- POLICY STATEMENT
The Girls First Fund is a donor collaborative supported by leading philanthropic organizations and individual philanthropists who have come together to champion community-led efforts so that all girls can live free from child marriage and create their own future. We focus on girls, families, and communities because we believe they are in the best position to create lasting, local change and address the causes of child marriage at their roots.
Everyone connected with our work has the right to feel safe, irrespective of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, political opinions, sexual orientation or disability. Violence or abuse of any kind is unacceptable. This policy reflects our commitment to prioritising the protection of children in all our activities and to safeguarding all individuals who come into contact with our organisation from harm, abuse and exploitation.
This policy applies to all Girls First Fund team members, directors (trustees), contractors (including Geneva Global and Capital for Good staff assigned to work on the Girls First Fund), consultants, advisors, interns and volunteers (referred to in this policy as ‘GFF Personnel’). Failure to adhere to the measures set out in this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or termination of contract.
One of our Guiding Principles is that grantee partners will adhere to the highest standards of child protection that safeguard children’s rights, recognizing that protection and empowerment can co-exist. Grantees are made aware of the Girls First Fund Safeguarding Policy but are expected to have their own safeguarding and protection procedures in place that reflect their unique organization and operating context.
Safeguarding: the responsibility that organizations have to make sure their staff, operations, and programs do no harm, and that action is taken to address any concerns about actual or potential harm and abuse.
Child: In line with the UN Convention of the Child, a child is anyone under the age of 18 regardless of the legal age of majority in the country of operation.
Youth: In line with the UN definition, GFF defines ‘youth’ as the period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence which covers young people up to the age of 24.
Abuse: Abuse can take many forms and definitions will vary between contexts. The definitions provided in this policy are not exhaustive but serve as a guide for GFF Personnel:
- Physical: Physical contact that results in discomfort, pain or injury
- Sexual harm: Coercion or force to take part in sexual acts of any kind
- Emotional/Psychological harm: Action or inaction that causes mental distress
- Exploitation: Misuse of power over another person for financial, social, sexual or other benefit
- Bullying & Harassment: Unwanted behaviour which causes intimidates or humiliates others
- Sexual Harassment: unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All Girls First Fund personnel are responsible for implementing the safeguarding measures set out in this policy, including reporting all concerns of harm and abuse. In addition, designated staff at different levels of the organization have specific responsibilities to help ensure a culture of safeguarding across our operations.
3.1 Senior Operations Officer has operational responsibility for safeguarding. They will:
- In collaboration with line managers, ensure all personnel are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities and are provided with support and advice to implement safeguarding measures.
- Coordinate the response to any safeguarding concerns and ensure appropriate action is taken.
- On an annual basis, check whether any changes are required to GFF’s safeguarding policy and conduct a formal review of the policy every 2 years.
3.2 Fund Director has overall responsibility for safeguarding. The Fund Director will:
- Promote an open culture that prioritises the safety and welfare of those connected with our work.
- Oversee the response to safeguarding concerns.
- Decision-making responsibility for any disciplinary action or termination of contracts or funding as a consequence of safeguarding concerns.
- Keep the Designated Board Member for Safeguarding and the designated officer with Capital for Good informed of any high-risk safeguarding concerns within grantee partners and all safeguarding concerns involving GFF personnel.
- Provide Capital for Good and the GFF Board with an anonymised summary of all safeguarding concerns twice a year.
- Notify GFF funders of safeguarding concerns, in line with the contractual agreements.
3.3. As GFF’s Fiscal Sponsor, Capital for Good, is legally responsible for the oversight and implementation of GFF’s work, as well as ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Capital for Good will:
- Formally approve GFF’s Safeguarding Policy.
- Review the summary of safeguarding concerns provided twice a year and provide feedback in relation to compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and best practice.
- Review GFF’s organizational risk register on an annual basis.
- The designated officer within Capital for Good will oversee GFF’s response to high-risk safeguarding concerns within grantee partners and all concerns involving GFF personnel to ensure GFF is meeting its legal obligations and help mitigate any organizational or reputational risks.
- Respond to any whistleblowing concerns related to Girls First Fund.
3.4 GFF Board Committee play an important role in promoting best practice for safeguarding within GFF. They will:
- Review GFF’s Safeguarding Policy prior to approval from Capital for Good and monitor implementation.
- Review the summary of safeguarding concerns provided twice a year and provide feedback on areas for improvement and learning.
