Internal protocol for professionals working with children

Statement

All current activities of the organization concerning growth, education and child‐care are based on the child’s best interest identified in a special text that has been consecrated as a general regulation in the Civil Code where it is specified the child is also consulted.

Legal provisions

In the area of child protection, the national law and, to a greater extent, the European and universal law has established a series of general principles whose applicability converges to give the child a fitfulness of psychological and emotional features, as well as harmonious development, thus preparing the adult personality. This legislation has created a series of regulations that are child specific, including rights and obligations the child should enjoy whilst parents and other institutions or authorities have the obligation to respect. All these rights and obligations that configure the juridical status of the child are subject to general principles, have binding value, and compliance is ensured by the force of law.

Guiding lines for child protection services and offering benefits

For every vulnerable/abused/in need child that comes to AAS attention (self-identification or referral) the professional must initiate contact with the parent/care giver, the person authorized
for this by the parent/caregiver or the legal tutor. If the child is unaccompanied, in harm way or endangered in any way, at any time of the providing of services the professional must contact the parent /caregiver to clarify the situation or address the issue to the child protection unit or to the court of law. After completion of the activities and services involving the child the professional will monitor the situation and well-being of the child/family for at least 3 month.
If the child situation is not improving after the assistance period, the situation will be reassess, the parent / caregiver will be included in the action plan to better the situation.

Paper work

Each child protection case shall be listed in the necessary documentation for this regulated in the methodology used.
Each incoming/outgoing letter shall be listed in a folder-register created for this.
Each event related to or considered to help the child’s situation – consultation, working meeting, training, etc. – should be documented and minuted and is brought to the practice of the organization.

Location of services

The organisation will make sure to offer adequate information to the child and his family about the legitimate ways of offering the services. Relevant certificates, licenses, charters, diplomas, relevant to the work and to its employees will be displayed in a visible place.
A list of institutions and departments relevant to child protection will be displayed – including their address and phone number .

Code of Ethics

Every employee is obliged to observe and comply with the principles of the „Code of Ethics for working with children” approved by the Director of the Foundation.

Introduction:

The Code of Ethics sets the standards of ethical conduct for working with children in the fields of education, health, social care, justice, home affairs, etc.
The moral code of work with children aims at:
1.To represent the core values and principles that those who work with children need to know and observe in their practice;
2.To endorse the will and desire of working with children for ethics in their practical activity;
3.To guide the behavior and help those working with children in solving ethical dilemmas encountered in practice;
4.To outline the moral responsibilities of working with children: to the child, to the family, to/with each other and to society.

Section І.

The professionals working with children perform their functions guided by the fundamental values and principles:

Art. 1. Childhood is a crucial period in human life;
Art. 2. The family is the best natural environment for a child’s development;
Art. 3. Every child possesses inimitable uniqueness and value;
Art. 4. Every child is guaranteed the right of:
• freedom of expression of personal opinion;
• freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
• forming her/his own views and the right to express them freely;
Art. 5. Every child has the right to protection against the infringement of his dignity;
Art. 6. Every child has the right to protection necessary for physical, mental, moral and social development;
Art.7. Every child and every family deserve to be helped to develop their full potential;
Art.8. In every case the interest of the child must be protected in the best possible way;
Art.9. Every child admitted to a risk needs special protection for decommissioning of the risk situation;
Art.10. People working with children must possess certain personal, moral and social qualities.

Section ІІ.Moral responsibilities to the child

Art.12. To base our practice on modern knowledge of child development and knowledge of the
individual characteristics of each child.
Art.13. To understand and respect the uniqueness of each child.
Art.14. To take into consideration the specific vulnerability of each child.
Art.15.To create safe and healthy environment that is stimulating for the social, emotional and
physical development of the child.
Art.16. To support child’s right of freedom of expression in all matters of his interest.
Art.17 To work in the best interests of the child .
Art.18 To provide children with disabilities with equal opportunities for access to adequate care and education.
Art.19. Not to engage in practices that do not respect the dignity of the child or are dangerous and harmful to the physical and emotional health and development of the child.
Art.20. Not to engage in practices that discriminate against children in any way on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, nationality, language, ability, or on the basis of the status, behavior or beliefs of the parents.
Art.21. To distinguish the symptoms of child abuse – physical, sexual, verbal, emotional abuse or neglect. To know and obey the laws and procedures that protect children from violence.
Art.22. On suspicion of abuse to inform the authorities for child protection and to monitor whether the measures necessary are taken.
Art.23. When another person reports suspected abuse of a child to provide him full assistance to take appropriate action to protect the child.
Art.24. When we become aware of actions or situations that threaten the health and safety of the child, we have a moral and legal responsibility to inform the authorities engaged in child protection.

Section ІІІ. Moral responsibilities to the family

Art.25. Our primary responsibility is to support the family in raising and educating the children.
Art.26. To respect the dignity of each family and its culture, customs, language and beliefs.
Art.27. To respect the values of the family in raising and educating children and the right to take decisions for their children.
Art.28. To inform the family of any decisions related to the child and, where appropriate, to include in taking such decisions.
Art.29. To respect the right of the family to be informed of our methods of working with the child.
Art.30. To inform parents about the research projects involving their children and strive to give them the opportunity to exercise their right to refuse participation without feeling guilty. Not to allow and not to engage in any kind research that endangers the health, education, development or welfare of the child.
Art.31. Not to use our relationship with the family for personal gain. Not to enter into a relationship with family members, that can destroy the effectiveness of our work with the child.
Art.32. To guarantee the confidentiality of information and to respect the right of the family to
privacy except in cases of abuse and poor care. This does not apply in cases where we have reason to believe that the welfare of the child is at risk.
Art.33. We are committed to developing rules to protect the confidentiality of the information that will be available and mandatory for all staff and families. Disclosure of confidential information about the child can only be done with the permission of the family. This does not apply in cases of maltreating and poor care.
Art.34. In case of a conflict between family members, we will work in an open manner, sharing our observations of the child, in order to help all parties involved to make an informed decision, and will strictly refrain from taking side in the conflict.

Section ІV.Moral responsibilities to colleagues

Art.35. To build and maintain relationships of respect, trust, cooperation and collegiality.
Art.36. To exchange information and resources relevant to the welfare and protection of children’s rights.
Art.37. To work for our own and of our colleagues authority by refraining from actions that could undermine the prestige of the profession, and not to tolerate to such actions.

Section V. Moral responsibilities to society

Art.38. To provide high quality programs and services. We will not offer services for which we have no competence, qualifications or resources and capacity.
Art.39. To work for creating safe social environment in which the child to receive adequate health care, food, shelter, education and life without violence.
Art.40. To work for improving cooperation between organizations as well as interdisciplinary
interaction between occupations that are relevant to the welfare of children and families.
Art.41. To assist in raising the level in society of understanding of children and their needs.
Art.42. To work for promoting children’s rights, as well as raising public awareness of their violation.
Art.43. To work for supporting laws and policies that promote the welfare of children and their families and to oppose those who violate it.