Child Protection Policy PARADA Foundation
(EN summary, 22nd April 2019)


Part 1. Introduction

All employees and collaborators of the Foundation are actively involved in promoting child safety – specifically in the context of protecting children against abuse – as well as safeguarding and facilitating children’s rights. Best interest and benefit of the child have always been the beacon for our work. We consider children to be our partners in the great undertaking of building a friendly, safe environment founded on mutual respect.

Parada Foundation reaches its goals by means of:
• preventive activities – minimizing the risk of child abuse;
• intervention – aiming to secure children – victims of violence or those at risk of other harm;
• psychological support – focusing on providing children and their families with support when coping with difficult experiences. These actions target both children and parents, they may take the form of one-on-one or group activities, additionally covering systemic solutions enacted in cooperation with central and local authorities, as well as other organizations and institutions.

The Child Protection Policy of the Empowering Children Foundation is rooted in the Romanian law, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and good practices from Romania and abroad.

About Parada Foundation

PARADA operates since 1996, working with street children, youth and homeless families. Its main objective is to ensure that all children enjoy safe childhood and are treated with respect for their dignity and empowerment. We protect children against abuse and help those, who fell victim to violence, so that they know their rights, believe in them and enjoy life.
In the process of executing our mission we:
• provide abused children and their caregivers with psychological and legal support,
• teach children how to avoid violence and abuse,
• educate adults on how to treat children/ what they can do to protect children against harm

Fundatia PARADA Tel.: +4021 331 17 99 Membru al Federaţia
Str. Bucur nr. 23 Fax: +4021 330 76 85 Organizaţiilor Neguvernamentale
Sector 4, 040292 birou@paradaromania.ro
pentru Copil (FONPC)
Bucureşti, ROMÂNIA www.paradaromaniai.ro
Membru al Retelei
Harm Reduction Network

• inform adults how to react in cases of suspected child abuse
• influence Romanian legal regulations, to make sure they reflect the best interest of the child.

The aim of Child Protection Policy
Child Protection Policy constitutes a framework of rules, standards and guidelines intended to:
• make all employees and collaborators realize the importance of taking action to protect children against abuse;
• define the scope of responsibility of specific individuals for the safety of children in the care of the Foundation;
• undertake appropriate intervention in the case of suspected child abuse and/or direct threat to their health and life;
• specify educational, preventive and interventional activities aimed at keeping children safe;
• develop within the organization a culture of work based on children’s rights and constant learning.
Being familiar with Child Protection Policy and implementing it in practice are moral and professional obligations of all employees and collaborators of Parada.

Child abuse
Abuse is defined as any intended or unintentional action / withholding action by an individual, institution or the society as a whole, along with any effect resulting from such action or inactivity which violates children’s rights and/or prevents them from thriving.

There are 4 basic forms of abuse:
• Physical violence against a child is a situation when the child is physically harmed or at risk of such injury. Abuse results from action or inaction by a parent or other individual responsible for the child, or by other person the child trusts, or who holds power over the child. Physical violence against chil-dren can be an isolated incident or a repeated occurrence.
• Emotional violence against a child is a long-term, non-physical, harmful interaction between a child and a caregiver, encompassing both action and lack of action. The category includes among others: emotional unavailability, emotional neglect, a relationship with the child that is founded on hostility, blame, denigration or rejection, developmentally

inappropriate or inconsistent interaction with the child, failing to notice or disregarding the child’s individuality and emotional borders between parent and child.
• Child sexual abuse is engaging children in sexual activity they are not able to fully comprehend, give informed consent to and / or for which they are developmentally immature and unable to legally consent to and / or which violates legal and social norms of a given society. We are dealing with sexual abuse when sexual interaction happens between a child and an adult or between two children, if owing to the difference in age or maturity the two shares a relationship of care, dependence or power.
• Child neglect means chronic or incidental failure to meet the child’s basic physical and emotional needs and/or failure to respect the child’s basic rights, resulting in their disturbed health and/or development. Neglect occurs in a relationship between a child and an individual in charge of their care, upbringing and protection.

A glossary of basic terms
Child is any person younger than 18-years-of-age.
Legal intervention means notifying the Police or the Prosecutor’s Office about suspected crimes against children.
Crisis intervention is a combination of specialized activities (mostly psychological in nature, but associated with other types of actions, namely social, legal or medical), executed for the benefit of individuals and families either at risk, already in crisis or facing a chronic crisis situation. The goal of crisis intervention is to prevent the loss of psychological and social balance or to restore such balance, as well as to reestablish the capacity for action and autonomy of persons and families experiencing crisis. In the course of crisis intervention, children require dedicated activities taking into account their specific legal status.
Client of the Foundation is any individual using the services provided by the Foundation as part of its core activity, in particular: clients of direct and indirect support, including primarily children and their parents / caregivers, professionals working with children and participants of group events organized by the Foundation. Both a child and an adult can be clients.
Direct contact with a child encompasses all core activities of the Foundation addressed directly to children. Direct contact would include: direct support to the child, education and play.
Indirect contact with a child is understood as contacting children by means of electronic communication, phone or post.
Caregiver of a child – parent / parents enjoying full scope of parental rights or a legal guardian authorized to represent the child.

