable adult and commits to ensuring that all staff are made aware of, and supported in, their responsibilities to prevent abuse and protect children, young people and vulnerable adults.
3.BFPA considers that adults, parents, guardians, carers, service providers, educators and others who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults are duty-bearers in relation to their sexual rights and have a responsibility to ensure that the rights of children, young people and vulnerable adults are met.
4 BFPA believes that creating a safe environment for all children, young people and vulnerable adults requires the cooperation of all staff members of BFPA and its partners.

Six Main Principles are guiding BFPA work with children and young people:

1.Child rights based.
2. Child participation.
3. Non-discrimination.
4. Best interest.
5. Respecting and building on strengths.
6. Do no harm!

DEFINITIONS AND TERMS

Child is any person under 18 years of age.
Young person is everyone aged between 18 and 25 years.
Vulnerable adult is anyone over the age of 25, who has been a victim of torture, rape or other forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence; every person with disabilities; any person with special needs; everyone, unable for some reason to care for him/herself.
Internal organizational child protection is the responsibility that BFPA team have to ensure the activities and programs implemented by the organization are not harmful to children, are not putting them at risk of abuse and all concerns regarding the safety of children in the communities where we work, if necessary, are reported to the relevant departments.
„Do not harm” concerns the responsibility of the organization „not to harm”, or to reduce the harm, that can be caused unintentionally as a result of not appropriate design and /or implementation of activities, projects and programmes.

Definitions on harm and abuse:

Physical abuse

Actual or potential physical abuse caused by a person – child or adult. May include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, combustion or burning, drowning, strangling, or any other physical injury to a child and / or youth including falsification of symptoms or intentional deterioration of health.

Sexual abuse

Includes forcing or luring a child, young person or vulnerable adult to sexual activities, whether familiar or not with what is happening. These actions can include physical contact, including invasive or non-invasive actions. They can also include involvement of children, young people and vulnerable adults in watching or producing of pornographic materials or encouraging them to behave inappropriately.

Sexual exploitation of children, young people and vulnerable adults

Forms of sexual abuse, that includes children, young people and vulnerable adults, involved in sexual activities for money, presents, food, shelter, endearment, status quo or something else they or their families need. This form of abuse can be connected with manipulating, befriending them, winning their trust and providing access to alcohol and drugs. This type of abusing interrelations between victim and perpetrator are based on misbalance of power where the opportunities for the victim are quite limited. This form of abuse can be wrongly understood by children and adults as interrelations based on mutual consent.

Sexual exploitation of children, young people and vulnerable adults appears in different ways. It can include perpetrator, exercising financial, emotional or physical control over infant, minor or adult. It can include also peers manipulating or encouraging the victim to sexual activity in some cases in the frame of a gang or neighborhood. This form can appear also via organized network of perpetrators who receive financial benefits from trafficking people in different locations, so that to participate in sexual activities with a large number of people.

Neglecting

Depending on the context, resources and circumstances the neglecting and disparagement can be defined as a constant failure in meeting the basic physical and/or psychological needs of persons which can transform in serious damage of health or development, for example insufficient food, shelter and clothes or carelessly attitude and irresponsibility towards basic emotional needs. Neglecting can consist in unconcern of mother during pregnancy, using alcohol and drugs, as well insufficient care to child or adult with disabilities.

Emotional abuse

Constant emotional maltreatment which reflects to emotional development and condition. Actions, connected with emotional abuse can include a ban of free movement, humiliation, condescension, harassment (including cyber bullying), bullying, intimidation, discrimination, derision and other forms of treatment based on rejection or hostility.

Monitoring and evaluation

1 The Board, staff and volunteers have overall responsibility for the safeguarding policy and procedure for ensuring that all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in a way with BFPA are protected and assisted;
2 The policy for protection and support of children, young people and vulnerable adults is integrated in organizational risk assessment an annual reports.
3 Risk assessment for children, young people and vulnerable adults is in advance foreseen as an integral part of developing programmes and projects, also in all activities of BFPA. Strategies for avoiding and/or reducing the potential risk are developing in case of need and in process of work.
4 All staff members, whose job description includes task on youth programs and vulnerable youth and adults programs (youth coordinators, managers of youth programs, coordinators of programs for young people with learning or physical disabilities, service providers, trainers, peer educators volunteers etc) are involved and responsible together with the Management Board, Executive Director and Senior staff for the review and update of the policy and procedure at least in every 3 years;

