these children will have formed bonds with adults on the street who do have their best interests at heart. In an emergency, the child may only be able to reach this adult on the street. In these circumstances, it’s important that a case worker works with the child to develop a safety plan and assess the child’s relationship with the adult whom they have allocated as their ‘safe person’. The facilitator should take a note of references that children make to a safe person on the street and support the child to speak to a case worker.
Children may have one or more ‘safe person’. If children are in the workplace, an adult close to where they work might be able to help more swiftly in the event of an emergency. As a facilitator, it will be important to make children consider the different circumstances and work around what is most helpful to children who find themselves in extreme circumstances.
Children’s wishes of who their ‘safe person, a trusted adult’ is, should be respected. They should be encouraged to speak to an adult who they feel understands them and would be able to support them.
EXPLAIN TO CHILDREN
• Think about which grownups you would feel safe talking to.
• Think about which adults you would feel safe talking to, who are close to your place of work.
• Identify an adult you trust whom you could speak to if you feel that you’re in danger.
• It’s okay to feel scared and confused about who the right person may be.
• If you are not sure who this person can be, you can speak to the facilitator of the session to support you in identifying a safe person.
CALL A HOTLINE
Throughout the comic there are images and key messages indicating that children can call a hotline. Most child protection agencies have a hotline for child protection case management. As a facilitator working with children in a specific area, at the beginning of the sessions you should share your NGOs child protection contact information. A number of children will be able to save the number on their phone. For children who do not have a phone – share your NGOs hotline number which directly connects the child to a case worker on a laminated piece of paper. This is important because children are often working under circumstances where ordinary paper would simply disintegrate.
Other important numbers that children can save on their phone or should have on a laminated sheet of paper include:
1. The police
2. The Red Cross
3. NGO child protection case management hotline
4. The Ministry of Labor’s Child Labor Unit hotline
5. Immediate and extended family members
EXPLAIN TO CHILDREN
• In the event of an emergency, call the police and stay on the phone till someone answers.
• In the event of a medical emergency, call the Red Cross and stay on the phone till someone answers.
• Tell the Red Cross or the police what is happening and ask for immediate help.
• If you need to speak to your ‘safe person, a trusted adult’, save their number on your phone.
• If you need to speak to someone and don’t know who to call, you can call the hotline of a children’s NGO.
• If you don’t have a phone, ask someone you trust if you can use their phone and that you need help.
• If you don’t know anyone whose phone you can use, ask someone close to you if you can use their phone.
Throughout the comic there are references to children being superheroes and their special powers. Children’s super powers are meant to illustrate that no matter what we are experiencing, we have inner strengths and qualities that we should be proud of.
Superhero qualities are children being able to ask for help, trusting their instincts, being brave under difficult circumstances, selecting safer options, recognizing that circumstances aren’t their fault, and showing kindness to other working children.
As a facilitator you will be tasked to encourage children to believe in their strengths and reinforce the understanding that even if at times they feel ashamed or scared, they are superheroes who are brave and have many inner qualities that prove this.