Our Commitment to Safeguarding Children

Save the Children works in the United States and around the world to give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Since our founding over 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of over 1 billion children.

This work would not be possible without child safeguarding. Save the Children recognizes that when special trust is exploited and standards for safeguarding children fail, immense damage is caused with long-term effects on the lives of children, their families and communities. Learn more below and read Save the Children's child safeguarding policy.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Safeguarding

A Save the Children staff member sits with a child on a wall in Lebanon

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is set of policies, procedures and practices employed to actively prevent harm, abuse and distress.

Save the Children adopts safeguarding practices within our organization to ensure our employees, volunteers, partners, vendors, and other representatives do not deliberately or unintentionally harm or abuse children or adults in affected communities.

What is child safeguarding?

Child safeguarding is specifically focused on preventative actions to ensure that all children are protected from deliberate or unintentional acts that lead to the risk of or actual harm. [1]

The goal of child safeguarding is to create and maintain a safe culture that is child-focused and community-driven through sustained and meaningful engagement with children, their families, communities and all representatives.

At Save the Children, child safeguarding is a commitment to be a safe organization for children. The Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures along with the Code of Ethics, are the foundation for safe programming standards, which reflect Save the Children’s commitment to first prevent harm and abuse, and then report and respond whenever concerns arise

What is the difference between child safeguarding and child protection?

Child safeguarding is about making Save the Children safe for children. Child safeguarding refers to a set of policies, procedures and practices employed to make a business safe for all children they work with. 1

Child protection is about making the world safe for children. It refers to actions done to protect specific children from concerns of risk or harm.

At Save the Children, it is our thematic or programmatic area of work aimed at protecting children from all forms of abuse and exploitation in all regions of the world. Child Protection responses are macro-level in scale and involve holistic approaches to meet the social and legal protection needs of children and their families within vulnerable communities.

What is the difference between child safeguarding and child welfare?

Child welfare is making the community safe for children.

At Save the Children, it includes claims of child abuse that happen externally and/or that are required by law or local norms to be reported to local authorities, which may include familial, communal or institutional child abuse allegations.

Why do we need child safeguarding?

Child safeguarding is important because when trust is exploited and standards for safeguarding children fail, immense damage is caused with long-term effects on the lives of children, their families, and communities. Abuse can take many forms and its effect on a child’s physical, emotional and mental health can be severe and long lasting. 

We need child safeguarding to ensure that children’s rights and well-being are at the center of everything we do.

Why is child safeguarding training important?

Safeguarding training is important to ensure that all staff at every level of the business feel empowered to protect children and report violations. By providing training, businesses will help to promote a culture where safeguarding concerns are taken seriously, reported and addressed.

Save the Children staff and representatives are trained annually on child safeguarding. We have a zero tolerance policy for child abuse and take all reports seriously.

What Is Save the Children’s Child Safeguarding Policy?

Child safeguarding about is making Save the Children safe for children.

Save the Children was the first global organization devoted solely to serving children’s needs and securing their rights. Today, we work in the hardest-to-reach places, where it’s toughest to be a child.

Our child safeguarding policy reflects Save the Children’s commitment to first prevent harm and abuse, and then report and respond whenever concerns arise. It applies to staff, representatives and third parties, who come into contact with children or impact them through our programs.

Save the Children’s child safeguarding policy is made of up four key principles:

  • Awareness and Training: All representatives receive training and contextualized support in order to prevent, report, and respond to safeguarding concerns.
  • Prevention: Through awareness raising, implementation of procedures, and good practice, representatives demonstrate an understanding of the risks to children within and across programs and operations, and engage effective strategies to mitigate harm, abuse, and exploitation.
  • Reporting: All Save the Children representatives know how to report and who to contact when any concern arises, no matter how seemingly small or trivial.
  • Responding: Engage in action that supports and protects children, with a child driven approach, to address concerns and ensure children’s well-being.

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