Safeguarding and Photography Policies

Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy

Policy statement:

Standing In The Wings (SITW) has a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in the arts activities.  The Safeguarding and Child Protection Guidelines adopted by Standing In The Wings provide clear direction to staff and volunteers about expected codes of behaviour, the development of good practice and sound procedures.  This ensures that child protection concerns may be handled sensitively and professionally in ways to support the needs of the individual.

Policy aims:

The aim of the Standing In The Wings Child Protection Policy is to promote good practices by:

  • Creating a positive atmosphere for children, young people and vulnerable adults to work within whilst attending Standing In The Wings lessons, workshops and art activities;
  • Providing children, young people and vulnerable adults with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of Standing In The Wings;
  • Allowing all Standing In The Wings staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

Terminology:

  • A child – is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989);
  • To disclose – in the context of child protection, the term means to reveal or divulge information about having suffered from abuse or neglect;
  • A vulnerable adult – a person who is or may be in need of community care services because of mental disability or other disability, age or illness, and who is, or who may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation;
  • A young person – is in the upper age ranges of the official definition of a child.  The term has no legal status but acknowledges that people aged 16-19 may not think of themselves as ‘children’.

PROCEDURE FOR PROMOTING GOOD PRACTICE:

Standing In The Wings has a duty to act responsibly to ensure that policies and procedures promote safe working practices and a clear understanding of what to do is abuse is suspected or disclosed.  In addition there is a responsibility to ensure all staff and volunteers who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults are placed in a situation where abuse might be alleged.

Good practice guidelines:

All personnel will be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children, young people and vulnerable adults’ welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made.  The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good practice in planning a project for work involving children, young people and vulnerable adults means:

  • Undertaking, at the outset of project planning, a risk assessment, and monitoring risk throughout the project;
  • Identifying, at the outset, the people with designated protection responsibility;
  • In effective recruitment, including appropriate vetting of staff and volunteers, including:
    • Anyone who is running a workshop, activity and/or school (drama/dance/music) with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults for/with Standing In The Wings should hold the relevant teaching qualification/experience for the discipline that they are tutoring;
    • Anyone who is running a workshop, activity and/or school (drama/dance/music) with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults for/with Standing In The Wings must have Enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance;
    • Anyone who is assisting in the running a workshop, activity and/or school (drama/dance/music) with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults for/with Standing in The Wings should have Enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance;
    • Anyone who is running or assisting in the running a workshop, activity and/or school (drama/dance/music) with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults for/with Standing in The Wings should have safeguarding guidance from the Child Protection Officer; understanding clearly defined roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection procedures.
  • Knowing how to get in touch with local authority social services, in case you have to report a concern to them;
  • Putting systems in place to create and manage good relationships with parents and other stakeholders;
  • Being aware of the content of the work and the impact it may have on children, young people or vulnerable adults.

Good practice in a physical environment where there is contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults means:

  • Always ensuring that someone from the school/educational establishment, youth organisation or care setting is present and therefore meeting their responsibility for ensuring the safety of those in the setting;
  • Monitoring risks throughout the project

Good practice in the physical contact means:

  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance from participants;
  • Only touching participants when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular arts activity;
  • Seeking agreement of participants prior to any physical contact;
  • Making sure disabled participants are informed of and comfortable with any necessary physical contact.

Good practice in interpersonal dealings means:

  • Treating all children, young people or vulnerable adults equally, with respect and dignity;
  • Always putting the welfare of each participant first, before achieving goals;
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children, young people or vulnerable adults to share in the decision-making process;
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
  • Making arts fun, enjoyable and promoting equality;
  • Being an excellent role model for dealings with other people;
  • Recognising that children or young people with disabilities may be even more vulnerable to abuse than other children or young people;
  • Not allowing sexual relationships to develop between artists/facilitators and young people or vulnerable adults.

Good practice in managing sensitive information means:

  • Having a policy and set of procedures for taking, using and storing photographs or images of children, young people or vulnerable adults;
  • Careful monitoring and use of web-based materials and activities;
  • Agreed procedures for reporting any suspicions or allegations of abuse;
  • Ensuring confidentiality in order to protect the rights of employees, freelancers and volunteers, including safe handling, storage and disposal of any information provided on artists or arts facilitators (or others involved in arts projects) as part of the recruitment process.  (Data Protection Act 1998)

Good practice in professional development means:

  • Keeping up to date with health and safety in artistic practice;
  • Being informed about legislation and policies for protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • Undertaking relevant development and training.

