The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) calls on states to take measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.” In 2015 world leaders made a global commitment at the U.N. General Assembly, as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end all forms of violence against children by 2030.
However, these goals cannot be realised unless all organisations are required to take action to protect children from harm.
Since 2001 Keeping Children Safe (KCS) has been dedicated to building the capacity of organisations to make sure their staff, operations, and programmes do not expose children to the risk of harm and abuse, and that any concerns they have about children’s safety are immediately dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Our child safeguarding experts are local professionals strategically located in different parts of the world. They not only understand the country-specific legal and social contexts of child safeguarding, but they support organisations in their own language. Together, our experts have worked in nearly every country in the world, supporting all types of organisations: governmental, civil society, and for profit. No organisation is too large or small to uphold their child safeguarding responsibilities.
Recognising that it is everybody's responsibility to protect children from harm, our capacity building programme helps organisations to systematically integrate child safeguarding. As a result, we support organisations at every stage of child safeguarding: from developing a policy and procedures to monitoring and evaluating their implementation. All of our work is firmly anchored in our international child safeguarding standards, which focus on policy, people, procedures, and accountability. An increasing number of major donors, such as the European Commission, USAID, and the Oak Foundation, are using our standards as a guide for making sure that their grantees do no harm to the children they serve.
KCS's capacity building programme strengthens the child safeguarding capacity of organisations in multiple, bespoke ways:
We support organisations faced with a variety of child safeguarding challenges. Therefore, KCS does not take a one size fits all approach. We are constantly seeking new ways to support organisations facing safeguarding challenges during emergencies, in sports, and organisations offering child sponsorship.
Our tailor-made approach to supporting your child safeguarding needs includes designing and delivering in-house workshops for your trustees, senior management, staff and partners. These workshops can be from one day to five days, depending on your needs. Sometimes you just need advice or guidance. Our experts are available to answer your questions. If you need longer-term, individualised support, we will assign you a mentor or coach.
If you want to gauge your organisation’s compliance with KCS’s international standards, then our auditing service will give you an up-to-date picture of where you stand. If you need to investigate a serious child safeguarding concern, then you can count on our experienced investigators to support you. They have either a law enforcement or social work background.
KCS also offers child safeguarding certification based on compliance with our international standards. Achieving certification ensures that an organisation has everything in place to protect the children they come into contact with from harm, but should a safeguarding concern arise, the organisation has the procedures in place to adequately respond. Certification brings a range of benefits, including:
External verification by experts that child safeguarding measures are ‘fit for purpose’
Award of the KCS kite mark, a visible symbol of quality performance in child safeguarding
Demonstrating to donors, partners, and the public generally, a commitment and competence in the area of child safeguarding
Support to increasing quality, effectiveness and accountability in other areas across the organisation