Child Protection Policy of Mental Health Foundation, Kolkata

Working with Children requires us to abide by certain norms for prevention of harm and abuse of children. Mental Health Foundation, Kolkata adheres to its Child Protection Policy, as stipulated in the National Child Protection Policy.

These are some guidelines developed to bring us to a common understanding for the protection of children, thereby protecting the principles of life, survival, and development.

As an organization, MHF, Kolkata recognises that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with. Anybody below the age of 18 is viewed as a child. A good percentage of our clients constitute of children and their families.

We take our responsibility seriously to ensure we are doing all we can to protect children from abuse and neglect, to honour their rights both from within and outside the organisation, and to take appropriate action if such abuse occurs, within reasonable professional boundaries and keeping the best interest of the child in mind.


  • Best interests of the child are paramount and shall be the primary consideration in our decision making.
  • Child centred and rights based approach in order to keep children sharply in focus in all our planning and direct work.
  • Equality of opportunity to ensure that all children have the opportunity to enjoy our activities safely regardless of their gender, ability, race, ethnicity, circumstances or age.
  • Vulnerable children will require particular attention in order to optimise their safety needs and promote their access to important opportunities. Taking responsibility in order to meet our obligations regarding our duty of care towards children, and taking action where we believe that a child is at risk or is actually harmed.
  • Recognising and acknowledging that an element of risk exists, and while we may never be able to totally remove this, we need to do all we can to reduce it or limit its impact.
  • Honesty and transparency by informing those we work with, including children, about our Child Protection Policy, and the way we work to try and protect children.
  • Confidentiality to protect sensitive personal data. However, confidentiality cannot be viewed in black and white terms. When children are suspected or found to be at risk, information should only be shared and handled on a need to know basis, ie., access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of one’s official duties. Only individuals who have legitimate reasons to access the information are allowed to receive it. Consent has to be obtained from age appropriate children /individuals and those with understanding capabilities, before sharing information with others.
  • MHF, Kolkata respects and abides by all legislations in the Indian legal framework.
  • Supporting and training those working with MHF to recognise and respond to child protection risks and incidences.
  • Working with others to protect children.
  • This includes involving law enforcement and specialist child welfare agencies where necessary. Monitoring the implementation of the Child Protection Policy. The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed periodically.