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.
This page is a summary statement. The full policy document on Safeguarding is available here.
In the UK
The Aquaid Lifeline Fund operates a zero tolerance of bullying, harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Aquaid Lifeline Fund wider safeguarding and protection measures are also implemented through additional policies and procedures, including its Policy on whistleblowing, for example.
The Aquaid Lifeline Fund recognises its fundamental duties towards all children and vulnerable adults where its operations necessitate contact with, or have an impact on, them. It is committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from harm and ensuring their rights to protection are realized.
The Aquaid Lifeline Fund believes that:
- God loves children and they have the right to a happy, healthy and secure childhood.
- The welfare of the child/vulnerable adult is paramount.
- No individual or group should be treated any less favourably than others in being able to access services which meet their particular needs.
- All children and vulnerable adults without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, age, race, disability, sexuality, sexual identity, or beliefs.
- Working in partnership with children, vulnerable adults, their carers and relevant agencies is essential to promoting welfare.
- Positive action needs to be taken to promote safe practices and protect children and vulnerable adults from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, exploitation and radicalisation where reasonably possible.
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.