Since the reporting of the child abuse scandal of the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, 34 staff have been prosecuted and it turned into a highly-concerned topic in society; yet, many staff from child-related institutions and parents felt helpless. As the government is in the progress to legislate mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse cases and to enhance the public’s awareness of Child Safeguarding, Plan International Hong Kong has compiled Hong Kong’s first “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” (“the Toolkit”) with the professional opinions from 21 advisors. The Toolkit provides kindergartens and kindergarten-cum-child care centres with information on the coping methods and execution of the Child Safeguarding Policy (“CSP”) and necessary procedures for reporting and handling suspected child maltreatment. The Toolkit will be delivered to kindergartens and kindergarten-cum-child care centres in Hong Kong for free, Plan International Hong Kong also developed a Child Safeguarding Online Learning Platform (“Platform”) to reinforce staff from child-related institutions’ awareness of child safeguarding.
Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation has been supporting Plan International’s Child Safeguarding work for years. Mr. Victor Chan(centre), the Board member of Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation, hoped that the Manual could benefit the education sector and enhance children’s rights. Ms. June Leung(Left), the Board Member, and Dr. Kanie Siu(Right), the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong showed gratitude by presenting an Appreciation Certificate to him.
Today the Co-building of Hong Kong as the City of Child Safeguarding — the “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” and Online Learning Platform Launch introduced Plan International Hong Kong’s CSP and the Toolkits with a demonstration video on the Platform. This launch event has invited three guests from the education sector: Ms. Rosa Chow Wai Chun, Incorporated Management Committee Member of Five Districts Business Welfare Association School, Ms. Ng Lin Fong, Cherry, Principal of Tsung Tsin Mission Pak Tin Graceful Kindergarten, and Ms. Wong Siu Ling, Vice Principal of Chan Mung Yan Lutheran Kindergarten to share their opinions on previewing the Toolkits. Besides, Legislative Council members including The Hon Michael TIEN Puk-sun, BBS, JP, Dr the Hon Hoey Simon LEE, MH, JP, Dr the Hon TIK Chi-yuen, SBS, JP, and The Hon Judy CHAN Kapui, MH were also invited to exchange valuable opinions on child safeguarding.
Ms. Ng Lin Fong, Cherry (R2), Principal of Tsung Tsin Mission Pak Tin Graceful Kindergarten Ms Rosa Chow Wai Chun (L2),Incorporated Management Committee Member of Five Districts Business Welfare Association School, Ms. Wong Siu Ling (L1), Vice Principal of Chan Mung Yan Lutheran Kindergarten, the principals that participated in the “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” Preview shared their thoughts and experience in establishing the Child Safeguarding Policy.
Several Legislative Council members, who are concerned about the welfare of children, including The Hon Michael TIEN Puk-sun, BBS, JP (centre), Dr the Hon Hoey Simon LEE, MH, JP (R1), Dr the Hon TIK Chi-yuen, SBS, JP (L1), The Hon Judy CHAN Kapui, MH (L2), hoped that the industry will join hands to protect the well-being of children.
Ms. June Leung, the Board Member of Plan International Hong Kong expressed during the opening remarks, “the awareness and concern over child safeguarding are ever-increasing. The release of the Toolkit responded to society’s growing demands by addressing the child-related staff’s worries and enquiries while further fostering the rights of children. My gratitude to Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation Limited for the sponsorship, advisors for their professional advice, and frontline personnel of child-related institutions for their support. Let’s build a safety net for children so that they could grow up safely and happily.” Dr. Kanie Siu, the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong shared as she introduced the CSP and the Toolkit : “Facing heavy workload and social expectations, as well as series of recent child abuse cases, staff from the education sector are burdening themselves with tremendous pressure. Through the Toolkit, we hope that the Manual could provide a useful reference for child-related workers in kindergarten to incorporate child safeguarding into their daily operations. With the aid from the Platform, they could get access to useful resources and trainings with ease and further protect children’s safety and the reputation of teachers and schools.”
Dr. Kanie Siu, the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong shared as she introduced the CSP and the Toolkit.
The Toolkit was written with reference to the CSP framework and the practical operation of Kindergartens. This, in essence, is a comprehensive set of guides for all child-related institutions, including how schools should conduct a risk assessment and management of different environments, carry out child safeguarding measures; how schools should establish a “child safeguarding” culture in staff recruitment, training, and continuous development; the mechanism for identifying and reporting suspected child abuse cases with additional situation analysis and a series of document templates to help them develop their CSP.
Plan International Hong Kong expects that with the launch of Hong Kong’s first “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual”, child-related institutions could recognise the importance of child safeguarding and implement the CSP as early as possible. These measures could help minimise the harm or maltreatment of children as a result of misconduct or neglect by school staff, and prevent child abuse in the first place.
The “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” cannot be completed without the contribution of 21 advisors. Ms. June Leung, the Board Member, and Dr. Kanie Siu, the Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong showed gratitude by presenting an Appreciation Certificate to them.
Principals that participated in the “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” Preview received Appreciation Certificate.
Ms. June Leung(L1), the Board Member, and Dr. Kanie Siu(R1), the Chief Executive of Plan International Hong Kong also expressed appreciation to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the Pro Bono Legal Advisor Team.
Online Learning Platform with Three Levels of Certificate Programmes
Apart from compiling the Toolkit and distributing it to all kindergartens and kindergarten-cum-child care centres, to further assist institutions in implementing the Child Safeguarding Policy, Plan International Hong Kong has developed an Online Learning Platform (“Platform”) for the institutions that are interested in formulating the Child Safeguarding Policy. This Platform provides necessary trainings and useful resources for all staff and relevant personnel. User registration is free of charge in the first phase.
The Platform offers three levels of certificate programmes (in Chinese) including 1) Foundation Certificate in Child Safeguarding 2) Child Safeguarding for Professionals and 3) Executive Management in Child Safeguarding. This interactive platform aims to create a learning journey for users to familiarise themselves with the Child Safeguarding policy in a progressive approach to understanding the key concepts in Child Safeguarding as well as the knowledge of the Toolkit developed by Plan International Hong Kong, supplemented with reference to existing guidelines and legislation. The Foundation Certificate Programme will be available in April 2023 and the other two courses will be available in the following months.
On-site Child Safeguarding Workshops
Plan International Hong Kong also offers 6 sessions of on-site workshops to schools and child-related organisations to help address the practical difficulties of education institutions and offer immediate responses to queries from colleagues and staff. Interested organisations are welcome to contact us for further details.
All fees for the development of the above resources are sponsored by Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation.
To learn more about “Kindergarten Child Safeguarding Practice Manual” or Online Learning Platform, please email to [email protected].