- Review GFF’s organizational risk register on an annual basis.
- The Designated Board Committee Member for Safeguarding will be informed of any high-risk safeguarding concerns within grantee partners and all concerns involving GFF personnel, and will provide advice to the Fund Director in managing the concern and mitigating any potential organizational or reputational risks.
- CODE OF CONDUCT
The code of conduct helps to ensure a safe working environment and protect the children and communities we engage with. Compliance is mandatory for all GFF personnel and all visitors to GFF programs (donors, supporters, journalists, etc.). Grantee partners are expected to have their own code of conduct which reflects the specific context in which they are working.
4.1 Professional Conduct
- Treat everyone with dignity and respect and do not engage in any form of harassment, intimidation, victimization, abuse or exploitation.
- Do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion, culture, language, age, disability, or any other status.
- Behave in a manner that upholds the values of Girls First Fund and avoid any conduct which could damage the reputation of the Fund.
- Report any concerns about the safety of any individual connected with our work immediately.
4.2 Interactions with Children
- Treat children in a manner that is respectful of their rights, integrity and dignity, and considers their best interests.
- Never abuse or exploit a child and always report any concern about child abuse or exploitation immediately, in accordance with this policy and local procedures.
- Never have sexual intercourse or engage in any romantic activity with anyone under 18 years of age, regardless of the age of consent locally.
- Never act in ways that could shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children.
- Do not sleep in the same room with a child/children supported through or engaged in Girls First Fund activities or help them do things of a personal nature which they can do themselves.
- Avoid favouring or spending excessive time with specific children to the exclusion of others.
- Do not ask for or accept personal contact details (including social media addresses, Skype details, email, phone numbers) from any child or family supported through or engaged in Girls First Fund activities unless this has been explicitly authorized for business purpose.
- Only contact children or family members associated with the Girls First Fund’s work where this has been explicitly authorized for business purposes.
4.3 Visits to Partners, Programs and Communities
- Only visit GFF programs with the prior approval and knowledge of GFF and the grantee partner.
- Always ask the grantee partner if they have any specific safeguarding measures that should be followed and always adhere to their instructions at all times.
- Never exchange money, offers of employment, goods, or services for sex with community members, program participants or children
- Never engage in sexual relationships with adults participating in GFF funded programmes as the inherent power imbalance is open to exploitation and abuse.
- Only take photos or videos on personal devices with explicit, written approval and delete any photos/videos taken on personal devices as soon as these have been shared with GFF.
- Never possess, use or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst on program visits
Any breach of this code of conduct should be reported to your line manager or the Senior Operations Officer who will ensure that appropriate follow up action is taken. Serious or repeated violations of this code may result in disciplinary action.
- PROMOTING EFFECTIVE SAFEGUARDING AMONG GRANTEE PARTNERS
One of the Guiding Principles of the Fund is that grantee partners will adhere to the highest standards of child protection. To achieve this, we take an integrated approach, modelling best practice within our own organisation and the integrating safeguarding throughout our funding relationship with our grantee partners.
5.1 Assessing Applicants
During the application process and as part of our due diligence process, Girls First Fund ensures that prospective grantees have appropriate safeguards in place through:
- Questions in the application form explore the applicant’s understanding of safeguarding risks and the steps the organization takes to prevent harm and ensure an effective response to abuse.
- If there is a selection panel, specific questions are included on safeguarding in the panel interview.
- References are obtained from other funders and community stakeholders and background checks made on the leadership of each organization.
Girls First Fund does request copies of the organization’s safeguarding and/or child protection policy during the application process. However, we recognise that organizations may be at different stages in their safeguarding journey, and many may not have well-developed policies and procedures in place. The absence of policies and procedures does not preclude applicants from receiving funding but allows the Fund to identify potential areas of risk and ensure that appropriate support and accompaniment is put in place once funding has been approved.
The importance of safeguarding is integrated into the mentoring and accompaniment Girls First Fund provides to grantee partners:
- Our funding agreements clearly set out our expectations in relation to safeguarding.
- Safeguarding is discussed in convenings organized at the start of a new funding cycle. This is an opportunity to explain our expectations as well as outlining the support grantees can access from the Fund.
- Girls First Fund develops a general accompaniment plan with each grantee partner which identifies the areas where they request specific support. Child protection and safeguarding are one of the defined areas of support provided to grantee partners.
