- Policy Statement
No aspect of our responsibilities as educators is as important as Child Protection. KMIDS child protection is designed in accordance with the 2003 Thai Child Protection Act, particularly the following sections:
. Treatment of the child in any case shall give primary importance to the best interests of the
child, and any discrimination of an unfair nature shall not be allowed (Article 22)
. In determining if an act is in the best interests of or unfairly discriminatory to the child,
guidelines stipulated in the ministerial regulations shall be applied (Article 26)
Child safeguarding refers to the policies and practices at KMIDS designed to ensure a safe environment in which students can develop to their full potential. Child protection is a part of safeguarding that is designed to respond to situations in which a child is experiencing, or is likely to experience, harm.
It is the professional responsibility of each KMIDS employee to be vigilant in her/his care for students and to report confirmation or suspicion of any form of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or concern for a student’s welfare or safety. Under no circumstances should school employees undertake any form of inquiry investigation into suspected abuse, but rather, without delay, must report the possible abuse or threats to welfare to the School Counselor or the school leadership, including the completion of the suspected Child Abuse Report.
- Professional Standards and Expectations
RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS
As KMIDS employees, it is the responsibility of each individual to use common sense and avoid interactions that could be construed as misconduct or abuse. The primary motivation for all actions is student learning and student welfare. The same safeguarding expectations apply to all employees and volunteers affiliated with KMIDS, whether on campus, in the dormitory, on fieldtrips, or in the community. Given that every vulnerable situation cannot be predicted in advance, transparency is the default approach.
KMIDS employees will:
Avoid conduct that would lead a reasonable person to question their motivations or intentions.
Assure that one-on-one time with students takes place only when determined to be a necessary strategy to meet teaching, learning, or counseling outcomes.
Avoid acting in ways that may be considered manipulative, abusive, or that put a child at risk of exploitation, maltreatment, or abuse.
Not use physical punishment, shame, or humiliation in the course of teaching or otherwise.
Refrain from providing transportation to any student without prior written permission from parents or guardians.
Use toilets designated for staff and adults.
KMIDS employees use professional judgment about the appropriateness of any physical contact with students and avoid all unnecessary, unwanted, and inappropriate touching. Although rare, KMIDS employees may need to intervene to prevent students from injuring themselves or others – the goal of any such intervention is to keep students safe. Employees should always try to defuse a situation before it escalates and send for another adult if there is a concern a situation could become physical. In cases in which physical intervention is necessary, the incident should be documented and reported to the School Counselor and the Deputy Director.
Adults working in one-on-one situations with children are more vulnerable to allegations of wrongdoing. However, there are situations in which a one-on-one meeting is necessary. Such meetings should be conducted in a room with visual access (e.g., a door with a window), an open door, or in an area that is likely to be frequented by other people. When such conditions are not possible, it is good practice to ensure that another adult knows the meeting is taking place. Exceptions to this, due to the nature of their roles, are meetings with school administrators, counselors, and nurses. Scheduled meetings with students away from the school premises are not advised.
USE OF STUDENT IMAGES
Images taken of KMIDS students may be used to communicate information about activities at school or to provide information about the school to the broader community. Parents are given the option at the beginning of each year to decline permission for their child’s image to be used for such purposes. Care is taken with images of students to avoid the potential misuse by others. For example, it is preferable to use images depicting students in groups rather than featuring an individual. Employees are expected to avoid having images of students on personal devices after such images have been used on KMIDS-approved platforms. KMIDS employees will:
Not take pictures of a child who does not want to be photographed.
Not publish images of students in digital or KMIDS print publications if parents have withheld their permission.
Ensure that photographs, films, and videos represent students in a positive, respectful manner.
- Definitions, Types, and Indicators of Abuse
Anyone under the age of 18, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to the World Health Organization, “child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes ‘all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.’
Physical abuse of a child is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction or lack of an interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. This may be a single or repeated incident.
Emotional abuse includes the failure to provide a developmentally appropriate, supportive environment, including the availability of a primary attachment figure, so that the child can develop a stable and full range of emotional and social competencies commensurate with her or his personal potential and in the context of the society in which the child dwells. There may also be acts towards the child that cause or have a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. These acts must be reasonably within the control of the parent or person in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Acts include restriction of movement, patterns of belittling, denigrating, scapegoating, threatening, scaring, discriminating against, ridiculing or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment.
NEGLECT AND NEGLIGENCE
Neglect is the failure to provide for the development of the child in all spheres: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter, and safe living conditions, in the context of resources reasonably available to the family or caretakers and causes or has a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. This includes the failure to properly supervise and protect children from harm as much as is feasible.
Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. This may include but is not limited to:
The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity
The exploitative use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices
The exploitative use of children in pornographic performance or material
Commercial or other exploitation of a child refers to use of the child in work or other activities for the benefit of others. This includes, but is not limited to, child labor and child prostitution. These activities are to the detriment of the child’s physical or mental health, education, or spiritual, moral or social-emotional development. (pp. 13-17, Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention, Geneva, 29-31 March 1999, World Health Organization, Social Change and Mental Health, Violence and Injury Prevention).
Peer-on-peer abuse includes physical abuse, any form of sexual harassment and violence, online or offline bullying, sexting, coercive control, and relationship abuse.
KMIDS Child Protection Team
Deputy Director for Academic Services
Dean of Student Services
High School and Middle School Counselors
Dean of Student Culture
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHILD PROTECTION TEAM
The Child Protection Team is responsible for the development, review, and implementation of the child protection policy at KMIDS. The team reviews the policy annually and is responsible for reporting and handling safeguarding incidents in a professional, confidential manner.
