We are delighted to announce that Compassion International has achieved the KCS Level 1 Certification in Child Protection from Keeping Children Safe (KCS), an internationally recognized child safeguarding organization.
According to the certification announcement from KCS, “Compassion has established a sound and robust framework for keeping children safe, as identified through a self-assessment, external review of key documents and interviews with key personnel. The framework identifies child safeguarding risks and describes the steps Compassion has taken to ensure that minimum child safeguarding measures are in place.”
The KCS process took Compassion’s child protection team 18 months to complete and included a self-audit by each of Compassion’s 25 national offices. The team pored over more than 400 documents and conducted 68 individual interviews, including Compassion staff whose roles and responsibilities were not specific to child protection, to understand whether child protection was embedded across all departments and countries.
According to the KCS evaluation, Compassion exceeded certification requirements.
“Achieving this level of certification is an important milestone for us,” said Compassion’s senior child protection advisor Megan Kelly. “We are thrilled to have this validation and the opportunity to continue to implement systems and best practices to keep children safe.”
The KCS standards represent the gold standard in the NGO sector, and they have been adopted by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United Kingdom’s Charity Commission, and acknowledged by the UN. Paul Sergio Pinheiro, the independent expert for the UN study on violence against children, said of the standards: “They offer an excellent opportunity, not only for the improvement of the quality and professionalism of those working with children, but most importantly, [they] will help to achieve a greater impact for children.”
Compassion’s global child protection team will continue to collaborate with regional and national leadership this year as they determine how recommendations provided by KCS will be incorporated into existing child protection strategies and implemented for the benefit of children around the world.