- Program Advisors have regular, open dialogue with grantees regarding child protection and safeguarding. This includes routinely seeking feedback from grantees and providing an opportunity for them to share their learnings so we better understand what is happening in their context.
- Where grantee partners require specialist technical support beyond that provided by Program Advisors, local consultants will be identified to provide this additional support.
We recognise that it is important for grantee partners to have documented procedures and processes to help guide their safeguarding and to ensure all staff and volunteers are aware of their responsibilities. Where a grantee already has a safeguarding and/or child protection policy, we review this with them, highlighting areas of positive practice as well identifying areas that require improvement. If grantees do not have policies and procedures in place, we will provide them with support to develop one.
- REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS BY GRANTEE PARTNERS
6.1 Reporting of Safeguarding Concerns by Grantees
We recognize that safeguarding concerns arise in any organization. As a condition of funding, we require grantee partners to notify us of:
- Any allegation of harm or abuse (physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, sexual abuse or harassment) perpetrated by their staff, volunteers, contractors, board members or others representing their organization.
- Any incidents of significant harm caused by weaknesses or gaps in organizational procedures and/or program design.
Given the nature of the work we fund, we recognise that our grantee partners will regularly encounter harm and abuse within the communities they serve. We also recognise that grantee partners may choose to speak to us about other issues within their organization and we aim to provide a safe space for our grantee partners to discuss any concerns. However, only allegations of abuse perpetrated by grantee personnel or harm arising from weaknesses in the grantee’s safeguarding measures will be categorised as ‘safeguarding concerns’ and dealt with in line with the procedure described below.
In the event that a grantee partner becomes aware of a safeguarding concern regarding their staff or operations, they should:
- Contact their local Program Advisor to make them aware of the concern. The initial report can be made verbally to reduce the administrative burden on the grantee and allow space for a detailed discussion of the circumstances surrounding the concern. If it is not possible to report to the Program Advisor, the grantee should report the concern directly to the Girls First Fund’s Senior Operations Officer.
- The first priority will always be to ensure the safety of those involved and reporting to Girls First Fund should never take priority over taking action to safeguard those at risk. In order to provide sufficient flexibility, we do not impose rigid timescales for reporting, but encourage grantees to inform us as soon as possible after becoming aware of a safeguarding concern.
- Within one week after the initial contact with the Program Advisor, the grantee must send a written summary of the concern in order that accurate records can be maintained. This summary should include:
- A brief outline of the concern (e.g. allegation of abuse or misconduct, breach of procedures etc), when and where the incident took place.
- The category of employment of the individual who has been accused of abuse or misconduct (e.g. senior manager, care staff, ancillary staff, volunteer, etc.)
- The organisation’s relationship with to the individual who has suffered harm or abuse (e.g. program participant, staff member, community member). Where the victim is a child, this must be clearly stated.
- What action has been taken so far, including whether the incident has been reported to the police or local authorities.
- Details of planned future actions with estimated timelines.
Grantees should not include any identifying details (names, addresses etc) to protect the confidentiality of those involved. All records will be held confidentially with access restricted to the relevant Program Advisor and Program Officer as well as the Senior Operations Officer and Fund Director who have responsibility to oversee the management of safeguarding concerns.
6.2 Responding to Safeguarding Concerns from Grantees
In line with our commitment to community-driven approaches and listening to solutions devised by local people, Girls First Fund will not seek to impose a particular response on our grantee partners. Instead, we will:
- Encourage the grantee to address the concern in accordance with their own safeguarding or protection policy and in line with national law.
- Work collaboratively with the grantee to ensure the most appropriate action is taken and offer support wherever possible.
- We recognise that some issues will take time to resolve and while we don’t expect an immediate solution, we do expect grantees to keep us informed of progress.
Although we do not seek to impose solutions, we do expect our grantees to demonstrate that:
- They have taken all necessary steps to ensure the safety and welfare of those involved.
- They are taking a survivor-centred approach that recognises the agency of survivors, including children, and takes their preferences, wishes and beliefs into account.
- They are investigating all allegations of abuse and initiate disciplinary action where appropriate.
- They have followed national laws, including referral to the relevant authorities. We recognise that in some instances, reporting to the authorities may not be possible due to the additional risk of harm this creates. In these circumstances, Girls First Fund will request further details about the assessed risks and the implications of not reporting for the survivor and for the organization.
- The organization’s leadership are aware of the concern and are taking proactive steps to ensure a resolution and prevent similar concerns from arising in the future.