Employee of the Foundation is a person employed in the Foundation on the basis of an employment con-tract.
Collaborator of the Foundation is an individual employed on the basis of a civil law contract or performing voluntary work for the Foundation free of charge, under an internship program regulated by an internship contract or under a voluntary work contract, fellowship contract or other contract of collaboration.
Caregiver’s consent refers to granting consent by a person entitled to represent a child, in particular by their statutory representative (parent, legal guardian) or other individual authorized to represent the child by virtue of special regulation or court order.
Parental consent is understood as the consent of one parent. In case of disagreement between parents, the case is settled by the court.

Part 2. Principles of providing support General rules

The Foundation is providing psychological, legal and social help. It may take the form of direct support, individual or in a group setting as well as indirect assistance.
Employees and collaborators offer support to children and their families as part of the Foundation’s core activity. Any such help is free of charge.
Direct support is offered in Foundation-operated center or at home with a client, in justified cases also in the field, wherever happens. Help is available to all children requiring protection against abuse, no matter their sex, nationality, skin color, religion or health status.

Interactions of the PARADA employees and collaborators with children are always founded on respect for the dignity of the child, for their empowerment and their rights, with special focus on the right to protection against abuse. Any and all activities involving contact with the child take into ac-count the child’s right to privacy.

Direct contact of PARADA employee/collaborator with children is adapted to the child’s needs and happens only if the child consents to it.
Foundation employees and collaborators explain to children what to expect during their visit to the Foundation. In the course of interaction, children are always addressed with respect and the language used in conversation is adapted to their capacity.

As well as this, all employees and collaborators of PARADA:

• Treat all children equally, no matter their origin, appearance, convictions;
• Show respect for the child’s otherness, other convictions, other experiences, other child- like perspective;
• Listen to children attentively and treat their statements, as well as their version of events with due respect;
• Use non-judgmental language, no labels, express themselves in a way adapted to the child’s level of development;
• Create within the Foundation a culture of openness and mutual responsibility, facilitating discussion of numerous topics and issues regarding child protection. Support of the Fondation can be extended to children requiring protection against abuse, irrespective of their sex, nationality, skin color, religion or health status.
• Interactions with children are founded on respect for their dignity, empowerment and their rights, with special focus on the right to protection against abuse.

Withholding help
An employee may withhold support in the following situations:
• When supporting the client contradicts best interest of the child;
• When the client grossly disrespects or violates order and disobeys the rules of Empowering Children Foundation;
• When offering support threatens the employee;
• When a conflict of interest is likely, due to close relationship, being related, et;
• When priority should be given to other forms of support, unavailable in the Foundation.
• Employees and collaborators of PARADA who offer direct and indirect help are prohibited from releasing any client information gained in the course of their professional activity. Exceptions to this rule are precisely outlined in the law and internal procedures of the Foundation.

Rules for a safe relationship between an employee/collaborator and a child In their contact with children

It is unacceptable for employees and collaborators of the Foundation to do any of the following:

• embarrass, humiliate, belittle or demean children or display any behavior bearing signs of emotional, physical or sexual abuse;

• come into inappropriate physical contact with the child, violating the child’s dignity; permissible physical contact is naturally associated with play, hygienic assistance, ensuring safety or the need to soothe the child;
• serve children alcohol, medications or other psychoactive substances;
• condone or participate in illegal activities involving a child;
• establish sexual relations with children;
• exhibit sexually provoking behavior;
• host the child in their own private home;
• maintain private relationship with the child, outside the framework of work and support;
• accompany the child during travel in the absence of a caregiver.

Protection of image rights and personal information of the child and the caregivers
Support provided to child and family is documented. The Foundation abides by the laws regulating data protection, sensitive data in particular, by:
• obtaining written consent from clients regarding personal data processing;
• appointing an individual responsible for data protection;
• training employees;
• securing documentation, both electronic and in hard copy;
• defining clear rules for releasing information from documentation to third parties (courts, Prosecutor’s Office, interdisciplinary teams). The Foundation does not release client information to the media, nor does it use client images in its information and educational materials without prior client consent, or in the case of children – without the consent of a caregiver.


Part 3. Preventing child abuse

In order to prevent child abuse, the Foundation runs a number of educational initiatives addressed to parents/caregivers, professionals working with children and children them- selves. Educational activities are founded on observations from latest re-search and draw from good practices of other organizations, as well as validated models based on experience and proper evaluation. Parada also endeavors to promote ongoing professional advance- ment of its employees and collaborators.

