Boys playing chess

Sisters of Mary Child Protection and Anti Bullying Policy

The Sisters of Mary’s formalised child protection policy supports their philosophy to care for and nurture the poorest children in the world.

The policy ensures that all children are protected from any form of violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying and any other form of abuse prejudicial to their development. Its provides all staff and sisters at the schools with clear guidance on how to approach safeguarding and the protection of children.

The policy also covers visitors to the schools for compliance and programme monitoring from WVC and our separate Safeguarding policy is also applicable here.

Sister Maria Cho - with young child in Tanzania

The Sisters' extensive child protection policy is based on national legislation in each country

The Philippines Department of Education guidance on child protection and anti-bullying underlines the standard as well as statutory guidance and good practice examples adapted from the UK and European education agencies.

There is a separate policy for each school worldwide and the policy guidance is regularly updated by reference to the best practice standards evolving in each country. The implementation of the child protection policies is proactively overseen by the authorities in each country and by an independent ombudsman in the Philippines.

The child protection policy applies to all children regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.

Group of girls in a classroom wearing masks

Scope

The policy covers all children in the care of the Sisters even if over the age of 18. It covers all education programmes including  day-care, training centres and medical centres and members of the school administration, faculty, staff and any partners and stakeholders involved in the interests of the children at the Sisters of Mary schools.

Protection of all children is at the heart of the Sisters of Mary programmes. The main programmes are live in schools for secondary school age children from the age of 11 until 18,  the children need to sleep, eat and learn in peace and safety so the physical security of these live in villages is a priority to protect all the children and everyone working for the programmes.

Three new students and a Sister
New girls arriving at school, Biga, Philippines

Safeguarding practices

Many of the Sisters at the schools are trained child psychologists and counsellors but at a minimum the senior member of the school staff (the school principal) will be trained in child psychology and welfare. Many of the Sisters are trained nurses and each school has at least one trained nurse on site at all times. The schools appoint Child Protection Committees (CPC) comprised of school staff, counsellors and the Sisters to disseminate information regarding the child protection policy and ensure ongoing training and capacity building for all staff and Sisters in child protection matters. The CPC includes a referral system for children who come to school requiring support for harm suffered prior to arrival. Our poor children often have very complex, chaotic and neglectful home environments and so their recovery and ongoing welfare in our care is paramount.

The CPC ensures all members of the school teaching and support staff comply with the terms of the child protection and anti-bullying policy and that visitors and guests to the school are aware of the policy, comply with it and that they are escorted at all times during their time with the children at school.

Sister Elena with baby in Guatemala

Report by Sister Elena Belarmino, Sisters of Mary, on Safeguarding

“By the grace of God, we have never had any incidents of abuse since the time we started and we hope and pray that it will never happen.

All our sisters are in constant supervision (24 hrs) even during class hours and evening time, Sisters take turns in going around mainly to see to it that when any one of our children is sick, medical attention could immediately be given and so that the teachers and other personnel do their duties properly and are properly supervised and monitored, etc.

In addition to the formalised child protection policy, the studies of the children at school and the programme of their daily activities raise awareness of children’s rights through role playing, essay writing and school wide initiatives centred on the development of healthy relationships and understanding of and respect for children and their individual differences.

Our teachers and employees know that everything we do is for the welfare of the children and the poor we take care of and educate.”

Contact Us

If you would like a copy of the Sisters of Mary’s Child Protection policy in relation to all programmes, all representatives working on their behalf at the schools and the children in their care worldwide please contact us using the button below or call us on 0207 629 3050.

Return to our Safeguarding page