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Blog: Child Safety at WellSpring

March 29, 2024

“We believe every child has a right to be protected from harm and maltreatment and that everyone has a responsibility to support the protection of children.”

-Avalon Wood, LifePlus Director of Child Safety and Protection

Student safety and protection is a priority for us at WellSpring. And when students feel safe, they can thrive.

What is child safety?

The safety of a child is based on the reasonable care and supervision of a child - this includes care and supervision related to day-to-day dangers as well intentional abuse. Child safety refers to the practices, measures, and policies aimed at protecting children from harm, injury, abuse, and neglect. It encompasses a child's environment, including physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Child safety measures are designed to create environments where children can grow, learn, and thrive in a secure and supportive manner. Overall, child safety is a multifaceted concept that requires collaboration among parents, caregivers, educators, communities, and policymakers to create environments where children can grow and thrive free from harm.

Child safety measures are designed to create environments where children can grow, learn, and thrive in a secure and supportive manner.

What is the importance of child safety in school?

Schools are entrusted with the care and education of young individuals, and it's crucial to create an environment where children can learn and develop without fear of harm or abuse. Schools that prioritize child safety help establish positive relationships among students, teachers, staff, and the wider community. “Prioritizing child safety in schools is essential for promoting the holistic development and well-being of children, as well as fostering a positive and nurturing learning environment,” says Ms. Mai, Child Protection officer at WellSpring.

How do we as WellSpring look after the children in our care?

WellSpring values children and desires to ensure their safety in all locations and facilities where we are responsible for them. Thus, the protection of children is the responsibility of every adult in this organization. All staff members, teachers, cleaners, bus drivers, and volunteers undergo Child Safety and Protection training.

In addition, we have three trained Child Safety leads on campus who oversee the implementation of our Child Safety policies and handle reported incidents. These specialists undergo additional training to raise awareness about child safety within the school community and are equipped to respond to any concerns promptly.

Our policies are crafted to align with the National Child Protection Policy in Educational Institutions in the United Arab Emirates, ensuring the highest standards of safety.

We ensure that all staff understand the definitions of child abuse described in the LifePlus staff handbook, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and inappropriate behavior. We ensure that each staff member and school volunteer understands and agrees to all elements of the LifePlus Code of Conduct and Child Safety policies and procedures prior to working with children. We establish clear and enforceable policies and procedures related to child safety, including codes of conduct, reporting protocols for suspected abuse or neglect, and guidelines for maintaining appropriate boundaries with students.

Safe Reporting Mechanism
We believe in providing a safe space for reporting incidents. If anyone wishes to report an incident or express a concern, a dedicated form is available for submission (obtainable on our website and in our school’s intranet).

Child safety is a multi-faceted concept, and our comprehensive Child Safety policy would not be complete without counseling support and our health clinic.

Counseling Support

Recognizing the importance of mental health and social-emotional well-being, WellSpring provides wide-ranging counseling support for students. With two dedicated counselors, we offer individual and group counseling sessions, as well as Social-Emotional Learning lessons for specific grade levels. Our counselors collaborate closely with teachers, principals, and families to ensure holistic support for each student.

For any child safety concerns or counseling needs, we encourage parents, students, and staff to reach out to our counselors. Their doors are always open for support, guidance, and assistance in navigating challenges.

Health Clinic

With a combined experience of 24 years, our school nurses bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the WellSpring community. Coming from a background of ICU nursing, they are well-equipped to handle any health-related situation with precision and care.

Both our nurses work full time and are available throughout the day to meet the health needs of our students. We conduct all the health care requirements as per the Ministry of Health: vaccinations, physical examinations, eye examinations and BMI evaluations. We are equipped to manage chronic health problems as well as meet the needs of any health problem our students may face.

At WellSpring, we are committed to creating an environment where students feel safe, valued, and empowered to thrive. Our comprehensive child safety policies and robust support systems reflect our unwavering dedication to the well-being of every child entrusted to our care. Together, we build a community where our students are empowered and have the freedom to learn, love and lead in the world around them.

Recognized for excellence

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The WellSpring Private School is accredited by Cognia, the largest education improvement organization in the world—demonstrating our commitment to learners, teachers, leaders and communities.