Child Protection Policy

ISNS Child Protection Policy and Procedures

ISNS promotes the values of respect, integrity, compassion and responsibility and seeks to “foster wellness”. The ISNS Child Protection Policy seeks to protect the student, the family, and the ISNS community. It ensures that the right to protection and access to confidential support systems is available to all students. 

The following policy is adapted with permission from the Jakarta Intercultural School’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures Handbook 2015-2016.

Child Protection Policy

Duty of Care

Child abuse and neglect are of growing concern in schools throughout the world. Child abuse and neglect are violations of a child’s human rights and are obstacles to a child’s education as well as to his/her physical, emotional, and social development. The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) has an institutional responsibility to protect children. In this role we need to ensure that all children in our care are afforded a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop, no matter from what cultural background they come.  As educators, we have the opportunity to observe and interact with children over time on a daily basis and are in a unique position to identify children who need help and protection.  As such, we have a professional and ethical obligation to identify children who are in need of protection and to take steps to ensure that the child and family avail themselves of the services needed to remedy any situation that constitutes child abuse or neglect. 

All faculty and staff at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen are mandated to report their concerns about the well-being of any student. Reporting and follow up of all suspected incidences of child abuse or neglect will proceed in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures linked to this policy. Furthermore, cases of suspected child abuse or neglect may be reported to the appropriate employer, to the respective consulate in China, to the appropriate child protection agency in the home country, and/or to local authorities. 

The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen endorses the Convention on the Rights of the Child (of which our host country, China, is a signatory and seeks to be a safe haven for students who may be experiencing abuse or neglect in any aspect of their lives) as well as the Domestic Violence Law of China. The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen will distribute this policy annually to all parents and applicants, will communicate this policy annually to students, will provide annual training for all faculty and staff, and will make every effort to implement hiring practices to ensure the safety of children. In the case of a staff member reported as an alleged offender, the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen will conduct a full investigation following a carefully designed course of due process.

Child Protection Policy

Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect

The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen has a rich and diverse community with multiple cultural beliefs, values, and practices. To respect the global nature of the community, for the purposes of our child safeguarding policy, we have chosen to follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of abuse and neglect. 

The WHO declares: 

“Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.” 

For the purposes of this document a CHILD is defined as being any person under the age of 18 or any person enrolled at ISNS as a full-time student, even if that person has reached his/her 18 birthday. 

A detailed explanation of the different types of child abuse and possible symptoms is given below. 

Child Protection Policy

Forms of Abuse

Physical abuse 

Physical abuse of a child is a form of abuse, which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or caregiver fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. 

Emotional abuse 

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. 

Emotional Neglect is a dimension of Emotional Abuse. 

Neglect and negligent treatment 

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical, educational and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or caregiver failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 

Sexual abuse 

Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. 

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. 

Indicators that a child may be suffering abuse:

The following physical and emotional/behavioral indicators may suggest that a child is in need of support and potentially at risk of/or suffering from some form of abuse. They may also be an indication of something else such as bereavement or other temporary trauma. It is important to report anything seen or observed so that trained counselors can meet with the student to assess what support the student needs, whatever the reason. 

Possible Physical indicators:

  • Injuries (bruises, welts, cuts, burns, bite marks, fractures, etc.) that are not consistent with the explanation offered (e.g. extensive bruising to one area) 

  • Presence of several injuries (3+) that are in various stages of healing

  • Repeated injuries over a period of time

  • Injuries that form a shape or pattern that may look like the object used to make the injury (e.g. 
buckle, hand, iron, teeth, cigarette burns)

  • Facial injuries in infants and preschool children (e.g. cuts, bruises, sores, etc.)

  • Injuries not consistent with the child's age and development 

  • Bald patches on child's head where hair may have been torn out

  • Repeated poisonings and/or accidents

  • Frequent psychosomatic complaints, headaches, nausea, abdominal pains

  • Child is unwashed or hungry

  • Unattended medical and dental needs 

  • Ingestion of cleaning fluids, medicines, etc. 

  • Consistent hunger 

  • Nutritional deficiencies 

  • Inappropriate dress for weather conditions 

  • Poor hygiene persistent (untreated) conditions (e.g. Scabies, head lice, diaper rash, or other skin disorders) 

  • Sexual drawings or language 

  • Bedwetting 

  • Eating problems such as overeating or anorexia 

  • Self harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts 

  • Substance or drug abuse 

  • Venereal disease in a child of any age 

  • Frequent urinary tract infections for young children both male and female

  • Evidence of physical trauma or bleeding to the oral, genital, or anal areas

  • Difficulty in walking or sitting 

  • Not wanting to be alone with an individual 

  • Pregnancy, especially at a young age

Possible Behavioral indicators:

  • Refusing to change into PE clothes, fear of bathrooms 

  • Child running away from home and not giving any specific complaint 

  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about 

  • Parents are uninterested in child’s academic performance

  • Suddenly having unexplained sexual knowledge, behavior, or use of language not appropriate to age level

  • Unusual interpersonal relationship patterns

  • Depression 

  • Poor impulse control 

  • Constant demand for attention and affection 

  • Lack of parental participation and interest 

  • Delinquency 

  • Regularly displays fatigue or listlessness, falls asleep in class 

  • Steals food, or begs for food from classmate(s) 

  • Reports that no caregiver is at home

  • Frequently absent or tardy

  • Self destructive 

  • Drops out of school (adolescent) 

  • Takes over adult caring role (of parent)

  • Lacks trust in others, unpredictable 

  • Plans only for the moment 

  • Runaway attempts and fear of going home

  • Stilted conversation, vacant stares or frozen watchfulness, no attempt to seek comfort when hurt 

  • Describes self as bad and deserving to be punished 

  • Cannot recall how injuries occurred or offers an inconsistent explanation 

  • Wary of adults or reluctant to go home

  • May flinch if touched unexpectedly 

  • Extremely aggressive or withdrawn

  • Displays indiscriminate affection seeking behavior

  • Abusive behavior and language in play 

  • Poor sleeping patterns, fear of the dark, frequent nightmares 

  • Sad, cries frequently

  • Drug/alcohol misuse 

  • Depression 

  • Abandonment 

  • Consistent lack of supervision

  • Poor memory and concentration 

  • Mental or emotional development lags 

  • Behaviors inappropriate for age 

  • Fear of failure, overly high standards, reluctance to play

  • Fears consequences of actions, often leading to lying 

  • Extreme withdrawal or aggressiveness, mood swings 

  • Overly compliant, too well mannered 

  • Excessive neatness and cleanliness 

  • Extreme attention seeking behaviors 

  • Poor peer relationships 

  • Violence is a subject for art or writing 

  • Complains of social isolation

  • Forbidden contact with other children 

  • Repeated communications from the school unheeded 

  • Both parents or legal guardian are absent from China for any period of 24 hours or greater

  • Parents cannot be reached in the case of emergency 

  • Lack of appropriate supervision—this would include failure to provide proper adult guardianship* 
such as leaving children unsupervised at home for any extended period of time.

*Note: ISNS policy requires that one parent be a full time resident in China. Should parents/ guardian leave the country for any reason, the responsibility for informing the school of all appropriate contact details lies with the parent or guardian. Temporary Change of Guardian Forms are available from ISNS. These forms are expected to be completed prior to parents/guardians leaving the country. ISNS defines Caretaker as follows: An adult designated to make any and all legal, financial, social and medical decisions for the child in the parent’s or guardian’s absence.