Program Advisors will maintain records of actions taken in relation to concerns reported by grantee partners. These will be maintained securely in GFF’s grants management system.
To ensure internal accountability for the management and response to safeguarding issues, concerns will be shared and escalated internally:
- The Program Advisor must inform the Program Officer and Senior Operations Officer of the initial report within 1 working day and then keep them updated of any progress in the case.
- The Program Officer will ensure that the Program Advisor is given appropriate care, support and protection in dealing with all aspects of the case, including any safety concerns and potential reprisals which may arise.
- The Senior Operations Officer will inform the Fund Director and keep them updated of progress. Where appropriate the Senior Operations Officer will also inform the Program Director.
- The Fund Director will inform the Designated Board Member for Safeguarding and the Designated Officer within Capital for Good of any high-risk concerns within grantee partners. A case will be categorised as high-risk if:
- There is a significant ongoing risk of violence, abuse or exploitation and the grantee is unwilling or unable to address concerns.
- The incident is likely to result in negative national / international media attention.
If the grantee is unable or unwilling to address the concern, or continued involvement with the grantee would place Girls First Fund staff and/or others at risk, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate funding. This decision will be taken in consultation with Designated Board Member for Safeguarding and the designated officer within Capital for Good but the ultimate decision regarding funding rests with the Fund Director.
- REPORTING AND RESPONSE TO OTHER SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS
In the course of our work, GFF personnel may become aware of other safeguarding concerns that are not related to the work of our grantee partners. For example, young people involved in our activities may inform us of abuse they are suffering in their home or community. In addition, Girls First Fund may become aware of misconduct or abuse by our own personnel and the organization has a responsibility to take robust action to address this immediately.
7.1 Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
If you become aware of actual or potential harm or abuse, the safety and welfare of those affected must always be the first priority.
- If the harm or abuse is reported directly to you, listen and provide re-assurance to the individual.
- If there is an immediate risk, take action to ensure the individual’s safety and contact police and/or relevant authorities, unless reporting is likely to result in additional harm.
- Do not investigate or try to address the concerns yourself as this may place you or others at risk.
- Never agree to keep secrets. All personnel are required to report any concerns of harm, abuse or exploitation to the relevant staff in GFF.
- Within 24hrs, report your concern to either your line manager or GFF’s Senior Operations Officer. If the concern relates to either of these individuals, report your concerns directly to the Fund Director or Designated Board member for Safeguarding.
- Senior Operations Officer: Malorie Tull firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fund Director: Fanta Toure-Puri email@example.com
- Designated Board Committee Member for Safeguarding: Erin Ganju firstname.lastname@example.org
7.2 Responding to Safeguarding Concerns
The Senior Operations Officer is responsible for ensuring all concerns are taken seriously and appropriate action taken. The Senior Operations Officer will inform the Fund Director and together they will decide what action is required. This will include, but is not limited to:
- Ensuring that appropriate support is provided to the person affected and that all possible steps are taken to ensure their safety and welfare.
- Providing support to any witnesses or others who may have been affected, including the person reporting the concern.
- Ensuring that all actions are consistent with local laws, including mandatory reporting legislation.
- Ensuring that any criminal matters are reported to the police and/or authorities, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that reporting concerns to the authorities would result in additional harm.
- Liaising fully with investigations by statutory agencies or, where appropriate, initiating an internal investigation.
The Senior Operations Officer will maintain a record of all actions taken and this will be held confidentially with access restricted to the Senior Operations Officer and Fund Director.
Where concerns relate to the conduct of GFF personnel:
- The Fund Director will inform the Designated Board Member for Safeguarding and the responsible officer within Capital for Good within 24 hours. They will provide support and guidance to GFF and help ensure that an appropriate response is initiated in line with best practice.
- GFF reserves the right to suspend any individual accused of harm, abuse or exploitation while an investigation is conducted. This is not an assumption of guilt but may be necessary to ensure the protection of everyone involved.
If you believe that the GFF Director has failed to take action or have wider concerns about the management of safeguarding issues, you can report these concerns to Capital for Good: email@example.com. All concerns will be taken seriously and responded to in line with Capital for Good’s whistleblowing procedure.
- YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN GIRLS FIRST FUND ACTIVITIES
The Girls First Fund encourages sensitive and meaningful engagement of young people to ensure accountability and promote girl-centred approaches. This includes engagement of young people in grant selection panels, meetings and events, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of our programs. When involving youth in our activities, Girls First Fund will take proactive steps to minimize any risk of harm or negative consequence resulting from participation.
