Child Protection Policy

Last Revision: May 2017

All employees, volunteers, and partners of Conversations With Foreigners (CWF) must ensure that:

The welfare of the child is paramount.

All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

All staff (paid and volunteer) at Conversations With Foreigners have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate member of the Management Team.

CWF has a duty of care to safeguard all children from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.

CWF will ensure the safety and protection of all children through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by CWF

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989, British Act of Parliament).

Policy aims

The aim of the Conversations With Foreigners Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst studying at CWF.

Allowing all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

Promoting good practice

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can induce strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home or the school. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A teacher or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.

When a child enters the school having been subjected to child abuse outside of Conversations With Foreigners, education can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the school must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.

Good practice guidelines

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good practice means:

• Always working in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication.

• Treating all young people/disabled adults equally with respect and dignity.

• Always putting the welfare of each young person first.

• Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with students.

• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust and empowering children to share in decision making.

• Making study fun, enjoyable and promoting fairness.

• Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance.

• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.

• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

• Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

• Play your part in helping to develop an ethos where all people matter and are treated equally, and with respect and dignity.

• Always put the care, welfare and safety needs of a child first.

• Respect a child’s right to be involved in making choices and decisions which directly affect them.

• Listen attentively to any ideas and views a child wants to share with you.

• Respect a child’s culture (for example their faith, and religious beliefs).

• Respect a child’s right to privacy and personal space.

• Respond sensitively to children who seem anxious about participating in certain study activities.

• Speak to a member of staff immediately if you suspect that a child is experiencing bullying or harassment.   

• Listen carefully to any child who ‘tells you’ (sometimes through drawings and behavior as well as words) that they are being harmed and report what you have discovered immediately to your line manager.

• Report immediately any suspicion that a child could be at risk of harm or abuse.

• Never dismiss what a child tells you as ‘lies’ or exaggeration.

• Only restrain a child who is at imminent risk of inflicting harm to themselves or others or is at risk of damaging property.

• Never underestimate the contribution that you can make to the development of safe communities for children.

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If a case arises where these situations are unavoidable, it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the school or the child’s parents.

• Otherwise, avoid:

• Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.

• Taking or dropping off a child to school.

• Exaggerating or trivialising another worker’s concerns about a child or ignore an allegation or suspicion of abuse in the hope that it will either ‘go away’ or that ‘someone else will deal with it’.

• Discussing  personal issues about a child or their family with other people except with your line manager when you are concerned about the child’s well being.

• Being drawn into any derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young persons.

• Allowing a child, young person or adult to be bullied or harmed by anyone in the organisation.

• Allowing children to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged.

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

• Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.

• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.

• Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.

• Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.

• Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.

• Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

• Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.   

• Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.

• Engage in rough or physical contact unless it is permitted within the rules of a game or sports activity or conforms to the guidance on appropriate physical restraint.

• Never form inappropriate emotional or physical relationships with children.

• Harass or intimidate a child or worker because of their age, ‘race’, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, socio-economic class or disability.

NB. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of CWF, the student’s parents and the student involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to a member of the Management Team and record the incident using the CWF Incident Report Form. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:

• if you accidentally hurt a student

• If he/she seems distressed in any manner

• if a student appears to be sexually aroused by your actions

• if a student misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done

Codes of Conduct

Last Revision: May 2017

We expect that all volunteers are committed to CWF for a period of 3 months and no less.

CWF aims to provide quality courses for students, therfore we expect you to prepare for, and be on time for all classes.

We expect you to provide as much notice as possible if you are unable to attend a class.

All volunteers are to teach up to 4.5 hours per day as scheduled, 5 days per week (with the exception of the Cambodian public holidays).

All volunteers are expected to be available to teach as a back-up when needed.

For those who want to arrange a demonstration class outside the CWF building you are required to seek prior approval from the Academic C

CWF aims to respect Cambodian traditional and religious values and culture. In inviting you to volunteer and be a part of us, we expect you to observe a high standard of moral behaviour that reflects this aim. We expect you to abide by the following codes of conduct.

All Volunteers

All volunteers must abide by all Cambodian laws (which includes no illegal drugs)

All volunteers must not engage in commercial sexual activities or sex tourism.

All volunteers must not form inappropriate relationships with students and staff. If you are unsure, ask us.

All volunteers must wear non-transparent clothing that covers the knees and shoulders while teaching.

All volunteers are required to test new students from week 9 in your backup hours, if there is no requirement for you to teach.

All volunteers must commit to teaching up to 4.5 hours a day including a backup hour as required. For any issues regarding this, please talk to the Management Team if you want to change hours or classes.  Further details of our requirements are detailed in the Teaching Agreement.

All volunteers are to advise CWF if they are unwell, or an emergency arises and they are unable to teach, as soon as possible. Please inform the CWF Management team  of your emergency contact details, and keep them up to date.

All volunteers must sign the policy agreements. Refusal to sign any of the CWF policies will result in the volunteer being withdrawn from the program.

All volunteers must provide 3 passport photos and three photocopies of their passport ID page and of their current valid visa.

All volunteers must provide emergency contact details (a photocopy or details of travel insurance, next of kin, etc).

