Child Protection For ECD Practitioners

With the celebration of child protection week from the 29th of May to the 5th of June 2017, we were deeply saddened with so many newspaper reports of young children being brutally raped and murdered within their very own communities and often within their very own homes, right here in the Western Cape. Communities where children should feel safe. Unfortunately, in many cases children become the victims of dynamics that are often hard to understand. ECD centres play such an important role as outreach centres for child protection and therefore Ezrah chose the equipping of ECD practitioners with child protection skills as main project for this very important week.

On the 1st of June 2017, Ezrah got the opportunity to facilitate a session on how to implement a child protection policy with about 30 ECD centres in the Wise Owl project by invitation from Inceba.

The training coordinator of Ezrah, Mariette Jacobs, along with a registered social worker, Carien van Zyl faced the challenging task at hand to share as much information as possible on the following topics within a marathon 2 hour session:

  1. Being a champion for kids
  2. Children’s rights and responsibilities
  3. Identifying different types of abuse/neglect and reporting it correctly through Form 22
  4. Positive interaction with children
  5. Addressing bullying
  6. Implementing basic positive discipline techniques
  7. Protocols for the taking of photos
  8. Safe transport and outings
  9. Teaching children protective behaviour
  10. Screening and management of staff including volunteers
  11. Managing visitors
  12. Reporting incidents to DSD
  13. Protocols when a child goes missing.
  14. Keeping of records

We realised that the time was far to short to cover all the topics in depth and that only an overview was possible. ECD practitioners were also provided with child protection templates and participated enthusiastically by sharing their own challenges. As an outcome of the training, ECD practitioners committed to discuss many of the matters that were raised in more depth within their group supervision and to be even more committed to be champions for children in their community. Ezrah wants to thank Inceba for making this project possible and we trust that the ECD centres within this project will not hesitate to go green all the way.