Child Safeguarding Policy
Last updated: February 8, 2023
We, at RAISE – Researchers in Action for Inclusion in Science and Education, take children’s safety and wellbeing very seriously and this page describes our commitment to this.
We may update this Child Safeguarding Policy from time to time in order to reflect changes to our practices or for any other reason. If we make changes, we will post the revised version on our website and update the “Last updated” date at the top of this page.
This policy should be considered together with the Portuguese applicable laws and regulations.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by email at email@example.com.
1. Who does this policy apply to?
Everyone working within the scope or on behalf of RAISE or attending its activities. A child is anyone who has not yet turned 18.
2. Principles and Expectations
2.1 What is Child Safeguarding?
- Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care;
- Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes;
- Preventing harm to children’s health or development;
- Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment.
2.2 Our commitment
- Recognise at all times that the welfare of the child is paramount.
- Guarantee that all children who engage with RAISE are treated with dignity, respect, listened to, and valued.
- Recognise that all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, or other, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm and abuse.
- Recognise that some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs, or other issues.
- Guarantee that all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and dealt with in confidence and free from harassment.
- Recognise that anyone who is bound by this policy has the responsibility to highlight concerns.
- Recognise that working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting children’s welfare.
- Provide RAISE team members and researchers with appropriate supervision, support and training so that those working directly with children know what to do in the event of a child safeguarding incident.
3.1 The team members and researchers participating in the activities of RAISE programmes involving children (Cientista Regressa à Escola – CRE and Ciência di Noz Manera – CNM) are required to read the programmes’ risk assessment and to adhere to our guidelines and instructions on how to deliver the programmes and work with children.
3.2 The participation of children in our activities and questionnaires are voluntary. Activities and questionnaires are carefully designed and monitored to provide a positive experience to children. A child’s participation in an activity and/or questionnaires requires that a parent or legal guardian fills in a consent form.
3.3 All RAISE team members and researchers coming in contact with children have access to a training session where our child safeguarding commitment and measures are shared and explained. Moreover, all activities involving children require that at least one school staff member (e.g., teacher, school assistant, librarian or any other individual nominated and deemed qualified by the school), or one designated parent/legal guardian, is present at all times and in the same space of the activity. At our activities, the school staff member or parent/legal guardian is responsible for overseeing the safety and wellbeing of the children.
3.4 Anyone who suspects or becomes aware of a behaviour or situation raising any form of concern regarding Child Safeguarding must report this concern immediately to the RAISE team. This can be done through email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone or other contact channels. The RAISE team will open an investigation in any situation, then assess the gravity of the behaviour/situation, and based on the information available/gathered, take the most adequate course of action. All enquiries and concerns will be treated promptly and with confidentiality.
3.5 Taking into consideration that our programmes do not involve daily contact with children but rather one-off or sporadic contact, we are not required and do not perform criminal record checks on our team members and researchers. Instead, we provide training, share this child safeguarding policy and further instruct them to refrain from physical contact with children or any other type of contact (e.g., messages, emails, social media) that is not strictly necessary and related to RAISE. When needed, we are committed to collaborating with all the parties involved in the activities to assess the risk and co-decide on additional safeguarding measures.
3.6 All audiovisual materials (e.g., photographs, videos, audios) of children collected during RAISE activities require formal informed consent from a parent or legal guardian. The audiovisual materials collected are handled and stored with care and used mainly to (i) share the activity results with its participants, (ii) present the work in conferences, meetings and similar events, (iii) report the work to stakeholders, and/or (iv) apply for future funding.
3.7 Audiovisual materials used by the RAISE consortium partners, in their multiple media and marketing outlets, including but not limited to websites and social media channels, are used with the sole purpose of disseminating the work carried out, and focus, at all times, on the activity as a whole rather than a particular child, strictly avoiding exposure of the full face and body of the child, and/or angles that may be more prone to misinterpretation or misuse.
3.8 No personal information about individual children is disclosed alongside the audiovisual materials or other types of materials unless agreed otherwise with the children’s parents/legal guardians and deemed important by RAISE.