Volunteer House

  1. No refund for volunteers who have elected to live in the house and subsequently wish to leave or are asked to leave the program.
  2. All volunteers are required to attend the bi-weekly meetings with the Volunteer Support Coordinator as scheduled at the Volunteer House. You need to inform the Volunteer Support Coordinator if you are unable to attend. You can also organise to meet privately with the CWF staff as required.
  3. Unlike a normal shared-living situation, we have a responsibility to ensure you are all happy and to achieve this you need to respect everybody in the house. In general, we hope issues will be resolved together at a weekly meeting in the house. Please do not smoke inside the house (on the house premises is fine) and clean up after yourself, this includes washing your own dishes. You must clean up your own bedroom and bathroom very often.
  4. There is one mobile phone for volunteers to use for any urgent problems that may happen at the volunteer house. Please only use this phone for this purpose.
  5. You are responsible for looking after the house as if it were your own. This also includes your personal property. Please follow the Volunteer House general obligations.
  6. Turn off all lights, fans and other electrical utilities when not in use, and make sure the gate and doors are locked.
  7. If using one of the Volunteer House bikes, you are responsible for loss or damages. If you use one, please write down the name of the bike and what time you will bring it back on the board.
  8. At the end of your time with us, please remember to return the keys!
  9. Volunteers are not allowed to bring Khmer friends, foreigner friends, or students to the volunteer house without permission from the Volunteer Support Coordinator or Finance and Administration Manager.
  10. Please clean up your room before you leave at the end of semester.
  11. If any volunteer is going to be a absent from the house for any length of time please inform the Volunteer Support Coordinator  or Finance and Administration Manager .
  12. All volunteers are required to complete the Holiday Form before leaving the house to go on a holiday.

Independent Volunteers

13. Please respect your rental property, inlcuding any rules or requirements set down by your landlord.

14. If you need any help in dealing with your landlord, or with transport, living issues or security issues, the Volunteer Support Coordinator can provide assistance at any time.

15. You are welcome to visit the volunteer house at any time. Please call the Volunteer Support Coordinator to ensure someone will be present to unlock the gate. Press the outside bell and you will be let in. Someone will also need to let you out.

16. Please be aware that all equipment at the Volunteer House is for the use of the volunteers who live at the house only. If you need to use something from the volunteer house, you need to talk to the Volunteer Support Coordinator first. If you visit the Volunteer House please remember that you are a guest and act accordingly.

17. There is the internet access at the school that can be used for lesson planning or any personal work.

18. As an independent volunteer, you are required to organise your own transportation to your CWF classes. If you need any assistance, we are here to help.

19. Check your visa expiry date. One week prior to its expiry date, please hand in your passport, one passport photo and appropriate funds to the Volunteer Support Coordinator to have the visa extended.

20. Please inform our Volunteer Support Coordinator of your accommodation details and telephone number as soon as you have them and advise us of any changes.

21. As an independent volunteer, you are required to attend the teacher meetings that occur each semester at the school. These meetings are mandatory. You can also arrange to meet privately with CWF staff at any time.

22. You are required to meet the Volunteer Support Coordinator at least every two weeks for any volunteer program updates, and to discuss your living arrangements, difficulties, questions etc. The time, date and place is flexible, and can be negotiated with the Volunteer Support Coordinator.

Our expectations of your commitment to our program throughout the semester are as follows:
1. We expect you to prepare for and be on time for all classes.
2. Volunteers need to arrange their own lesson plans before they start teaching. There are many resources available, including lesson plans and handouts created by past volunteers. If you need assistance in finding resources, please discuss with the Education Managers.
3. Teaching library resources, including Master Copies, reference books and dictionaries, must be returned to the same place you found them.
4. Volunteers may be required to teach one-on-one in their back up hour. We will inform you as early in the semester as possible, if this is required.
5. Volunteers are required to evaluate and record weekly student marks. The marking period begins in Week 3 and finishes at the end of Week 9. The marking criteria are included in your Orientation Book, and will be discussed during a Teacher Meeting at the end of Week 2.
6. If you are unsure about dealing with sensitive or inappropriate discussion during class, please discuss with the Education Managers.
7. Touching students, including well-intentioned informal and formal gestures like putting a hand on the shoulder or arm of student, should be avoided. Physical contact with the opposite sex is especially discouraged.
8. Communication is paramount. You must advise CWF as soon as possible if you are unwell, if an emergency arises or if you are unable to teach. This allows the CWF team adequate time to arrange substitutions or alternatives. We also ask that you inform us soon as possible when you are fit to return to teaching.
9. If you wish to combine classes with another teacher, please talk to the Education Managers.
10. Please advise the Management Team if you have any problem with your students, classes or teaching hours.
11. If you wish to change your scheduled classes in any way, please consult the Education Managers prior to making any agreements or changes with the students.
12. If bad weather or other unforseen events result in low student numbers, you may combine with another equal or similar level for that class/day. Please ensure that the Reception Team are informed, so that we can communicate changes to late arrivals.
13. At the end of each semester, teachers of Modules 3, 6, 8 and Advanced are required to sign their student’s certificates.
14. You are required to test new students during the final two weeks of semester, More detailed information will be provided at the teacher meetings, held by the Education Services Manager throughout the semester.
15. You are required to attend the teacher meetings that occur throughout the semester at the school. A schedule of these meetings will be provided.
16. Volunteers who want to arrange a class field trip, or an outing outside the CWF building, must first request permission from the Management Team.