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Plan and Prepare
Once the 'Organisation Health Check' has been completed and it has been established that your organisation would benefit from developing a robust child protection policy, then it is time to move on to the second stage, Plan and Prepare.
There are key elements that are required to plan and prepare for this process in order to ensure that the development of the policy and practice guidance is robust and effective.
Agree that a policy is needed and agree on the principles that will govern it.
First and foremost it must be agreed that a child protection policy and practice guidance is needed and make a commitment to following through the process. Next, it is important that people with authority and influence within your organisation provide a brief which outlines the principles that govern the organisations commitment to the safety of children.
Assign responsibility for the process
Ideally, one person should take over all responsibility for developing and reviewing the child protection policy and any practice guidance. This process "owner" will consult with stakeholders, ensure that the policy, protocols and guidance is up to date and is available to all concerned. This person will also be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the policy, procedures and practices. This person is usually referred to as the Designated Person for Child Protection or the Child Protection Co-ordinator.
Set up a working group
The person responsible is not likely to have all the answers, and the policy should not be developed in isolation. It is essential that the Designated Person consult with others to gather information so that the policy and guidance documents are realistic, practical, usable and effective. Consultation will need to be with Managers, to define responsibility and accountability, and with stakeholders to clarify principles and ethics, and also with staff members, to identify practicality and realistic circumstances that need to be covered. A working group comprising people from all parts of the organisation will offer a balanced view of what works in a practical way for the organisation.
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