Protecting all children from harm and exploitation by working closely with our partner organisations to develop and implement strong child protection policies.
Project implemented: 2016
With strong child protection policies in place, we can ensure the wellbeing, safety and dignity of children in the countries
Ensuring children are protected through all touch points of the Australian Volunteers program is critical. Understanding this, we developed a specific ‘focal point’ program to strengthen our regional teams’ capacity to support partner organisations to develop strong child protection policies that meet global best practice standards.
Training staff as focal points in 26 countries to support partner organisations in developing child protection policies.
Staff focal points work with partner organisations to develop policies, taking into consideration local culture and customs.
The focal points work collaboratively to share best practice and learnings, working as a global community.
We have a child protection advisor who leads the program and provides ongoing support to the focal points.
Partner organisations take ownership of child protection policies and ensure policies are understood and applied widely.
The Australian Volunteers program’s child protection focal point initiative, which began in 2016, aims to strengthen the capacity of regional staff to help partner organisations develop strong and localised child protection policies. The child protection program involves a community of 26 focal points across all countries where Australian volunteers work, so best practice and learnings can be shared. Focal points have access to ongoing training, supervision and support.
The focal points work with local organisations to develop and review child protection policies, as well as co-run workshops with partner organisations and community members. They also offer mentoring, resources and other relevant training to partner organisations. The program means partner organisations are better equipped to respond to child protection issues should they arise. The program is also focused on ensuring local understanding of the benefits of child protection policies and practices.
This unique approach of focal points working alongside staff at our partner organisations to develop child protection policies is key to the ongoing success of the program.