8.1 Planning of Youth Engagement
- We discuss any plans to involve young people with our grantee partners to assess the safety and appropriateness of children’s participation, taking into account the specific risks in each context.
- Once the decision has been taken to progress with engagement, we undertake a risk assessment which sets out specific risks involved in each activity and the safeguards that must be in place to mitigate these risks.
- Particular attention is given to ensuring confidentiality. We consider whether it is safe and appropriate for young people to provide testimonies about their personal experiences and agree clear parameters around the collection and use of photographs, video and other media.
- Young people are provided with clear information about the planned activities and are given time to consider whether they are happy to participate. Informed consent is obtained from the young person, and from their parent/care-giver if they are under the age of 18.
- All young people have the right to withdraw at any time should they wish to do so.
8.2 Facilitation of Youth Engagement
- Any individuals/organizations involved in the activity will be made aware of Girl First Fund’s safeguarding procedures and will be required to abide by the GFF code of conduct. This includes staff, consultants and other service providers.
- At least two adults are present during face-to-face interactions with young people, this includes having a second person copied in to email correspondence and included in WhatsApp groups.
- Prior to every activity, young people are provided with a briefing on safety which includes a simple and accessible way to report concerns. Any concerns raised during the activity will be managed in line with the reporting and response procedures contained within this policy.
- Young people will be made aware that they can withdraw from the session at any time. A time-out space will be agreed (virtual or physical) which young people can access as needed.
- After every activity, there will be a debrief with the young people to gain their feedback, check on their welfare and ensure that they have access to any support they may require.
- COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
All Girls First Fund communications, including through traditional and social media, are based on the principles of do no harm, informed consent, dignity and respect, and empowerment.
9.1 Do No Harm
The safety of those connected with our work will always be the paramount consideration. In particular, the best interests of the child will be protected over any other consideration, including advocacy on children’s issues.
- We limit the amount of information provided about the location to the city or region in which the image or story was obtained. For images, we ensure that there is no identifying information in the background (including the name of a school, hospital, village, etc.) or on the subject’s clothes.
- We only use first names in our communications. In addition, we ask whether the individual is happy for us to use their first name and will use a pseudonym where requested.
- Potential risks (e.g. legal implications, risk from perpetrators, risk of stigma or backlash from family or community) are discussed as part of the consent process. No personal data, sensitive information or imagery will be used that could compromise the safety, care or protection of those associated with our work.
9.2 Informed Consent
By obtaining consent, Girls First Fund ensures individuals have real choice and control over the sharing of their images and stories.
- When obtaining consent, we explain who we are, why we want the image and stories and what we will do with it. This is explained in simple language that can be easily understood by the individual and consent forms are translated.
- We obtain consent for images/stories to be used by specific GFF partners (for example, VOW for Girls and GFF’s funders) and explain our relationship with these partners as part of the consent process.
- We make sure individuals know they can refuse and that they won’t be penalised. We also explain how individuals can withdraw their consent, either through contacting GFF directly or by informing a representative within the grantee partner, who will contact GFF on their behalf.
- We explain in broad terms how we plan to use the imagery and only use the images/story in the context agreed upon by the subject. If we want to use this image/story in significantly new ways not included in the consent form, we will re-confirm consent with the partner.
- Whenever we feature individual children in our images or stories, we always ask for children’s consent and obtain parental consent for anyone under the age of 18 years. If the child does not have a parent or legal guardian, we will obtain consent from a caregiver who is responsible for the child’s care on a daily basis.
- If we are taking images or filming groups of children, we will notify children and parents in advance and provide them with the opportunity to opt out. We will obtain written consent from a senior staff member (e.g. Headteacher, Program Coordinator) confirming that children and parents have been informed and are happy to participate.
- We obtain a signed consent form as a record of when and how consent was obtained. If we do not have a signed consent form, we will not use the image or personal testimony. Written consent is not required for anonymised quotes or other content where the individual cannot be directly or indirectly identified.
9.3 Dignity and Respect
All Girls First Fund communications are based on the principle of respect for the dignity of people concerned.
- Any children who appear in images will be adequately clothed with no genitals or private body parts exposed. There will be no naked people in the background or foreground.
- We will not take or use images of children in sexually suggestive poses.
- When we show the challenges faced by individuals and communities, this will be balanced with a recognition of the strength and agency of those involved.
