All English-speaking TIS employees must complete the online course Child Safeguarding For International Schools during the first quarter of the 2022-2023 school year. Educare/TES is the leading provider of child safeguarding and protection in the UK. The term “safeguarding” means promoting the welfare of children and preventing and responding to abuse of children. Naturally, schools should play a leading role in this as we have intimate relationships with students, and our faculty and staff are often the first to notice signs of abuse. Our school takes its responsibility to protect children seriously and the course is a good refresher to the concepts of a comprehensive safeguarding and protection program.
I completed the course yesterday, and I always pick up ideas or value the reminders to help the school safeguard our students. Below are my major takeaways from the training.
- The statistic from the World Health Organization that 25% of all adults suffered physical abuse and 20% of women were sexually abused reminds me how common abuse is found in families.
- Social workers refer to the “Toxic Trio” of domestic violence/abuse, parental mental illness, and parental substance abuse that often lead to abuse of children.
- We need to do more police background checks on our employees and volunteers. It is particularly difficult for international schools because teachers often move countries every few years.
- The language barrier between expatriate children and their nannies/drivers needs to be considered by our families as a risk.
- It is difficult for employees and caregivers to speak up for fear of being wrong. Schools must balance creating an environment that encourages reporting and protects the rights of those accused or involved in the report.