Safeguarding of Children



Our parish has written policy on keeping children safe

It is approved by the parish priest and the parish pastoral council, and signed by the parish priest and chairperson of the parish pastoral council.

All Church personnel, both paid employees and volunteers who are in contact with children on behalf of the parish, are required to comply with this policy. It will be explained to them, and they will sign a commitment form indicating that they have been made aware of the policy, and that they will comply with it when working with children on behalf of the parish. Any new employee or volunteer will also have the policy explained to them before they begin, and they will also sign that they will comply with it.

This policy addresses child protection in the different aspects of church work- that is, within the church compound, schools, work in the community, pilgrimages, day-outings, overnight trips and holidays organized by the parish.

In the introduction, this policy clearly describes the church’s understanding and definitions of abuse.

All current child protection concerns will be fully reported to the civil authorities- that is, the police and the local children’s office- without delay.

This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals no more than three years apart, and will be adapted whenever there are significant changes in Kenyan or church legislation.





Responding to child protection allegations or suspicions

If an allegation to child abuse in the parish is made against a member of St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Priest or student), it will be reported to the leadership in East Africa of St Patrick’s Missionary Society, and dealt with according to the policy and procedures which St. Patrick’s missionary society has in place as in their document:

Policy and procedures for safeguarding children.

Within the parish, a safeguarding children committee of the parish pastoral council will be established. The chairperson of the parish pastoral council will chair this committee. The term of the office of this committee will begin and end at the same time as that of the parish pastoral council.

There will also be one or more designated officers (each with an assistant) appointed by this committee within the parish, whose role will be to receive any allegations of child abuse against any employee or volunteer of the parish.

A soon as possible, the designated officer and assistant will formally meet with the person who makes an allegation (the complainant). They will immediately inform the safeguarding children committee that an allegation has been received. They will assure the complainant that the allegations will be taken seriously by the parish. They will listen carefully and sympathetically to the detail of the allegations and write a report of the meeting, which they will check for accuracy with the complainant. This report will be signed by the designated person and the complainant.

(The complainant need not necessarily be the alleged victim of the child abuse. Anyone who knows that child abuse is taking place, or has taken place, by an employee or volunteer, or in fact by any parishioner within the jurisdiction of the church, has an obligation to report it). It is advisable that the complainant is accompanied to this meeting. The designated person will, as soon as possible, give the written report to the safeguarding children committee.

It is the responsibility of the safeguarding children committee to inform the employee or volunteer that an accusation has been made against him/her. They will also remind him/her that the law may have been broken, and that he/she may wish to remain silent.

The accused is invited in turn to meet with the designated officer and assistant, who will give him/her details of the allegations and invite a response. The accused may remain silent. He /she is advised to be accompanied to meeting. The designated person will write a report of this meeting and will check the accuracy of the report will then be given to the committee.

If the committee has any concern that there is basis to the allegation, and that an abuse has taken place, they will report it to the police and to the local children’s office for further investigation. They will also withdraw the accused from any contact with children in the parish until the resolution of the issue.

Absolutely confidentiality is required of the safeguarding children committee, and of the designated officers and assistants, in dealing with any allegation as the good name of person is involved.







All documents (or copies thereof) provided during recruitment by those who successfully attain employment or are accepted as volunteers will be kept in a secure place.

We are aware that paedophiles, or those with paedophile tendencies, are drawn towards working with children. Therefore we are alert, through careful recruitment procedures ,to prevent such people getting access to the children of the parish and of our schools.


Adequate and appropriate supervision of all children’s activities in the parish will be provided. Only employees and volunteers who have had training, and have signed up to this safeguarding children policy, will be allowed to supervise children’s activities in the parish.

Behavior of Adults towards children

It is important for all employees and volunteers and others in contact with children to:

  • Treat all children with respect;
  • Provide an example of good conduct that others may follow;
  • Be visible to others when working with children whenever possible;
  • Challenge and report potentially abusive behavior;
  • Develop a culture where children can talk about their contacts with staff and others openly.