- We will proactively seek guidance from our grantee partners to ensure that we respect cultural and religious values and do not request or use images that could cause offense.
- When gathering images or personal testimonies, we will respect the education, work, religious and family commitments of our grantee partners and program participants and organise our work so that it causes minimal disruption.
9.4 Rights-based approach
The Girls First Fund takes a rights-based approach and actively supports the empowerment of children, parents and grantee partners in shaping the images and stories that we use.
- We place our grantee partners at the centre of our communications and work collaboratively to amplify their work and bring attention to issues they identify as important.
- We provide opportunities for those affected by child marriage to communicate their stories and experiences in their own words.
- Before finalising new content, we will report back to our grantee partners and request their approval for use. Wherever possible, we encourage our grantee partners to share this information with program participants as a mark of respect and ensure they understand how their input was used.
9.5 Content Gathering by Third Parties
External photographers, filmmakers, journalists and media partners are expected to adhere to GFF guidelines. This includes VOW for Girls, GFF’s sister organization that provides funding to GFF and its grantee partners by partnering with brands and individuals to end child marriage. To ensure safeguarding is prioritised:
- Photographers, filmmakers and journalists are provided with a copy of GFF Code of Conduct and Communications Guidelines and receive a briefing before visiting any GFF-funded programs.
- Compliance with the GFF Code of Conduct and Communications Guidelines is included in all contracts and agreements – whether the contract/agreement is held by Capital for Good or VOW for Girls.
- Photographers, filmmakers and journalists are supervised at all times by GFF staff or consultants (who have been oriented on the Girls First Fund Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy) during visits to Girls First Fund programs.
- Wherever possible, Girls First Fund will contract local photographers, filmmakers, and/or production crew members who are sensitive to the local cultural norms and speak the local language.
- Girls First Fund will normally contract local photographers and filmmakers who have been recommended by other organizations in our network. Where a new individual or agency is hired, Girls First Fund will obtain references before work commences.
- SAFE PEOPLE
10.1 Safe Recruitment
When recruiting new personnel, Girls First Fund undertake rigorous checks to ensure the suitability of potential candidates:
- Job advertisements state “The Girls First Fund is committed to the highest standard of safeguarding and protection. Employment is conditional upon the successful completion of background checks and compliance with our safeguarding policy is a contractual requirement.”
- Interviews are conducted to check the candidate’s suitability and ensure their beliefs and attitudes align with GFF values.
- 2 references are obtained as a minimum although Girls First Fund reserves the right to request additional references where necessary. References includes the candidate’s last employer who is asked to confirm if they would rehire the candidate.
- Once a conditional offer is made, criminal record checks are undertaken. Any check which is not clear, is discussed with the Fund Director who has the final decision regarding whether to proceed with appointment.
- All checks should be completed prior to the candidate starting work. In circumstances where there is a significant delay, the candidate may be permitted to undertake limited administrative duties with approval from the Senior Operations Officer, but will not be permitted to engage with partners, visit programs or have access to any sensitive or personal data.
10.2 Raising Awareness and Provision of Support
Upon joining Girls First Fund, new staff and consultants will be made aware of their safeguarding responsibilities and provided with support to adhere to these:
- Compliance with the Girls First Fund Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct is included in all employment and consultancy contracts.
- All employees are provided with a copy of the Girls First Fund’s Safeguarding Policy and the hiring manager ensures that new personnel have read and understood their obligations as part of the onboarding procedure.
- All personnel receive a refresher training at least every 2 years following the review of GFF’s Safeguarding Policy.
Safeguarding includes ensuring the wellbeing of GFF staff and we are mindful of the risk of vicarious trauma due to the nature of GFF’s work. To ensure that staff are supported:
- 1-to-1s and team meetings provide space for GFF personnel to reflect on and receive support with any safeguarding issues which may emerge.
- GFF personnel are provided with a wellness stipend to support their individual wellbeing,
- GFF will agree flexible working hours and will encourage and refer consultants and staff impacted by our work to counselling or other support services.
- APPROVAL AND REVIEW
Girl First Fund will check whether any changes are required to this Safeguarding Policy on an annual basis. This will be led by the Senior Operations Officer. A full review of the policy will be conducted every 2 years and the revised policy will be approved by the GFF Board and Capital for Good.
Date of Last Review: December 2021
Date Approved: March 18, 2022
Date of Next Review: December 2023