Child protection

Children should be safe and doing well. However, ensuring child safety in the field of domestic violence can be challenging.

Perpetrator work is one in many services and interventions ensuring the safety and well-being of domestic violence survivors. Having victim safety as a goal of our programmes is not nearly enough to ensure that our work is truly oriented toward safety, well-being and the best interest of a child.

Professionals and organisations in this field often encounter dilemmas. Many practices focus on the woman as the victim, excluding the children from interventions. Some of the dilemmas emerge when it comes to working directly with children, e.g. how to approach a child in a way that will not lead to re-traumatisation. Even when not working directly with children, but "in the name of a child", or addressing issues that can affect a child, it can be difficult to keep the needs and the best interest of a child in the focus, or to correctly assess its needs. This is especially the case when other processes are active, like custody issues or lawsuits for child abuse and neglect.

Child protection policies in perpetrator work

Comprehensive, clear and well-implemented child protection policies and procedures are crucial to:

  • ensure that your practice is child-centered and safe
  • enable timely and standardized reactions in cases when children are harmed, or at risk of being harmed
  • ensure that employees are committed to child safety and well-being
  • show the organisation’s commitment to child safety and well-being to the local community and donor organizations (some calls for projects emphasize the need for a child protection policy as one of the criteria for applicants)
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Establishing child-safety and well-being focused practices can start with adopting a child protection policy, but it doesn’t end there. It requires continuous monitoring, evaluation and capacity building by your staff.


Child protection policy & procedures

Child Protection Policy & Procedures Template

WWP EN Child Protection Policy

Organisational child risk identification (ORCI) checklist for your organisation

A checklist to assess the risks your organisation's activities pose to children and determine how to mitigate them

Free child safeguarding self-assessment tool

Could your organisation be putting children at risk of harm? The free Keeping Children Safe self-assessment tool can help you understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses - and help you close those child safeguarding gaps.

Free child safeguarding self-assessment tool

Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention): Children's rights

Overview of children's rights contained in the Istanbul Convention


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Morrison, F. & Houghton, C. (2022). Children’s human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19. The International Journal of Human Rights. DOI:

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