Congratulations to Jane Larsson & Christine Brown on being the first recipients of the Dr. Keith Miller Innovative Leadership Award from AAIE. Their efforts along with the other members of the International Taskforce on Child Protection and over 100 volunteers have raised the profile of child protection, challenged accepted practices, shared better practice and undoubtably…have made our schools safer places for children.
Those attending the AAIE event heard the following introduction:
Their ability to manage across and upward in their own organizations enabled them to harness resources for both their time commitment (which has been significant and ongoing), and in support of outside partners.
As Chair, Jane was instrumental in the creation of the task force and set the tone of importance and urgency for their work. She had high expectations but was realistic about progress, considering the many barriers. She solicited input and suggestions from content experts and communicated often with a large team. In pursuit of solutions to thorny problems, Jane identified cross-disciplinary global partners. In the process she became a central point for international leaders seeking guidance on challenging child protection concerns.
Like Jane, Christy maintained both an inward organizational push on the topic, and an outward facing role. Christy wanted everyone to have equal access to expertise and model practice. She made it clear—child protection is an obligation for every organization, no matter their size, location or resources.
Jane and Christy made this work the single most important part of their jobs. As it should be for all of us. They mandated that every conversation, in every region, in every country across the world questioned professional practice in child protection. Some of you, likely were on the receiving end of these provoking questions.
And these were sometimes hard conversations. There are those among us who believed abuse was rare, it was someone else’s job, beyond the scope of educators’ training or the reach of school resources.
But these barriers have been eroded by the new accreditation standards for child protection and the determined awareness-raising of the task force committees…by the CIS Training Needs Survey…by the creation of the open source ICMEC Education Portal which houses guidance and support, and…by the Allegation Protocol—a road map for educators responding to child protection concerns.
As one co-founder put it, “The long-term impact of their work, is really nothing less than profound change in how educators and schools exercise their duty of care.” “Practices and policies are changing across the globe in schools of all size and type.”