Photograph, Film and Digital Media Guidance

Policy statement:

Standing In The Wings (SITW) has a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in the arts activities.  The Safeguarding and Child Protection Guidelines adopted by Standing In The Wings provide clear direction to staff and volunteers about expected codes of behaviour, the development of good practice and sound procedures.  This ensures that child protection concerns may be handled sensitively and professionally in ways to support the needs of the individual.

The policies and practice outlined in this document use guidance stipulated in Bedford Borough Council’s ‘Safer Working Practice for the Protection of Children and Staff in Educational Settings’.  For further guidance, please refer to this document.

Policy aims:

The aim of the Standing In The Wings Photograph, Film and Digital Media Policy is to promote good practices by:

  • Creating a positive atmosphere for children, young people and vulnerable adults to work within whilst attending Standing In The Wings lessons, workshops and art activities;
  • Providing children, young people and vulnerable adults with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of Standing In The Wings;
  • Allowing all Standing In The Wings staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

Terminology:

  • A child – is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989);
  • CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance and Enhanced CRB clearance –   The CRB check searches details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer. The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings;
  • To disclose – in the context of child protection, the term means to reveal or divulge information about having suffered from abuse or neglect;
  • A vulnerable adult – a person who is or may be in need of community care services because of mental disability or other disability, age or illness, and who is, or who may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation;
  • A young person – is in the upper age ranges of the official definition of a child.  The term has no legal status but acknowledges that people aged 16-19 may not think of themselves as ‘children’.

POLICY GUIDANCE 

Photographing Children and Young People 

The advancement in digital technology has made the issue of photographing children and young people an emotive subject. Organisations will find they are just as likely to be criticised for over-reacting as they are for appearing not to react to concerns. 

The majority of instances when people photograph children/young people will be valid and, therefore, not a cause for concern. Regrettably, there are occasions when this is not the case and technology such as digital and mobile phone cameras, websites, etc, have made the potential for the misuse of images easier. 

Organisations will recognise that photographs taken for example, for school and family use can be a source of pleasure and pride to the child/young person, parents and family. However, Standing In The Wings also has a responsibility to manage the increasing risks and ensure children/young people are protected from these risks, in particular vulnerable individuals, whilst ensuring individual rights are respected. 

The following guidelines are intended to assist production teams when putting together a production and are intended to apply to all forms of pictures and images whether they be used as printed material, on the web or any in any other media. 

POLICY GUIDELINES 

Standing In The Wings will ensure that, as a minimum, production teams and workshops include and/or address the following; 

Authorised Photographer 

Standing In The Wings will only allow photographs to be taken by a person authorised by the company. 

For example, a commercial photographer employed to photograph annual school/class photographs, a press photographer, etc or a person who has a suitable reason and/or relation to the child/young person or organisation. For example, parents at a school play, a member of staff for a publication/promotional leaflet, etc. 

 Any person involved with Standing In The Wings suspecting a person of taking unauthorised photographs, or undertaking unauthorised filming, of children/young people should immediately contact the Police and/or designated Child Protection Officer.

Use of image 

Unless photographs are taken as a consequence of press or media coverage, Standing In The Wings will ensure they are used for an individual purpose not a public purpose e.g. not posted on the internet and not passed on to others unconnected with the child/young person. This should be brought to the attention of the parent, legal guardian or other authorised relative, in those circumstances where they are the authorised photographer. 

When photographs are taken as a consequence of press or media coverage, or they are being taken for promotional or similar purposes (see Press photography and other media filming below) parents/carers permission must sought first (see also Consent and Permission and the Data Protection Act below). 

If it is intended to subsequently display press, promotional or similar photographs in the premises or publications of agencies again parents/carers should be made aware of this and have consented to it. 

Standing In The Wings will ensure parents/carers are specifically aware if the photograph or image is intended for use in a potentially sensitive publication. 

For example, a parent or carer may be willing to give consent for their child/young person’s photograph to be used in a health promotion leaflet/poster but may not have been willing to do so had they known the publication related to a play involving sensitive themes, i.e. rape, abuse or alcohol, etc. 

Appropriateness of images 

Pictures and images taken of children/young people must be done in such a way that reflects the protective ethos of Standing In The Wings.

Only pictures and images of children/young people suitable dress should be used to lessen the risk of inappropriate use. 

No images to be taken of children/young people that capture them in what are commonly understood as non public activities like toileting or changing clothes, or which show body parts not usually visible in public settings. 

Particular care must be taken when photographing children/young people undertaking physical activity. Images involving groups should be about the activity, not the individual child/young person. 

Whenever possible images should be inclusive showing children/young people from a range of diverse backgrounds and abilities and giving positive messages of children/young people with disabilities. 