Management responsibilities

1 To promote the BFPA safeguarding and protecting young people policy and procedures and to ensure that all members are aware of their responsibilities;
2. To introduce to staff members the principles of this Policy to Protect and Support for working with or for children, young people and vulnerable adults as part of the procedure on recruitment and placement and to ensure that all members of the Association are familiar with their duties and responsibilities.
3. To strengthen commitment to and support for the sexual and reproductive health and rights and needs of young people and vulnerable adults;
4. To promote participation of young people and vulnerable adults in governance, youth-adult partnership and in the identification, development and management of programs that affect them;
5. Currently to give information and knowledge and train its staff on protection and support of the children, young people and vulnerable adults.
6.  To increase access to comprehensive, youth friendly, gender-sensitive comprehensive sexuality education and safe SRH services and counselling;
7. To reduce gender-related barriers and practices which affect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people and vulnerable adults;
8. Create safe and comfortable environment for young people and vulnerable adults.
9. Management is responsible to aware new employees about the policy starting from the recruiting moment;
10. By signing working agreement with company new employees (and retrospectively all employees) should confirm the agreement with policy and with the new updates of the policy.
11. To inform partners about the principles of the current policy when signing agreements for mutual activities, as well to require from them their keeping.

Confidentiality principles

1. General provisions: BFPA’s staff and those working for BFPA’s partners shall safeguard all confidential information obtained during the course of their work. Except in cases where there are concerns that the abuse of children is taking place, BFPA’s staff and those working for BFPA’s partners shall disclose confidential information to others only with the informed written consent of the client and/or service user.
2. Keeping and sharing confidential information: Confidential information should be shared for professional purposes only. This applies to both staff and volunteers and is valid also when information is shared outside BFPA and the organizations BFPA works with and for. All confidential information should be saved and kept locked.  Access can be granted only to authorised people who are given this right by law and to colleagues who need it for professional purposes.
3. Limited access to client and/or service users’ records: BFPA’s staff and those working for BFPA’s partners shall limit access to clients and/or service users’ records and shall ensure that all persons working under their authority are familiar with the confidentiality requirements related to these records.
4. Multi-disciplinary working: When rendering services as part of a multi-disciplinary team, if the service-provider shares confidential information about the client and/or service user when so authorized by the client, the service provider shall advise all persons receiving the information that the information should be maintained in a confidential manner.
5. Disguising confidential information: Attempts should be made where possible to use non-real cases in training, books and publications in order to illustrate the type of work undertaken with clients and/or service users. When case reports or other confidential information are used as the basis of training, research or other published reports, BFPA’s staff and those working for BFPA’s partners shall exercise reasonable care to ensure that the reported material is appropriately disguised to prevent client and/or service user identification.
6. Confidentiality after termination of professional relationship: BFPA’s staff and those working for BFPA’s partners shall continue to treat information regarding clients and/or service users as confidential after the professional relationship between the individuals and/or the organizations providing the services and the clients and/or service users has ceased.

Key Rules and regulations

BFPA board, staff and volunteers, as well as partners of BFPA should:

• at all times treat children, young people and vulnerable adults  with respect and recognize them as individuals in their own rights
• value children young people and vulnerable adults as individuals who have specific needs and rights and value views and take them seriously
• work with children, young people and vulnerable adults in a spirit of co-operation and youth-adult partnership based on mutual trust and respect
• work with children young people and vulnerable adults  in ways that enhance their inherent capacities and develop their potential
• strive to understand children young people and vulnerable adults  within the context in which they live.

BFPA board, staff and volunteers, as well as partners of BFPA should NEVER:

• never physically / psychologically abuse children young people and vulnerable adults
• never hit children young people and vulnerable adults as a form of discipline
• never develop physical/ sexual relationships with children young people and vulnerable adults 
• never develop exploitative or abusive relationships with children young people and vulnerable adults
• never act in ways that may be abusive or may place children young people and vulnerable adults at risk of abuse
• never behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative
• never condone, or participate in, behavior of children young people and vulnerable adults, which is illegal, unsafe or abusive
• never act in ways intended to shame, humiliate belittle or degrade children young people and vulnerable adults, or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse
• never discriminate against, show differential treatment, or favour particular children young people and vulnerable adults to the exclusion of others.
• never make photographs or video footage without the consent of the children young people and vulnerable adults and/or their families or legal guardians and wherever possible, the likely use of the images should be explained.

In case of identifying a serious infringements of rules and regulations connected with the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults, the staff of BFPA fills Reporting Procedure Form and informs the Board.

The information on protection and support the children, young people and vulnerable adults can be found on the BFPA webpage.

 


 

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About us :: Policies :: Policy for protecting and supporting children, young people and vulnerable adults