- Recording and Reporting Abuse: What happens after suspected abuse or neglect is reported?
All KMIDS staff are mandated to report suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect. When there is cause to suspect child abuse or neglect, it is the responsibility of the KMIDS employee or authorized adult on campus to report his or her suspicions to the school counselor immediately. If for whatever reason the counselor is not available, the employee should report to the Deputy Director for Academic Services or to the Director. In all cases, the counselor will notify the school leadership. All reports of abuse and neglect must be made to the counselor within 24 hours for immediate response. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director for Academic Services to inform the Director of the suspected case of child abuse or neglect. In the case of suspected bruises or marks on a student’s body, do not take a picture or investigate beyond what you can casually see. The School Counselor will refer the student to the Nurse to verify physical harm as a part of the investigation process if deemed necessary.
Employees must maintain appropriate confidentiality and not disclose information of a confidential nature unless 1) they are required to do so as mandated reporters or by the law, and/or 2) disclosing confidential information is in the interest of protecting the wellbeing of a child. In all other situations, the consent of the individual (or someone authorized to give consent on the individual’s behalf) is required. Do not promise confidentiality – let students know it is your job to keep them safe and that you will need to talk with the School Counselor in situations in which their welfare is in question. Do not disclose confidential information to colleagues and staff unless doing so is a required part of the child protection process.
- Employee Recruitment
5.1 Staff Handbook: The Staff Handbook contains the content focus on the staff
recruitment/requirement (criminal record, reference check, etc.). 4
5.2 Student and Parent Handbook: The Student & Parent Handbook contains information detailing how the school will provide child protection. In addition, the Handbook will, for families, address the child’s right to learn safely and how they are protected while at school, at the dormitory, or at any school-sponsored event.
The safe recruitment of all employees (including consultants / contractors / supply / teachers/ activity providers / volunteers) in school is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in education. At KMIDS, we practice safe recruitment when vetting staff and volunteers to work with KMIDS students. The recruitment processes aim to:
. Deter potential abusers by setting high standards of practice and recruitment . Reject inappropriate candidates at the application and interview stages . Prevent abuse to children by developing robust policies and agreeing on safe practices
5.3 When in the process of hiring and onboarding new employees, KMIDS will:
. Partner with an external organization to perform background checks for all hires:
Up to date police records from Thailand and the country of origin and any other country determined by the school, depending on the teachers’ employment history.
Use of an external company that performs background checks for all existing and new hires.
. If a candidate has worked in two or more schools, within 5 years, telephone contact should be made with those schools to ask why the candidate is leaving and if there were any concerns of a safety nature with children.
All New Staff are required to read and sign the Child Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Code of Conduct
- Employee and Volunteer Training
6.1 The school shall conduct a series of Child Protection trainings yearly for all faculty, at the beginning of each academic year. All faculty must complete and document their assigned training modules within the first month of the academic year.
6.2 The counseling staff, supported by the Child Protection Team, must be trained to keep confidential detailed records of all staff child protection inquiries and documentation and how to work with potential victims of child abuse while maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
All Thai staff members should have annual mandatory child protection training, including school governors, senior managers, outside providers, volunteers, interns, and contractors, or anyone working on behalf of KMIDS.
- Educating Students and Parents
All students will receive orientation on child protection arranged and delivered by Student Services. The information to be discussed with the students includes:
Definition of child abuse and neglect and the indications.
Relevant details from the KMIDS Child Protection Policy including the names of the Child Protection Officers.
An invitation to students that they may, if they choose, talk to teachers or the school counselors about child abuse or neglect concerns at any time.
The manner in which KMIDS will react to disclosures from students.
Related topics will also be taught to the students through the Advisory and Health programs throughout the year. These will include: sex education, personal safety, cyber savvy, anti-bullying policies and strategies, and overall acceptable behavior.
- School Security and Visitors
Adult screening, training, and supervision at KMIDS plays a crucial role in the school’s child protection measures. The school has multiple entrances staffed with security guards and utilizes biometric scanning for community member entry. All students, parents, and KMIDS staff are given identification cards that serve as both identity badge and key card for the gates. Parents or staff who do not have their ID cards upon entering will need to submit a form of identification in exchange for a visitor badge. Visitor badges should be returned before leaving the school premises. In all cases, visitors must be escorted to the appropriate “receiving” office or personnel, and may not move about the campus unattended.
By definition, a “visitor” is anyone who wants access to the school premises for purposes other than work (including but not limited to maintenance, installation of appliances, repair, cleaning, or delivery, etc.).
Procedure for Visitors
Scheduled visitors with appointments will be escorted by KMIDS staff when entering and around the site.
Visitors with prior arrangements or invitations to the school to facilitate activities for students after school will submit a valid form of identification to the security guard and receive a visitor badge. They are only allowed to stay in the place/station of the activity. These visitors may include, but are not limited to, KMITL university students invited to train students for competitions or hired by KMIDS students for tutoring.
Visitors with no appointment or not known to the school will submit their ID to the security guard and will then be escorted to the Reception Office. Unless escorted by KMIDS staff, they will not be allowed to go anywhere else on campus.
Upon leaving the school, visitors will return their visitor badge to the security guard.
- Process for Reporting Suspected Abuse
Any KMIDS employee who, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment has knowledge of or observes a child which he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect shall report such suspected incident(s) of abuse or neglect to the school designated authority or administration as soon as possible but within 24 hours and shall prepare and submit a written report of the incident. Any KMIDS employee reporting a known or suspected incident of child abuse or neglect shall not incur liability as a result of said report unless it can be proven the report was false and the person knew it was false or made the report with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director for Academic Services to inform the Director immediately upon being informed of such a report.