PRINCIPLE 10

PRINCIPLE  10

Our organisation takes steps to prohibit, prevent, and address inappropriate behaviour by staff, volunteers, contracted or other personnel, in relation to children, vulnerable adults and the local community.

Indicators:

10.1 Our organisation takes steps to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and to underpin their informed commitment to, understanding of and engagement in their role. 

Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

 

§  Risk assessment and mitigation plan templates (mandatory);

§  Safeguarding policies and procedures (which are compliant with Irish legislation and policy and reflective of international best practice standards) in relation to children and vulnerable adults (mandatory);

§  Code(s) of Conduct/Behaviour with regard to child and vulnerable adult safeguarding that covers: (mandatory)

  •  Appropriate language;
  •  Appropriate communications;
  •  Banning of alcohol and drugs;
  •  Gifts to children;
  •  Physical contact with children;
  •   All forms of abuse, including emotional abuse;
  • Putting themselves in a vulnerable situations;
  • Inappropriate relationships with children and vulnerable adults including exploitative and sexually abusive relationships;
  • Child labour;
  •  Photos, images, social media, website, internet and email communication;
  • Reporting responsibilities.

§  Code of Conduct/Behaviour which addresses sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and harassment, bullying and all other forms of harassment (mandatory);

§  Disciplinary and grievance policies which includes clearly outlined consequences for breaching Code of Conduct/Behaviour (mandatory);

§  Dissemination plan/distribution list for communicating of above policies to VSA personnel and all volunteers;

§  Signed documentation that volunteers are fully aware of safeguarding policies, codes of conduct/behaviour and disciplinary policies and procedures;

§  Sample volunteer application forms screening questions asking about skills, experience, work with children and vulnerable adults;

§  Guidelines on screening practices and/or interview templates provided to those responsible for recruiting and selecting volunteers
for VSA and/or local partner including: (mandatory);

  • Procedures for Garda Siochána/Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) vetting of all volunteers; statutory declarations or local legal equivalent where criminal record checks are unavailable or unreliable;
  • Verbal and written referee checks;
  • Behavioural-based interview questions.

§  Policy/procedures for Garda/PSNI vetting of all volunteers (mandatory);

§  Appointment of Designated Liaison Person(s) with contact details (mandatory);

§  Qualifications and/or experience of VSA Designated Liaison Person(s);

§  Records/certificates of attendance of Designated Liaison Person in relevant child protection and safeguarding training;

§  Records/certificates of attendance of VSA personnel in training on child and vulnerable adult protection and developing

safeguarding policy;

§  Self audit templates or certification of completion of online audits;

§  Template for the recording of all incidents, complaints, concerns, allegations in compliance with GDPR;

§  Planning documents demonstrating how recorded incidents, complaints and allegations are incorporated into revised programme plans;

§  Lists of contacts for specialist advice, information, and reporting on child/vulnerable adult safeguarding.

 

10.2 We engage with and support local partners with regard to issues of safeguarding children, vulnerable adults and the local community to ensure common systems, mutual learning and development of good practice.

Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

 

§  Partnership agreement/MOU between VSA and local partners addressing the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults;

§  Outline of training workshops participated in/delivered by or shared between the VSA and local partners;

§  Documentation reflecting discussion on safeguarding issues between VSA and local partner including dedicated meetings, sharing

of resources, development of shared policy and risk assessment and mitigation plans;

§  Shared child and vulnerable adult safeguarding policy(s) and code of conducts between the VSA and local partners;

§  Shared template for risk assessment and mitigation between the VSA and local partners.

10.3 We have systems in place to support volunteer well-being during pre-departure training, their placement and on their return.

Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

 

§  Annual programme plan and/or budget detailing overall supports (including mentoring) provided to volunteers throughout and after the placement;

§  Volunteer manual/information pack detailing all supports provided during throughout the placement and on their return;

§  Volunteer manual/information pack on protection of mental health;

§  Comhlámh’s  Supports and Services being promoted to all volunteers including:

  • Social Welfare Services;
  • Coming Home Guide and Weekend;
  •  Debriefing and counselling.

§  Procedures for referrals and/or anonymised records of referral to Comhlámh’s or other agencies counselling and support services;

§  Distribution of Comhlámh’s leaflet ‘Supports and Services for Overseas’ to all volunteers;

§  Training plan inputs on budgeting and Comhlámh’s social welfare services with regard to the protection of volunteers’ financial interests;

§  Outline/guidelines of overall mentoring and/or support services for volunteers to be provided by VSA and local partner when overseas;

§  Procedures for the designation of local focal point and/or mentors designated to brief volunteers and to provide continuous assistance to volunteers during their placement;

§  Plan for diaspora community members involved in mentoring volunteers;

§  Provision of templates or resources for critical reflection on their volunteer experiences (e.g. Comhlámh’s Learning Journal; blogs, podcasts);

§  Records/certificates of attendance for training of VSA and local partner personnel in dealing with incidents and accidents;

§  Outline/guidelines of support and counselling services provided to volunteer on return;

§  Information leaflet for volunteers which lists internal/external personnel and/or agencies providing counselling, critical incident, stress management and other supports;

§  Records/certificates of attendance for VSA personnel in training on self- care and building resilience. 

