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Workshop aims to create a unified process for reporting cases of child abuse

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) organised a series of workshops for all Abu Dhabi public and private school principals on the implementation of a Child Protection Policy, which has been developed by ADEC at the start of the 2016-17 school year, and comes in line with Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 on child protection.

The workshops aimed to educate school leaders and staff on the mechanism of implementing a Child Protection Policy and reporting procedures of alleged abuse or neglect cases.

Dr. Layla Alhyas, Program Manager at ADEC’s Health and Wellness Division, indicated that the policy comes to ensure implementing unified student protection procedures across all schools through providing schools with clear guidance on ways to protect children from all forms of abuse, bullying, exploitation or neglect, as well as identifying and supporting students who may have suffered from any form of abuse or neglect.

According to the policy, school leaders as well as staff, have a common responsibility to report cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.

The workshops, which have been held in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region, defined and explained different forms of abuse and neglect that students may be exposed to, as well as the indicators of a suspected abuse.

Moreover, participants were presented with the unified process of reporting via the Child Protection Centre hotline (116111), provided by the Ministry of Interior, as well as the electronic reporting link available on ADEC’s website, while case reports and student data are kept strictly confidential as per the Child Protection Policy.

Additionally, responsibilities of school staff towards protecting school children from exposure to any form of abuse and/or neglect, and ensuring immediate intervention in case of such incidents were illustrated.

According to the Policy, school staff are responsible for raising awareness on child protection and reinforcing student willingness to report their concerns regarding abuse and/or neglect without fear of reprisal or punishment.

The importance of maintaining effective communication channels between schools and parents was highlighted at the workshops, emphasising the key role of parents in providing protection to their children in terms of cooperating with the school regarding any inquiries on their children’s behaviour and receiving school feedback and guidance, in addition to the importance of attending parental meetings.

– ADEC Media