Identifying a child 

There may be occasions when a child/young person or his or her parent’s security is a known risk. Standing In The Wings will not to allow such children/young people to appear in any photograph or image. Even if there appears to be no risk and consent has clearly been given, Standing In The Wings will consider very carefully about allowing a child/young person to be photographed, or appear in an image, and should ensure the camera angle doesn’t result in a full face or close up of the child/young person. 

For example, photographs taken over a child/young person’s shoulder or from behind normally mean the child/young person is less identifiable. 

An unauthorised person should not be able to identify a child/young person or their whereabouts from any photograph. 

 Therefore, Standing In The Wings will carry out the following considerations:

  • if using a photograph or image we will not use a child/young person’s full name. We may use a child/young person’s first name or a general caption e.g. a class undertaking a dance workshop, etc; 
  • If a child/young person’s name must be used in full we will not use a photograph or image. 

Standing In The Wings will also take care that they do not inadvertently name a child through the use of name badges. 

Press photography and other media filming 

The media have, and operate under, their own code of practice. 

Children/young people should not be photographed or filmed by the media, or approached to be photographed or filmed at the premises, or an event, of Standing In The Wings without the express permission of the trust. This may be more difficult to control if the media are responding to a news story. In such circumstances agencies should immediately contact their press office(r) for advice and guidance. 

 Any person involved with Standing In The Wings suspecting a person of taking unauthorised photographs, or undertaking unauthorised filming, of children should immediately contact the Police. 

If Standing In The Wings intends to invite the media for publicity purposes, Standing In The Wings will inform the press of your policies before they arrive. 

It is worth noting that it is not illegal to take photographs at a public event even if asked not to do so, but if your event is private then Standing In The Wings can insist that our own policy is followed. 

The media will often wish to name a child/young person in any photograph or film clip. Additionally, they may also wish to include other personal information, for example a child/young person’s age, etc. Therefore it is essential Standing In The Wings make parents/carers aware of this and give them an opportunity to object to their child/young person being included in media photos or filming. Any child/young person who Standing In The Wings knows should not be photographed must be kept away from the cameras. 

As far as possible, Standing In The Wings should seek to ensure pictures of children/young people in activities should include a wide range of types of children/young people as possible, and not show them in breach of rules, or behaving in a reckless or dangerous fashion. 

Mobile phones 

Virtually all mobile phones now contain a facility to take photographs and videos and to transmit images taken, including uploading them on to the internet. 

 Whilst is recognised mobile phones and their usage is more difficult to police, Standing In The Wings recognise the increased risks this presents. The company should ensure clear limits on their use which may include a total ban in some circumstances. 

For example; a workshop/rehearsal will no doubt wish to ban their use by individuals because of the clear potential for disruption to the session. As such a ban is normally in place with regard to the audio aspect of a mobile phone it would be an extension to this principle. 

Consent and Permission and the Data Protection Act 

Standing In The Wings is aware that photographs and videos taken purely for personal use do not breach the Data Protection Act. However, if the “event” is private then the company can insist that its own policy is adhered to. 

For example: Parents, carers, grandparents, etc cannot be prevented from videoing a youth production on the grounds that it would be breaching the Data Protection Act. However, if Standing In The Wings decides their policy is not to allow the videoing of youth productions for Safeguarding reasons this would be permissible as the event would be classed as private, i.e. it is taking place on private property. 

The Data Protection Act does deal with issues of “sensitive” personal data and an image would be classed as such if for example, it is possible to infer, an individual’s religious beliefs from that photograph (i.e. First Communion photographs). The Data Protection Act also has implications for anyone processing of images and, therefore, may have implications for photographs and videos, etc taken for official use to be used on websites or, school publications, etc 

Standing In The Wings will always obtain the explicit written consent from a child/young person’s parent/carer where photographs, videos or similar images are taken and/or used. They will also try to ascertain the views of the child/young person subject to the normal proviso of age and understanding, etc. In obtaining consent, the company will also ensure that parents/carers/child/young person are clear and understand the reason an image is required and the purpose for which it may be used. 

Standing In The Wings will take particular care over the wording of any consent form used. Consent for Photographs and/or videos may not extend to use on websites or webcams. 

Where a child/young person is in public care (Looked After), the consent of the corporate parent behalf must be obtained via the child/young person’s social worker. 

If consent for a period of time is sought, for example for the duration of the time the child/young person attends a rehearsal or workshop, Standing In The Wings will ensure arrangements exist for changes in circumstance. Parents/carers retain the right to withdraw their consent at any stage.