ISPCAN’s mission to support individuals and organizations working to protect children from abuse and neglect worldwide is delivered in part through its training and development programs. An ISPCAN goal is to ensure the development and delivery of multi-disciplinary training and development activities by knowledgeable and skilled professionals to both professionals and concerned volunteers engaged in efforts to treat and prevent child abuse. This policy statement should be read in conjunction with ISPCAN’s Non-Discrimination Statement which applies to all aspects of ISPCAN’s work.

This policy applies to:

  • All training and development programs provided by ISPCAN’s councilors or by others on behalf of ISPCAN in a paid or voluntary capacity
  • All training and development materials/resources published by ISPCAN.
    Content and Delivery

Values and Principles

All training and development activities:

  • Are consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and should actively promote a child’s rights approach to child protection
  • Are underpinned by ISPCAN’s commitment to multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaborative working and respect the contribution of different professions and organizations to child protection
  • Are culturally, religiously and linguistically sensitive and relevant to the country/context in which they are being deliveredRecognize and respect diversity in relation to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, cultural differences, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status or military status
    • Are evidence-based and informed by high quality research and best practice
    • Take place with respect to a bio-psychosocial understanding of child protection and utilize the expertise of multidisciplinary approach

ISPCAN has developed Key principles for effective training programs on child abuse and neglect (1A) and Adult learning guidelines (1B). These are based on standards of best practice and are recommended for the design and delivery of all face to face training. The use of Preparing an existing curriculum for delivery in a specific country (1D) is recommended for ensuring training is culturally relevant to a specific country.

Confidentiality and Child Protection Concerns

  • All case material used in training and development is anonymous.
  • Photographic images used in training are disguised so no child can be identified.
  • Images of children are used only with informed consent.
  • Facilitators of interactive and face to face training remind participants of the importance of respecting client/patient confidentiality when discussing individual cases. This includes respect for any disclosures of abuse made by training course participants.
  • If concerns arise in the course of training about continuing risks of abuse or neglect to an individual child, the training facilitator ensures that necessary action is taken to address these concerns. This will usually be done through supporting the individual who has raised the concerns but on occasion it may be necessary for the facilitator to initiate other action.
  • If a participant raises, or the facilitator has, concerns about the participants’ own past or current experiences of abuse/neglect/violence or current mental health these should be discussed firstly with person themselves, and where appropriate, suggestions made about organisations that could help them. If the facilitator still has concerns about the participant they should refer these to the designated senior manager within the participant’s employing organization.
  • If there are serious concerns about the professional conduct of a course participant and this poses a significant risk of harm to children the facilitator will act on these concerns in consultation with ISPCAN’s Chair of the Consultation, External Relations and Training Committee and President.

Facilitation of Face-to-Face training

  • Co-facilitation of all face to face training on child protection is the usual training practice.
  • Facilitators are welcoming and inclusive and actively promote shared learning through the creation of a safe and enabling learning environment. See Adult learning guidelines (1B).

Quality Assurance

  • All ISPCAN training and development activities are evaluated by participants and facilitators using the relevant form/s. The appropriate depth and focus of the evaluation depends on the nature and length of the program. For examples see 3A and 3B.
  • All ISPCAN training and development materials are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. This review takes place at least every 3 years by the TCER Committee.
  • Any training program commissioned or published by ISPCAN follows ISPCAN guidelines (1A, 1B, 1C) and is reviewed using the Checklist for reviewing training materials/programs (3E).
  • ISPCAN welcomes feedback on its training and development programs and responds to any complaints in an open and transparent way.