Recruitment and introduction of new employees:

Parada makes every effort to choose employees and collaborators possessing appropriate skills and competencies, as well as sharing our belief in the values proposed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically the right to protection against abuse. Each prospective employee/collaborator is to submit their resume and references. An interview is conducted by two Foundation employees, focusing on candidates’ knowledge and competencies, as well as explaining any existing gaps in employment/education. As early as the interview, the candidate is informed about Parada’s Child Protection Policy. Before they commence their employment, candidates must submit legally required documents, along with a certificate of clean criminal record regarding crimes against sexual freedom and morality, crimes against minors and ongoing criminal proceedings involving them. All newly appointed employees and collaborators are expected to familiarize themselves with the stipulations of Child Protection Policy, bylaws of employment, rules for upholding children’s rights and principles of safeguarding and processing personal data in the Foundation. This is confirmed by the employee’s signature on a relevant statement appended to employment contract.

Part 4. Intervention in cases of suspected child abuse
All employees and collaborators act for the purpose of protecting children against abuse. In our work we comply with the Romanian legal regulations. Every suspected case of child abuse is treated seriously and investigated, whether reported by a child, caregiver or professional and no matter if suspected abuse was perpetrated by another child, caregiver, client, professional or employee/collaborator. In the case of suspected crime or threat to the child’s interest, we immediately undertake legal intervention. The decision to intervene is made by a team made up of: the reporting employee, coordinator of the relevant program, expert in protecting children against abuse appointed by the coordinator. The decision to intervene by informing the Prosecutor’s Office is authorized by the Foundation Board. Other forms of intervention are only communicated to the Board. At the same time, our employees offer help and support to the child and non-offending caregivers. If the child’s health or life is in imminent danger, an employee learning of the situation intervenes without delay, by immediately informing proper Police about direct threat or damage to health and life of a child. All activities undertaken in the course of the intervention are documented.
If despite our support the client suffers serious damage to health or loses life, Parada’s
Board of Directors initiates the procedure of Serious Incident Analysis to make sure all available support options were employed and to draw conclusions for future operation. In

the case of direct threat to the child’s health or life, ECF employee immediately informs the Police. Every report of suspected child abuse is treated seriously and investigated.

Part 5. Policy implementation and monitoring
Parada Board of Directors appoints a coordinator responsible for implementation and execution of Child Protection Policy, whose duties include among others:
• coordinating – in collaboration with the Data Security Administrator – introductory training sessions and refresher courses for employees;
• once every 2 years performing a survey to investigate the efficacy and appropriateness of Policy stipu-lations, and to evaluate how familiar employees and collaborators are with the Policy;
• periodically consulting with employees and collaborators. Basing on the outcomes of consultations and surveys, every two years (more frequently if needed, or if relevant legal regulations in Romania are amended) the Policy coordinator will initiate a revision of Policy stipulations, to make sure they remain effective and appropriate. Proposed changes will be presented to the Board for approval. Any revision to the Policy document must be communicated to all Parada’s employees and collaborators without delay.

Allocation of duties regarding the implementation of Child Protection Policy The Board of Directors:
• Issues opinions regarding Policy revisions
• Approves Policy, approves revisions
• Appoints Policy Coordinator

The Executive Director
• Publishes Policy
• Makes binding decisions in case of doubts in interpreting Policy stipulations
• Communicates substantial amendments to the Board for their opinion
• Issues authorization to represent the Foundation in the course of legal intervention
• Approves legal intervention in cases of suspected crimes
• Initiates proceedings in cases of suspected child abuse by the Foundation employee/collab-orator
• Initiates Serious Incident Analysis Policy Coordinator
• Coordinates preparation and execution of introductory and refresher training courses about the Policy
• Keeps a register of frequently asked questions
• Monitors compliance with the Policy by means of surveys and consultations held no less than once every 2 years
• Proposes Policy amendments to the Board
• In cooperation with the Board, investigates any doubts regarding Policy impl-mentation
• In cooperation with the Board and the legal department investigates any cases of infringement of Policy stipulations
• Runs a database of Serious Incident Analysis (SIA) reports
• Once a year, presents SIA conclusions to the Board and other Coordinators/Program coordinators
• Supervise day-to-day implementation of Policy stipulations
• Report the need to develop consent forms for specific activities
• Drafts consent forms for specific program activities
• Takes part in legal intervention, consults on the wording of intervention briefs
• Notifies Policy Coordinator about legal changes relevant to the Policy

HR Department
• Provides every new employee with the following set of documents to read:

– Child Protection Policy
– Personal Data Protection Policy
– Employment Bylaws
• Other than legally required documentation, collects in personnel files relevant statements and certificates of clean criminal record, as well as declarations confirming that all such documents were read

Parada’s employees/collaborators
• Familiarize themselves with the Policy and abide by its stipulations
• Submit certificates of clean criminal record
• In suspected cases of child abuse, notify relevant program coordinator
• Undertake emergency intervention
• Report any doubts regarding interpretation of this Policy to the Policy Coordinator
• Report cases of Policy stipulation infringement to Policy Coordinator