Family Support Trust

harare central hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe

0774 227430

FST is a local Zimbabwean nongovernmental organisation that offers medical and psychosocial support services to survivors of sexual abuse and gender-based violence.  The organisation is a registered private voluntary organisation (PVO  13/2005)   that started as a Trust in 1997 when concerned paediatricians, gynaecologists, psychologists and social workers at Harare Central Hospital felt dealing with abused children in the normal casualty line was further traumatising the child.

After a few attempts to address the situation within the existing system it was finally decided to establish a “one stop” child friendly clinic for abused children in the Children’s Rehabilitation Unit of the hospital. This led to having a separate set of dedicated staff to man the clinic and a conducive environment to provide medical and psychosocial support services to the traumatised child. FST initially offered medical and psychosocial services to child survivors of sexual abuse and violence up to the age of 16 years. However, in order be proactive rather than reactive, the organisation expanded its services to include prevention and capacity building of stakeholders including communities. The organisation opened new clinics in Chitungwiza, Mutare and Beitbridge making them four.  In addition to offering services to children only, in 2010, FST through   a request by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development incorporated adults in their survivor friendly clinics.

The Child Safe Guarding Policy indicates how the rights, safety and safeguarding of children are of paramount concern to Family Support and its members.  For the past 21 years the organisation has worked to develop robust child safeguarding measures.  This policy aims to strengthen the continued efforts with the goal of ensuring that FST’s child safeguarding standards are clear, comprehensive and enforceable. In doing so, it builds on the international child safeguarding standards of Keeping Children Safe and the good practices of other international groups.

We intend to continue to refine and strengthen this policy as we learn more about what works in this important area. We strive to be leaders within the growing movement of organisations that recognise the importance of safeguarding and promoting the rights and protecting the welfare of children.

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