Keeping Children Safe At Mother’s Choice
Mother’s Choice is a local charity serving the many children without families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong. We join hands with the community to give hope and change the life stories of vulnerable children, youth, and families.
Why is child protection important?
Child Protection is everything we do to prevent and respond to child abuse, and at Mother’s Choice, we believe Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. Each member of our team has an important role to play as we create safe, child friendly environments where every child is respected, protected, and heard.
Mother’s Choice Introduction to Child Protection Youtube Video
What is a child protection policy?
Our child protection policies set standards for how we prevent child abuse, respond to children, and report our concerns.
Why do we need a child protection policy?
1. We are facing a child protection crisis in Hong Kong
Each day, we see increasing numbers of heartbreaking stories of children who are victims of abuse and neglect. These stories reflect the soaring number of child abuse cases reported by the Social Welfare Department, with the highest percentage of new cases reported in infants aged just 0-2 years old.
2. Child protection policies keep children safe
Every child in Hong Kong has the right to be protected from all forms of abuse. It is our responsibility to do all we can to prevent and respond to physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. While child protection policies will not eliminate the risk of abuse, child protection policies and training raise knowledge and awareness, minimize risks of harm, and recognize the rights, value, and voice of all children.
3. Child protection policies are required by the Social Welfare Department
Protecting Children from Maltreatment – Procedural Guide for Multi-disciplinary Co-operation (2020), states all organizations providing services to children are responsible for:
- Formulating child protection policies & procedures to prevent & respond to child abuse, including:
- Providing staff with relevant training
- Assigning designated personnel to handle suspected child protection concerns
- Checking whether eligible employee applicants have any sexual criminal conviction records
- Ensuring staff, foster parents, child carers, or volunteers comply with child protection codes of conduct
- Reporting any child protection concern immediately to designated person and suitable unit.
What does this mean for Mother’s Choice?
Our strong, comprehensive child safeguarding measures are held to the highest international standards, while being locally relevant to HK.
Mother’s Choice is a member of Keeping Children Safe, the only provider in the world of audit services based on international child safeguarding standards. Mother’s Choice is now part of a global network who are united in our commitment to protect the world’s most vulnerable children from exploitation and abuse. On 25 January 2021, Mother’s Choice achieved the Keeping Children Safe, Level 2 Certification, which confirms that we are implementing a comprehensive child safeguarding framework that meets stringent international standards for protecting children from harm, and ensures there will be an appropriate response to any concerns should they occur. Our robust and comprehensive safeguarding measures are based on four international child safeguarding standards:
- Our policy describes our commitment to preventing and responding appropriately to harm to children.
- Our people have clear responsibilities and expectations and we follow safe recruitment practices.
- All employment and volunteer positions are dependent on adherence to our Child Protection Code of Conduct.
- All staff and volunteers complete our interactive, animated online child protection training that teaches the importance of child protection and how to identify signs of child abuse, respond in a way that keeps children safe and follow our reporting procedures.
- Our procedures reflect our child-safe environment across every level of our organization.
- Our accountability is reflected through monitoring and review of our safeguarding measures.
Our child protection activities at Mother’s Choice help us build a team that values and prioritises the safety and best interests of children.
Child Safeguarding in Hong Kong
Mother’s Choice is a proud supporter of the Hong Kong Child Safeguarding Movement. We share our child protection materials to other organisations who wish to begin their own meaningful journey of keeping children safe. These include:
- One-hour Introduction to our “Journey of Child Protection” (In-person or online) for organisational leadership
- Introductory videos to Child Protection at Mother’s Choice
- Child Protection Policy Framework (Policies cover Response and Reporting, Safe Recruitment, Orientation, and Training, Confidentiality, Marketing Communications, & Contractor Code of Conduct)
- Staff and Volunteer Code of Conduct and signing statement
- Bilingual “Introduction to Child Protection” eLearning training for staff and volunteers
- Pre and Post Survey to measure Child Protection knowledge and attitude in your organization