Aims of the policy
This policy aims to:
- prevent harm to the children in our care;
- prevent harm to our Personnel and the organisation;
- provide a principle-based protocol to deal with alleged cases of child abuse with integrity, compassion and justice.
Interserve believes that it is never acceptable for a child to experience abuse of any kind, and that the protection of children is everyone’s responsibility within our Fellowship. Interserve works in a wide variety of contexts and child protection incidents are often complex. Several entities within Interserve and often other organisations (e.g. schools) and civil authorities may be involved. Offenders and/or victims may not be part of Interserve. Approximately one third of sexual offences are committed by children and young people. Therefore, we commit to clear policies and principle-based protocols for child protection that can be applied within the wide range of contexts in which we serve.
This policy has been developed using the Child Safety Protection Network Best Practice Standards for Child Safety, the Global Connections Safeguarding Children Guidelines, and affirms the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Dependence on God
All wisdom and compassion originate with God. Therefore we will seek His wisdom and make all decisions prayerfully.
Seeking the truth
God is truth! There is no situation that He is unaware of and that He cannot redeem. Truth brings light, exposes darkness and helps in the healing process for victims. Therefore, we will diligently face up to painful situations and will not cover up truths that would damage the reputation of individuals or our organisation. We desire that our community displays transparency and integrity. Where abuse investigations involve more than one organisation, we will always seek to engage and cooperate with appropriate leaders in those organisations.
The Bible teaches respect for the law. The law should not be evaded. In the case of serious offences it may be necessary to inform legal authorities and we will cooperate with the relevant authorities in all investigations.
Respect for the individual
Everyone is created in God’s image and is worthy of respect and dignity. Therefore we will treat everyone involved in a case of suspected child abuse with respect. Allegations of abuse made by a child will be taken seriously and always followed up. While the practical outworking may be different, we will do our utmost to treat expatriates and nationals involved in a child abuse investigation equally. Confidentiality will always be respected—allegations and details of investigations will be shared only with those with a demonstrable need to know.