At the Aquaid Lifeline Fund we take our responsibilities regarding the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously indeed. One of our Trustees, Neil Fernandez, has oversight of our arrangements in the UK and our General Manager, Angus Gaisford, has similar responsibilities in Malawi.
In the UK
All of the Charity’s Trustees have DBS Enhanced Certificates.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to work with or visit our facilities in Malawi has to make a declaration concerning any unspent criminal convictions. They also have to read, sign and return a copy of the Lifeline Fund’s ‘Safeguarding Protocol’ which lays out the behaviours we expect from them.
All Aquaid Lifeline Centres are committed to creating an environment that enables children and young people to learn, develop and express themselves in a safe, understanding and caring environment. In order to give children and young people protection from potential and actual abuse it is important that all concerned have an understanding of the issues involved and that procedures are in place that are understandable and easy to implement by any employee, staff member, caregiver, teacher or house parent within Aquaid Lifeline.
Much effort has been put into training all staff and caregivers in child protection and safeguarding and creating a high level of awareness and understanding of child abuse amongst staff and even local communities. In addition, the children are also addressed collectively and individually to help them develop an awareness of abuse.
Every centre has its own designated child protection officers and case managers who have been trained to recognise various forms of abuse, understand the affects of abuse and the procedures to follow when they suspect any abuse has taken place.
Each centre has a Child Protection Policies and Procedures Manual and all staff at every centre have undertaken basic training to ensure a satisfactory level of awareness is in place to identify and prevent any form of abuse. Safeguarding is clearly part of Aquaid Lifeline’s employee terms of employment and each employee signs a Rules and Regulations commitment which encompasses child protection.
Aquaid Lifeline has a good relationship with the Department of Social Welfare at district and regional level, as well as with the Police Child Protection Unit. Both have conducted training within Aquaid Lifeline. Aquaid Lifeline has invited, on several occasions, the Police Child Protection Unit to address the children and help make them aware of abuse. Social Welfare staff have also, on occasions, interviewed children and addressed them to assist Aquaid Lifeline in its efforts to help children to be continually aware of any form of abuse and to have the confidence to report any harmful practices.