1. The following Definitions shall apply for the purpose of these guidelines:
2. Any action or inaction on the part of any worker which has the effect of exposing a child to physical, sexual or emotional harm or injury constitutes maltreatment of a child. Maltreatment of a child could be perpetrated by adult(s) or other child(ren), and includes abuse and inappropriate touch as defined above.
3. It is a fundamental duty of every staff member/worker to refrain from committing, facilitating or permitting maltreatment of a child.
4. No staff member/worker should offer, facilitate, or encourage a child to engage in the consumption of alcohol or tobacco or in any form of substance abuse or to expose the child to the same.
5. No staff member/worker should under any circumstances express or talk about his or her sexual experiences or personal sexual preferences to a child. Furthermore, no act or discussion of sexuality should be engaged in with a child in a manner that is likely to arouse sexual feelings in a child or make a child feel uncomfortable.
6. Contact between a staff member/worker and a child who is not an immediate family member (son or daughter) through social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) is inappropriate and unacceptable. Accordingly, all staff members/workers shall ensure that they are not in such contact with any such child until a period of one (1) year after the child leaves the institution or reaches the age of eighteen (whichever is later).
7. No staff member/worker should have a personal relationship with a child (who is not a close family member) through letters, phone calls, text messaging or email. If for any reason communication with a child who has returned home is required, it shall ordinarily be done through the parent/guardian of the child, with the full knowledge of the management of the institution.
8. No allegation of abuse shall be ignored or disregarded without investigation by the management. Failure to conduct a full and proper investigation of the same is unfair by both the alleged victim(s) and any person(s) accused.
9. Any complaint or apparent evidence of abuse coming to the attention of any staff member/worker shall be reported directly to the Principal of St, John’s College, and the management shall take immediate action to investigate the same and take all prudent steps to prevent any abuse from recurring or potential abuse from occurring. The management will also inform the designated person or Child Protection Officer of the Diocese without delay of the issue and the action taken for purpose of record.
10. It shall be the duty of the management of St John’s College to ensure that any staff member/worker reasonably suspected to be or found to have engaged in any form of misconduct of a sexual nature involving any child is prevented from having or being allowed to have any contact whatsoever with any child. Ideally such an employee would necessarily have to be placed on suspension or compulsory leave until an inquiry has been held.
11. All actions by staff members/workers and institutions to which these guidelines shall apply must not undermine the best interest of the child and shall comply with all laws and regulations for the safety of children. Any person reasonably suspected or found to have acted as a child molester or paedophile should be duly reported to the relevant authorities by the head of the institution for investigation and appropriate action such as being removed from employment.
12. Steps should be taken not to permit a detected or likely child molester or paedophile or one who has physically abused or maltreated a child to leave the School without reporting it to the law enforcement authorities by the head of the institution. Such reporting is required by the law, and shall not be refrained from on the basis that it may involve a negative reflection on the School. It is the position of the church in principle that the institution would be damaged even more by failing to report such detection than by failing to prevent the same.
13. Every endeavour shall be taken to screen existing and potential staff/workers who come or are likely to come into contact with a child, including background checks and requiring them to tender affidavits disclosing full particulars of whether at any time they have been suspected, accused or convicted of any acts which may involve abuse of a child. A wilful false declaration in an affidavit is a punishable offence under the law. Such affidavits shall be tendered in duplicate, one of which should be kept with the head of the institution and the other should be dispatched forthwith under registered cover to the designated official or Diocesan Child Protection Officer at the centre for purpose of the records of the Diocese.
14. St. John’s College shall implement these guidelines to the fullest with immediate effect and any breach thereof shall constitute serious misconduct.
15. St. John’s College may formulate at the earliest with appropriate legal advice, more detailed or specific rules for its staff/workers in order to give fuller expression to these Guidelines, having regard for the particular nature and practical aspects of the institution. No such rule should contravene or be inconsistent with these Guidelines, and shall be invalid to the extent of any such contravention or inconsistency. These Guidelines should also be communicated to all workers as requiring strict compliance even where more specific rules are made in accordance with this paragraph.
16. Any question or dispute arising in an institution with regard to the interpretation, intent, applicability or scope of these Guidelines should be referred to the designated person or Child.