Child Protection Office
ISKCON Child Protection Office Policy & Operational Guidelines
Child Protection Team – Role and Responsibilities
Every ISKCON temple, project and school is required to have a trained and active Child Protection Team (CPT) per ISKCON law. CPT’s are accountable to both the CPO Director and
local ISKCON Temple President or community leader (and Regional CPO Director where existing).
CPT’s serve in an advisory capacity to the temple management and are intended to be independent of the management. This system provides a layer of accountability, confidentiality
and objectivity for all parties. CPT’s have a special focus of knowing what to do and who to contact when child protection issues arise, as well as making sure child abuse prevention
measures are in place.
Appointment and Removal:
A CPT will be made up of at least two local individuals, ideally three. (If family members serve on a CPT there should be at least one additional member.)
Existing CPT members can select additional members, subject to the approval of the Temple President and CPO Director, or CPO Regional Director.
If no CPT members are active, new members will be selected by the local Temple President or community leader, in consultation with the CPO Director.
***Names of all CPT members and their contact information should be provided to the CPO Director and updated annually, by January 5, by local Temple Presidents, and if they fail to do
so, by the individual GBC Member responsible for that zone.
Removal of a CPT member may occur by request of the CPO Director, Temple President or the CPT itself. If temple management wants a CPT member removed from the service this should be
done in coordination with the CPO Director and vice versa.
Qualifications to be a CPT member:
Members may represent different constituencies – parents, school, community, etc.
Members should be able to be objective, balanced, mature, approachable and able to keep strict confidence. A special background or education in the field of child abuse response is not
necessary but can be quite helpful.
Every member must receive training from the CPO. They should be trained according to standards set by the CPO Director and these Guidelines, and should take advantage of all
resources provided by local Social Services.
Ideally, CPT members will not be Temple Presidents, but will work in cooperation with them in the protection of children at the local level. Applicants for CPT positions shall undergo necessary
training per CPO direction, and be active members in good standing of the community.
Promote an atmosphere of child protection in their local community.
Be sensitive to and understand the implications of child abuse and neglect.
Arrange regular [at least annual] training for children, parents, teachers, community leaders and other personnel in child protection principles.
Be familiar with CPO Policy and Operational Guidelines and ensure local application.
Be familiar with their local laws and social service requirements regarding responding to and reporting allegations of abuse.
Work with local temple and community leaders to ensure that all clergy, personnel, and volunteers who serve in a trusted position have been appropriately screened, per CPO
policies, i.e. criminal background check, CPO clearance and calling references.
Help ensure appropriate codes of practice are in place for those working with children.
Distribute the CPO Guidelines to teachers, management, relevant personnel and individuals.
Assist and advise the local Temple President and the CPO Director regarding any issue that may arise locally regarding child protection concerns.
Serve as the “first line of defense” in reporting any allegations of abuse to civil authorities and the CPO Director, per the Guidelines.
Where a CPT member or ISKCON authority has reasonable cause to suspect that a child who is a member of the community is suffering, or is likely to suffer harm, they shall make, or cause to be made, such enquiries as necessary.
It is recommended that the CPT meet monthly with the goal of preventing child abuse in their community as well as preparing in the event an issue arises.
Being prepared for an incident of child abuse, regarding the child, perpetrator and community includes knowing local laws, knowing who to report to, knowing local services such as Social
Services, Department of Children and Families, Rape Crisis Center, etc.
Arranging for annual child protection awareness training of children and adults in their community can include finding local secular resources such as someone who does personal safety training in local schools for children and/or someone from a domestic violence agency who speaks to churches.