TFI’s Child Protection Policy

May 2010

Making the world a better place for children
The Family International’s Child Protection Policy

Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord (The Bible).

Every child deserves a bright future—one of hope and opportunity. As Christians, we believe that human life is sacred, and that every child is a unique being, worthy of respect and dignity. Children are meant to be loved and cherished and to grow up in a healthy, happy environment.

We believe that every child has the right:
—To be treated with respect and dignity
—To receive responsible care and to be handled with kindness
—To be encouraged and nurtured emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
—To have their physical needs adequately met, including nutrition, housing, and medical care
—To receive a good education that provides competence and empowers them to be self-sufficient
—To be taught good values and morals to guide them in life
—To learn about God’s personal love and care for them
—To be taught boundaries and self-discipline
—To be empowered to realize their full potential
—To be prepared for the responsibilities and challenges of adulthood
—To develop their individuality
—To be treated fairly and justly, without discrimination
—To be in a safe environment; to be protected from harm and danger

We believe that children are entitled to the best care possible, in an enabling environment where their needs—physical, educational, intellectual, moral, and emotional—are amply met. Children should receive a competent education that empowers them to become self-sufficient and prepares them for adulthood.

Safe from harm
Every child has the right to be protected from abuse and neglect of any kind, whether physical, emotional, sexual, or educational. We consider that the abusive treatment of a child is not only a crime, but a sin in the eyes of God. The Family International has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the abusive treatment of children, and will permanently expel any member who violates this policy.

Members are subject to the laws of their country of residence regarding reporting crimes of this nature to the appropriate authorities. The Family International is committed to the well-being of children and considers it the moral responsibility of any adult caring for minors to protect them from harm.

We believe that children should be educated to recognize and deal with potentially harmful situations, and instructed to communicate with their parents or other people responsible for their care. Successfully preparing children for life includes instructing them on safety and empowering them to discern and protect themselves from situations of potential harm.

Every child is precious in God’s eyes and deserves quality and responsible care, and to be loved, nurtured, protected, and enabled to develop their full potential.

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.—John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)

TFI Standard for the Care of Children and Teenagers

Standard for the Care of Children at Events and Mission Works of the Family International
The following code of conduct outlines expected standards of behavior of TFI members responsible for the care of children and teenagers at TFI fellowships, programs, classes, camps, activities, or in projects or programs related to TFI member works that involve minors. It has been developed with the best interests of children as the primary consideration, and should be applied with common sense.

Any TFI member responsible for the care of children and/or teenagers at TFI events or mission-related works should:

Communication
•    Treat all children and teenagers with dignity and respect in attitude, language, and actions.
•    Be inclusive and involve all children without exclusion on the basis of gender, culture, disability, ethnicity, or race.
•    Be fair in their relationship with children. Avoid favoring particular children to the exclusion of others.
•    Never develop relationships with children or teenagers that would be deemed inappropriate or abusive.
•    Be particularly careful, as a male adult, of any interactions with forward young females. Female adults similarly need to be careful with forward young males.

Supervision
•    Whenever possible, have two adults present with a group of children.
•    Avoid being on their own with a child or teen. When confidentiality is important (e.g., counseling a child or a teen), ensure that others know that the session is taking place and that someone else is in the vicinity.
•    Avoid taking a group of children off the premises with fewer than two adults.
•    Allow responsible teens (under the age of 18) to assist only under the direct supervision of an adult responsible for the oversight of the children.

Physical contact
•    Be wise in their physical contact with children. Physical contact is discouraged in circumstances where an adult and child are on their own.
•    Avoid doing things for children of a personal nature that they can do for themselves (such as dressing, bathing, etc.).
•    Never smack, hit, or physically discipline a child. A child may be restrained only if there is an immediate danger of personal injury to the child or another person.
•    Avoid behaving in a manner which could be construed as inappropriate or sexually provocative.

Safety and environment
•    Be mindful of the safety of the children at all times, and in all circumstances.
•    Develop clear rules to address specific physical safety issues relative to the local physical environment of a project or program (e.g., for programs based near water, heavy road traffic, railway lines, etc.).
•    Never condone behavior of children which is illegal, unsafe, or abusive.

Peer interaction
•    Be aware of the potential for peer abuse (e.g., children bullying, discriminating against, victimizing, or abusing other children).
•    Be aware of high-risk peer situations (e.g., unsupervised mixing of older and younger children).

Every child is precious in God’s eyes, and whenever children are in our care, they deserve quality and responsible care and loving attention.

Children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future.—Zig Ziglar

Copyright © May 2010 by The Family International

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