10.4 We ensure that all volunteers are offered appropriate one to one and/or group personal debriefing at the end of their placement.

 
Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

§  Information leaflet for volunteers which lists internal/external personnel and/or agencies providing counselling, critical incident, stress management and other supports;

§ Copies or links to VSA’s debriefing policies and procedures which reflect a clear divide between

operational debriefing; and one to one and/or group personal debriefing and those responsible;

§ Extract from recruitment material/agreement detailing that debriefing is a mandatory

requirement of the volunteer placement;

§ Debriefing schedule and activities shared with volunteers (in emails, information pack, volunteer

manual etc) before placement;

§ Records of volunteers attending one to one and/or group personal debriefing;

§ Records/certificates of attendance for VSA personnel responsible for debriefing attending

Comhlámh’s debriefing training and/or masterclass sessions;

§ Records/certificates of attendance for VSA personnel responsible for debriefing attending other

external training on debriefing and credentials of same;

§ Qualifications and experience of VSA personnel responsible for providing debriefing;

§ Guidelines on one to one and/or group personal debriefing for those responsible for debriefing

which includes signposting to continuous engagement;

§ Outline of questions/templates of planned one to one and/or group personal debriefing and

those responsible;

§ VSA’s procedures for support and supervision of debriefers;

§ Records of VSA personnel participation in peer support meetings for debriefers;

 Procedures for providing referrals to Comhlámh’s debriefing services if not provided internally

within the organisation;

§ List of the VSA’s external contacts that provide debriefing for returned volunteers;

§ Records of referral to Comhlámh’s debriefing services and/or other external debriefing services

which are GDPR compliant;

§ VSA’s policy on facilitating debriefing for partner organisation staff. 

10.5 We ensure that all volunteers are offered appropriate one to one and/or group personal debriefing at the end of their placement.

Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

§  Information provided to volunteers stating that medical insurance is compulsory and whether the VSA or volunteer is responsible for getting insurance;

§  VSA’s policy on travel insurance including the need for health and emergency evacuation cover;

§  Information provided to volunteers stating the responsibility of the VSA and local partner for the volunteer being overseas ceases at date of end of overseas placement, and insurance cover also ceases if applicable;

§  VSA’s policy requiring certificate of fitness and detail of system for secure filing and storage of same in line with GDPR;

§  Risk assessment and management procedures and protocols;

§  Evacuation plan;

§  Policies/guidelines on health, safety and security;

§  Volunteer manuals/information packs which include health, safety and security policies;

§  Volunteer manual/information packs which include specific details of contacts in local partners prior to departure; and emergency contacts and relevant embassy information;

§  Training plan outline including input on health, safety and security policies and procedures and local contexts and particular safety considerations;

§  Records/certificates of attendance of VSA personnel training on health, safety and security;

§  Records of written assessments of security, travel and health risks for each placement and written schedule for review while volunteers are on placement;

§  Signed documentation that volunteers are fully aware of policies and security, travel and health risks before they embark on the trip;

§  Template for keeping records of placement related health difficulties, safety and security issues which is GDPR compliant;

§  Sample file of past placement related incidents and action taken;

§  Links to documents detailing actions taken in response to learning from prior incidents. 

10.6 We recognise volunteers’ contributions and provide volunteers with a certificate, statement of service, or a reference letter upon request on completion of the programme.

Suggested evidence (some evidence is mandatory) – Copies of/extracts or screenshots from/links to:

§ Photos, records of attendance, etc. from recognition ceremonies that are held for volunteers, 
§ Newsletter, archived website information, etc. acknowledging the contribution volunteers have made while overseas;
§ Sample certificates;
§ Sample statement of service; 
§ Sample reference letter;
§ Signposting to Global Citizenship Awards/#SDG Challenge etc. 

Principle 1
Principle 2
Principle 3
Principle 4
Principle 5
Principle 6
Principle 7
Principle 8
Principle 9
Principle 10
Principle 11
Principle 12
Principle 13

RESOURCES: 

USEFUL LINKS: 

COMHLÁMH SUPPORTS AND SERVICES, TRAININGS AND INFORMATION ON INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENTS:

SAFETY and SECURITY:

 Security of workers

Comhlamh’s Debriefing Services:

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