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10 Top Tips for Designated Safeguarding Leads in International Settings
  • Safeguarding

From Gary Wambeek, DSL at British International School Riyadh, COBIS Accredited Member

1.      ESTABLISH CLEAR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: Implement comprehensive safeguarding policies that outline the expected behaviour and responsibilities of staff and volunteers. For instance, develop a code of conduct that emphasises respectful and safe interactions with children and ensure that all community members are aware of these policies.

2.     PROVIDE TRAINING AND AWARENESS PROGRAMMES: Offer regular training sessions and workshops for staff, volunteers, and parents on recognising signs of abuse, reporting procedures, and appropriate conduct. For instance, conduct workshops on child protection protocols or engage external experts to provide specialised training on safeguarding in an international context.

3.     CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT: Design physical spaces that prioritise the safety and well-being of children. For example, ensure proper supervision, maintain secure access points, and consider implementing surveillance systems in high-risk areas.

4.    PROMOTE STRONG COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: Establish effective communication channels to enable confidential reporting and sharing of concerns. For instance, provide multiple reporting options such as anonymous hotlines, online platforms, and designated individuals for reporting safeguarding issues.

5.     ENGAGE WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES: Collaborate with local communities to understand their culture, norms, and child protection practices. This will help you tailor your safeguarding initiatives to the specific needs of the community, ensuring they are culturally sensitive.

6.     STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS: Establish partnerships with local authorities and relevant organisations to enhance safeguarding efforts. This can include sharing best practices, accessing resources, and collaborating on awareness campaigns.

7.     CONDUCT REGULAR SAFEGUARDING AUDITS: Periodically review and assess your safeguarding practices to identify areas for improvement. This can involve conducting audits, seeking feedback from stakeholders, and implementing necessary changes to enhance the effectiveness of your safeguarding measures.

8.    PROMOTE CHILD PARTICIPATION: Involve children in decision-making processes regarding their safety and protection. Consider creating child-friendly mechanisms, such as awareness campaigns, peer support groups, and child-led initiatives, to empower children to actively contribute to their own safety.

9.     ESTABLISH CLEAR REPORTING PROTOCOLS: Ensure that staff and volunteers are aware of the reporting procedures and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Regularly communicate and reinforce the importance of reporting any safeguarding concerns promptly and accurately.

10.  REVIEW AND ADAPT POLICIES REGULARLY: Regularly review and update your safeguarding policies and procedures to align with changing legal requirements and emerging best practices. Stay up-to-date with international standards and guidelines to ensure your organisation consistently provides a safe environment for children.