In general, it’s inappropriate to:

  • Spend excessive time alone with a child away from others;
  • Take a child to one’s own home, or any other place where on will be alone with him/her.

Employees, volunteers and others must never:

  • Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse children.
  • Develop sexual relationships with children.
  • Develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
  • Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative.
  • Have a child with whom they are not working to stay overnight at their home unsupervised.
  • Sleep in the same room or bed with a child with whom they are working.
  • Do things for children of a personal nature that they can do for themselves.
  • Give monetary or material gifts to the children.
  • Insist on any interaction with a child if he/she says ‘stop’ or appears uncomfortable to continue.

An adult is always held responsible for his/her behavior even if s child has provoked him/her.

Inappropriate Touch

There are such things as inappropriate displays of affection in ministry to children. These include:

  • Full frontal hugs;
  • Touching bottoms, chests or genital areas;
  • Lying down or sleeping beside children;
  • Massages patting children on the thigh, knee or leg;
  • Tickling or wrestling, touching or hugging from behind;
  • Games involving inappropriate touching;
  • Kisses on the mouth;
  • Inappropriate compliments that relate to physical or body development


Behavior of children towards other children

There is an expected and acceptable kind of behavior expected of children towards other children. In particular, all forms of bullying are to be explained and rejected,


Processes for dealing with children’s unacceptable behavior

Employees and volunteers will be made aware that there are processes for dealing with children’s unacceptable behavior that does not involve physical punishment or any other form of degrading or humiliating treatment. Physical punishment of children is illegal in Kenya. The following are suitable processes for dealing with such behavior:

  • Personal counseling.
  • Meeting with the child and his/her parents/guardians.
  • Giving extra homework.
  • Requiring the child to do extra jobs in the classroom, e.g collect and empty the dustbins.


Discriminatory behavior or language

Discriminatory behavior or language in relation to any of the following is not acceptable: race, gender, disability, religion, sexuality, or political views, whether it is perpetrated by adults towards children, or by children towards other children.


Care of children with special needs

Children with special needs are highly vulnerable, precisely because they may not be able to defend themselves or make a complaint.

Also, because they may be totally dependent for their physical care on an adult who could abuse them.


Time spent away from home, or from the parish compound on a parish-based outing, is a time of risk for children.

Parents/ guardians will sign a consent from giving their children permission to be away from the parish on a parish-based activity for a designated time. This will apply whether the outing is for the duration of a day, or involves over-night outings. This time shall be strictly adhering to by the parish organization organizing the outing. The parish will not engage children in activities that force them to go home late, or put their personal safety at risk.

There will be strict supervision and protection of the children by the leaders of the children by the leaders of the outing. For example, there will be at least one supervisor for every twenty children. These supervisors –and their children- will be aware that their role is one of supervision and protection for the children in their care, and nothing else, on that outing. If the children are going on an outing, that involves an overnight stay, great care will be taken by those accommodations, eating arrangements and recreational activities. They will ensure that boys and girls have separate sleeping accommodations, as well as separate toilet and washing facilities.

Those organizing any outing from the parish that involves vehicles will ensure that the vehicles are roadworthy and safe, and that the drivers are qualified, and will drive responsibly and under the direction of the supervisors of the outing.

All outing are to be approved in advance by the Safeguarding Children Committee, who will ensure that the conditions laid out in this policy are adhered with.



Information Technology

Children can be put in danger and exposed to abuse and exploitation by some of the modern means of information technology. In the parish, employees  and volunteers will not ask for, or retain the mobile phone number or e-mail number of any child, unless with the consent of the parents/guardians.

Neither will they get in contact with children of the parish through any of the social networks. They will not assume that they can take photographs or videos of children without express permission of the parents of those children. In the parish we will ensure the privacy rights of children by not using the images of children in any publication without their parents’ or guardians’ express written permission. We will not use child images in situations that negatively portray the child, or in circumstances that may compromise a child’s physical or psychological well being. We will not disclose the names or identities of children except in the case of client detail forms and court pleadings where information is kept strictly confidential.