Child Protection Policy

Child Protection at St Paul American School Hanoi

Last Updated August 8, 2023

SPASH Child Protection Policy:
SPASH promotes the values of respect, integrity, compassion, and responsibility and seeks to foster wellness throughout our school community. The SPASH Child Protection Policy seeks to protect the student, the family, and the SPASH community. It ensures that the right to protection and access to confidential support systems is available to all community members.


SPASH Duty of Care:

  • SPASH has an institutional responsibility to protect children.
  • 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 St. Paul American School Hanoi 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 presented later in this presentation. 
    • Mandated Reporting must happen within 24 hours of your suspicions 
  • Cases of suspected child abuse or neglect may be reported to the appropriate employer, to the respective consulate in Hanoi, to the appropriate child protection agency in the home country, and/or to local authorities.


Code of Conduct:
At SPASH we put the well-being, development, and progress of children and young people first.  Therefore, all staff at SPASH:

  • Use their professional expertise and judgment to do the best for the children and young people in their care;
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people under their supervision;
  • Follow the school’s student-related policies and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries in their relationships with children and young people;
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and take responsibility for accessing help and support in order to ensure that their own practice does not have a negative impact on learning or progress, or put children and young people at risk of harm;
  • Use appropriate channels to raise concerns about the practice of other teachers or professionals if this has a negative impact on learning or progress, or risks harming children and young people.

Standard Operating Procedures

1 of 3 – Theory of Action:

  1. Prevention through the creation of a positive school atmosphere and the teaching and pastoral support offered to students.
  2. Protection by following agreed procedures, ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child safeguarding concerns.
  3. Support for students who may have been abused.


2 of 3 – Child Protection Committee:
Child Protection Officer #1 (CPO1) to ensure that all of the child protection procedures are followed within the school.

Child Protection Officer #2 (CPO2) will act in the CPO1’s absence.

It is the role of the CPO to ensure that all staff employed, including temporary staff and volunteers within the school, are aware of the school’s internal procedures, to advise staff and to offer support wherever necessary.

The Child Protection Committee is convened on a bi-annual basis to:

  • Review the Child Protection Policy and Procedures Manual (annually)
  • Report the number and nature of Reports of Concern logged across the school
  • Plan and report on training
  • Review and consider lessons learned from specific incidents

SPASH Child Protection Committee: 

CPO1 Elementary – Clare Starobynski
CPO1 Secondary – John North, TJ Shiers
CPO2 Elementary – Alex Alvarez
CPO2 Secondary – Corey Gagne, Annie Cadwell
CPO3 – Nurse Tam

Nurse Hotline – 0964 783 166

3 of 3 –  Reporting Protocol:

Reporting: Important Considerations:

Concerns or alerts may be as a result of:

– Observed student behavior (e.g. physical, emotional, change in behavior)

– Hearsay (i.e. third party disclosure)

– Disclosure (i.e. specific report made by a student directly or via a trusted adult)

– Observed adult behavior (e.g. breach of Code of Conduct)


Any adult to whom a student makes a disclosure, must:

– Listen carefully to what is said. Don’t interrupt or prompt. Let the child tell the story in their own words. Use TED prompts:

– TELL me what happened

– EXPLAIN what happened

– DESCRIBE what happened.

– Reassure the child that they are right to speak up. Be calm, attentive, non-judgmental – don’t show any emotion other than sympathy.

– Confidentiality – make it clear that this cannot be kept a secret and that you have a duty to report it to a CPO / Counselor who is properly trained to help students in this situation.

– Question the child only if necessary to clarify something that is unclear such as when and where. Do not ask leading questions.

– Action – contact the child’s Counselor or Administrator immediately and complete a Report of Concern form (ROC). 

– Write it down – use the child’s words as far as possible and record anything else that concerns you.


Confidentiality can be a delicate issue, which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with students, particularly in the context of child protection. 

– When talking with a student about a sensitive issue, it’s important to be clear that everything you discuss is confidential UNLESS the individual is at risk of harming themselves or others or the individual is being harmed or at risk of being harmed in some way by another person

– Where there is a child protection concern, this must be reported to the Counselor or the CPO immediately.


Types and Signs of Abuse:

– Physical Abuse

  • Injuries that have a pattern
  • Explanation for the injury changes
  • The child doesn’t receive medical treatment for injuries

– Emotional Abuse

  • Atypical reactions to pain or situations
  • Self-harm
  • Indifferent about surroundings
  • Unusually fearful, angry or sad

– Neglect and negligent treatment

  • Changes in behavior or grades
  • Behavior issues
  • Developmental delays

– Sexual Abuse

  • Avoiding the bathroom
  • Showing signs of discomfort
  • Knowing more about sex than is developmentally appropriate
  • Risky behavior

Physical Touch Guidelines:

There are occasions when it is entirely appropriate and proper for staff to have physical contact with pupils, but it is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their professional role.


This means that adults should:

  • Refrain from socializing with students outside of a school context without parent or administrative knowledge 
  • Advise administration of any social contact they have with a student which may give rise to concern
  • Report and record any situation which they feel might compromise the school or their own professional standing


This means that adults should:

  • Report any indications (verbal, written or physical) that suggest a pupil may be infatuated with a member of staff or is physically or emotionally hurt by staff member
  • Be aware that even well intentioned physical contact may be misconstrued by the child, an observer or by anyone to whom this action is described
  • Never touch a child in a way which may be considered indecent
  • Always be prepared to explain actions and accept that all physical contact be open to scrutiny
  • Never indulge in horseplay or other conduct which may be misconstrued

Guidelines for being alone in a room with a student

In the event that you find yourself alone in a room with a student, please do your best to do the following:

– Leave the door open. Get up to open the door if the student closes it on their way in

– Tell a nearby colleague that you are having a brief meeting with a student in your room

– Invite other students to attend if possible

– Ensure the interior of each room is visible from the outside