Child Care and Vulnerable Adult Policy
RSVP Caribbean takes its role seriously in the care and protection of children and all vulnerable groups. In organizing and implementing our programmes the safety, protection and well-being of children is our number one priority. Most Caribbean countries are signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and there are penalties for breaches and so we work with our partner organizations to ensure that the rights of children are protected. We are committed to ensuring that children and all programme beneficiaries are not exposed to abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination. Children and vulnerable adults regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, race, religious beliefs or sexual identity must be treated fairly and with respect.
Our responsibility is to ensure that procedures are in place and policies and laws followed when dealing with children. The Child Care and Protection Act and all related laws for the destinations that we work in are followed. At all times the welfare of the child takes precedence over anything else and we carefully manage the interaction, care and protection of all children.
All RSVP Caribbean staff, volunteers, host families and partners are made aware of the Child Care and Protection Policy and must adhere to it. It is the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure that children are protected. The policy is intended to protect children and vulnerable adults as well as volunteers and partner organizations.
- A child is considered to be any person under 18 years.
- A vulnerable adult is anyone in need of care, protection and support based on but not limited to disability, neglect, socio-economic conditions and illness.
- RSVP Caribbean carefully screens all staff, volunteers, host families and partners; and criminal record checks are completed for all volunteers and staff.
- RSVP Caribbean respects the rights of children and vulnerable adults, families, caregivers, communities, volunteers and partners and always acts in the best interest of the beneficiaries.
- RSVP Caribbean will not condone any sexual or physical abuse, mental harm, exploitation or discrimination of any child or vulnerable adult.
- RSVP Caribbean ensures that we explain the Child Care and Protection Policy before arrival and upon arrival this is also done during orientation by the Programme Coordinators who will go through all aspects of the policy. Volunteers get a copy of the policy and must acknowledge in writing that they understand and accept the policy.
- RSVP Caribbean is committed to reporting any of the above issues to the authorities.
- RSVP Caribbean takes deliberate steps to prevent abuse, exploitation, neglect and discrimination of children and vulnerable adults.
- RSVP Caribbean takes care in ensuring that only appropriate language and age-appropriate activities and actions are used at all times.
- RSVP Caribbean volunteers, staff and partners should demonstrate great care when interacting with any child or vulnerable adult. At no time should any physical contact be sexual or even possibly misconstrued as sexual.
RSVP Caribbean volunteers and staff should not:
- Take any child or vulnerable adult from the programme site without approval from programme supervisor.
- Take any child or vulnerable adult to their accommodation or house.
- Take any child or vulnerable adult out for any activity without approval from the programme supervisor.
- Share a bed with any child while on the programme.
- Buy gifts for any child or vulnerable adult from the programme site without approval from the programme supervisor.
- Take pictures or videos of any child or vulnerable adult without approval from programme supervisor; and pictures and videos should not belittle or degrade them.
- Act in any way that humiliates the child or vulnerable adult and show any form of emotional abuse.
- Act in any way that exerts physical force such as pushing, kicking, shoving, hitting, slapping or cause any fear, intimidation or distress to the child or vulnerable adult.
- Show any preferential treatment or discrimination or exclusion.