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New duties for medical entities - child protection standards

🔶New duties for medical entities - child protection standards - implementation date 15 February 2024.

An amendment to the Family and Guardianship Code has introduced solutions to ensure wider protection of children from abuse.


🔶Medical entities are required to implement a standard for the protection of minors covering:

1) rules to ensure safe relations between the minor and the staff of the facility or the provider, in particular prohibited behaviour towards minors;

2) principles and a procedure for intervening in situations of suspected abuse or having information about abuse of a minor;

3) procedures and persons responsible for submitting notices of suspected offences to the detriment of a minor, notifying the guardianship court and, in the case of institutions that have such powers, persons responsible for initiating the "Blue Cards" procedure;

4) principles of reviewing and updating standards;

5) the scope of competence of the person responsible for preparing the staff of the facility or the organiser to apply the standards, the principles of preparing this staff to apply the standards and the way of documenting this activity;

6) the principles and the way in which the standards are made available to parents or legal or factual guardians and minors for familiarisation with and application of the standards;

7) the persons responsible for receiving reports on incidents threatening a minor and providing support to the minor;

8) the way of documenting and rules for storing disclosed or reported incidents or events threatening the welfare of a minor.

 

🔶In addition, the standards should specify:

1) requirements for safe relationships between minors, in particular prohibited behaviour;

2) rules on the use of electronic devices with access to the Internet;

3) procedures for protecting children from harmful content and threats on the Internet and recorded in another form;

4) rules for establishing a plan for supporting a minor after the disclosure of abuse.

 

 

⚑ The Act imposes an obligation to adopt the standards not only on medical entities, but also on other entities carrying out activities related to the education or care of minors. Failure to implement the standards by 15 February 2024, the first time they are found to be lacking, is punishable by a fine, up to PLN 250 or a reprimand. If, despite this, treatment entities fail to take action, a fine of no less than PLN 1,000 is provided for a second finding of failure to implement standards for the protection of minors.⚑

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