Child abuse and neglect are concerns throughout the world. Child abuse and neglect are violations of a child’s human rights and are obstacles to the child’s education as well as to their physical and emotional development.
Schools fill a special role in society as protectors of children. Schools need to ensure that all children in their care are afforded a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop, both at school and away. Educators, having the opportunity to observe and interact with children over time, are in a unique position to identify children who need help and protection. As such, educators have a professional and ethical obligation to identify children who need help and protection, and to take steps to ensure that the child and family avail themselves of the services needed to remedy any situation that constitutes child abuse or neglect.
There are two key aspects to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children:
- Taking all reasonable measures to ensure that risk of harm to children’s welfare is minimized:
- This includes comprehensive background checks on all employees and subcontracted employees who are part of the AST community.
- Training for all employees
- Taking all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of children, working to international standards, as well as in full partnership with other local agencies.
AST seeks to be a “safe haven” for students who may be experiencing abuse or neglect in any aspect of their lives. As such, AST will distribute its Child Protection Policy annually to all parents and applicants, will communicate the policy annually to students, will provide training for all staff, will make every effort to implement hiring practices to insure the safety of children.
All staff employed by AST must report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect whenever a staff member has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered or is at significant risk of suffering abuse or neglect. Reporting and follow up of all suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect will proceed in accordance with administrative regulations and procedures.