The well-being and protection coodinator

Protección de la infancia desde el entorno escolar. El coordinador/a de bienestar y protección.

UNICEF

Spain

Evidence of results

Purpose related to Let's Care

Level of Education

PrimarySecondary

Pillars

Safe Schools

Brief description of the Project

Duration

2021-Currently

Scope

National

Funds

Public. This can come from funds allocated by the government budget at national, regional or local level

Objectives

The purpose of this document is to contribute to the development of the necessary measures for the incorporation of the figure of the protection and welfare coordinator in educational centres, a key professional profile in order to make substantive progress in guaranteeing the right to child protection in and from education.

Methodology

The welfare and protection coordinator in educational centres employs a methodology based on prevention, early detection and intervention in situations of violence against children and adolescents. To this end, the coordinator focuses on building a protective environment in the educational centre that facilitates learning and the physical and psychological well-being of students.
The coordinator's methodology is divided into two levels of prevention: primary and secondary. Primary prevention focuses on avoiding risk factors, educating in good treatment and creating healthy interpersonal habits. Secondary prevention, on the other hand, is aimed at identifying and managing early stages of conflicts and preventing their violent progression.
In addition, the coordinator promotes training plans on prevention, early detection and protection of children and adolescents aimed at both staff working in schools and students. In this way, the aim is to foster a school culture based on respect for human rights and non-violence.
In summary, the methodology of the welfare and protection coordinator focuses on preventing violent situations from a protective environment that fosters the physical and psychological well-being of students through training plans for the entire educational community.

Type of Action

Coordination with other professionals in the schoolEarly identification of risk situationsElaboration and implementation of protocols for dealing with situations of violenceEmotional support for studentsMonitoring and evaluation of the comprehensive plan for child protection in the school

Target Group and Determinants attended

Families and educational communityStudents (Situation of risk or vulnerability to situations of violence by peers or adults)Working staff

Professionals involved

Psychologists and counselorsSchool ManagementSocial educators

Networking - Actors and Institutions mobilised by the Project

GovernmentLocal authoritiesNGOs or third sector organisationsSchools

Enablers

For the effective implementation of the welfare and protection coordinator, some important facilitators have been identified. Firstly, adequate training is essential to be able to deal with situations of violence in the school environment. Training of staff working in schools is key to prevent, detect and respond to situations of violence.
Secondly, institutional support is another important facilitator for the implementation of this figure. It is necessary that the different competent administrations support and back up the work of the welfare and protection coordinator.
Thirdly, the support of the educational community is also essential for the success of this role. It is necessary to encourage dialogue and communication between all members of the educational community in order to prevent violent situations.

Barriers

The implementation of the welfare and protection coordinator in schools has also faced some barriers. Firstly, the lack of financial and human resources has been a major obstacle to the effective implementation of this figure. Lack of trained staff and lack of funding for training are some examples.
Secondly, resistance to change on the part of teaching and administrative staff has been another important barrier. Some professionals may feel that their work is threatened by the arrival of the welfare and protection coordinator, which can lead to resistance to change.
Thirdly, the lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the welfare and protection coordinator has been another important barrier. The roles and responsibilities of the coordinator need to be clearly defined to avoid confusion or overlap with other professional figures already existing in the school.
Fourthly, the lack of institutional support has also been an important barrier. It is necessary that the different competent administrations support and back up the work of the welfare and protection coordinator in order to guarantee its success.
Finally, a cultural barrier related to the social perception of the role of the school in relation to violence has been identified. In some cases, it is considered that the school does not have a relevant role in this area or that it is the sole responsibility of families.

Grade of linkage with the Safe Education Model

The figure of the welfare and protection coordinator in schools is essential to ensure a safe and protective environment for students. This position aims to bring together skills and resources to ensure the right to comprehensive child protection, including working with the student.
The welfare and protection coordinator is responsible for creating a safe and protective environment in the school, transferring knowledge of risks and appropriate self-protection tools, creating a safe interpersonal relationship environment and identifying situations of family or social risk. In addition, the coordinator is responsible for ensuring that actions and interventions are carried out systematically and within the framework of international child safeguarding standards.
In summary, the figure of the welfare and protection coordinator is essential to ensure a safe and protective environment for students, which includes working with them. This role aims to bring together capacities and resources to ensure the right to comprehensive child protection in schools.

Grade of linkage with the purpose of Let's Care

The main objective of the welfare and protection coordinator in schools is to ensure children's right to comprehensive protection, including addressing situations of school dropout and/or failure. In addition, this figure works in collaboration with the entire educational community to identify the specific needs of each student and offer them personalised support.
The welfare and protection coordinator can also work in collaboration with other professionals in the school to develop specific strategies to help prevent school dropout or failure. For example, they can work with tutors to identify the underlying causes of underachievement and offer emotional or psychological support to students who need it.

Grade of evidence about impact and political relevance

The figure of the welfare and protection coordinator in educational centres has an important political relevance, as its creation was introduced in the preliminary draft of the law in 2018 at the request of the Ministry of Justice and is widely supported.
This figure is essential to guarantee the right to comprehensive child protection in schools, which includes preventing, detecting and responding to situations of risk. In addition, the welfare and protection coordinator works in collaboration with the entire educational community to create a safe and protective environment for students.
In this sense, the welfare and protection coordinator is an important policy tool to ensure compliance with legislative measures related to child protection in schools. Their work contributes to preventing incidents and protecting school leaders from civil and criminal consequences.
In terms of impact, the role of the welfare and protection coordinator in schools has a significant impact on child protection and student well-being. Their work contributes to preventing, detecting and responding to risk situations, which helps to create a safe and protective environment for students. In addition, the welfare and protection coordinator works in collaboration with the whole educational community to identify the specific needs of individual students and offer them personalised support. This can have a positive impact on students' academic performance and emotional well-being.

Grade of evidence about impact - Project deliverables

Reproducibility

This figure has already been implemented in various international education systems with positive results in terms of child protection and student welfare.
In Spain, the creation of this figure was introduced in the draft bill in 2018 at the request of the Ministry of Justice and is widely supported. It is therefore possible that other countries or regions could adopt this measure to improve child protection and student welfare in their education systems.
It is important to note that effective implementation requires careful planning and close collaboration between all stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students and education authorities. In addition, adequate resources must be provided to ensure that the welfare and protection coordinator can carry out his/her work effectively.

Outcomes

Child protection, safe school environment, wellbeing

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