During the month of January 2017 The TEA Project completed eight, 1-day, SAFE-TEA© (Safeguarding Children) Training Programmes across Sri Lanka. The training was led by a UK Consultant Social Worker, and TEA Project Trustee, Dee Tracey.
Five Local Government Schools and three non-profit organisations participated in the programme. Non-profit organisations included the Women’s Development Centre who support abused women and girls, Social Work students from NISD (National Institute of Social Development) and The POWER Foundation; a Civil Rights Organisation.
The training TEAm consisted of two Project Workers, VolunTEArs and Directors; travelling to the Central, Eastern, Western and Uva Provinces running SAFE-TEA training with TEA Project partners.
Aim of SAFE-TEA©
The programme looked to educate professionals about the different forms of child abuse, signs of abuse, how to respond to disclosures and how to reduce harm and keep children safe from abuse. Each partner received a flash drive with supplementary safeguarding children information; including posters, reports, a draft Safeguarding Children Policy and Job Description for a Lead Safeguarding Officer. ‘Safe Touch leaflets’ and informative laminated awareness posters for children were also provided.
Government schools in Sri Lanka do not commonly have safer recruitment procedures or policies in place to protect children from abuse. Simple action plans were completed with schools to encourage them to implement a Child Protection Policy and to nominate a lead professional to manage and record all incidents of Child Abuse.