What is Hope and Homes for Children’s position on safeguarding?
Safeguarding is central to everything that Hope and Homes for Children exists to do.
In February 2018 there were concerns in the press concerning humanitarian workers linked to Oxfam who sexually exploited vulnerable people in crisis zones. This was deeply distressing and points to a betrayal of the very people all our organisations exist to serve. At Hope and Homes for Children we have zero tolerance of any form of sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, bullying or other exploitation of those we work hard to protect, or of our staff and volunteers, including within our partner organisations.
This means that how we behave, our culture, and the systems we have in place encourage and enable any employee, volunteer, or partner that we work with to raise any concerns they have about the possibility of an incident, safe in the knowledge that they will be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner.
Our organisational values of Excellence, Courage and Integrity are the foundation of our organisational culture and frame our core policies as well as guidance to staff and volunteers regarding their conduct. These values have been derived from extensive consultations with children and their carers across numerous countries, and reflect how they want us to act and behave.
We recognise and wholly accept that we have a profound responsibility for safeguarding:
1. Children and other vulnerable people we come into contact with, including parents and carers
2. Our staff, volunteers and all those who work for and with Hope and Homes for Children
We do not allow ourselves to be complacent in this. Safeguarding is a central priority for our Board of Trustees, our Senior Management Team, and for our Country Directors. We continuously review and seek to strengthen our safeguarding policies and procedures, and these are applied rigorously in our recruitment, inductions and ongoing training.
In addition we undertake regular reviews of our work, which includes anonymous surveys with staff and volunteers so that they can feel safe about raising issues should they need to.
We want to reassure all our supporters that our responsibility for children, their carers, and our staff and volunteers is central to everything we exist to do.