CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
My Perfect Cousin Ltd (My Perfect Cousin) is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. This policy establishes the responsibilities of everyone who works at My Perfect Cousin with regard to the protection of children and young people when working with or when brought into contact with children and young people.
In the context of child protection, children and young person’s refers to anyone less than 18 years of age.
This policy reflects the principles of both UK legislation and guidance and seeks to be consistent with “Best Practice” within the fields of child protection.
This policy is also designed to adhere to the child protection standards established by UK broadcasters.
The key principles are:
1. The welfare of the child or young person is the paramount consideration and should be at the heart of the production.
2. All children and young people regardless of age, gender, disability, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual identity have a right to protection from harm or abuse.
3. It is the responsibility of all staff at My Perfect Cousin to promote the protection of children and young people and to comply with this policy. Staff are always expected to maintain a sense of proportion, apply common sense to situations and protect the child’s welfare as priority.
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE
My Perfect Cousin undertakes to:
● Treat children and young people with care, respect and dignity;
● Recognise that those working for My Perfect Cousin will be perceived by children and young people as trusted persons and therefore all staff must comply with this policy;
● Ensure communication with children and young people is open and clear;
● Assess the risks posed to children when undertaking activities;
● Ensure staff avoid physical contact with children and young people except for reasons of health and safety, or under supervision;
● Respond to any allegations appropriately and implement a disciplinary process as appropriate;
● Review this policy on a regular basis.
RECRUITMENT AND DISCLOSURE
New appointments:- As part of the My Perfect Cousin recruitment and selection procedures, all staff recruited to work specifically on productions involving children will be asked to complete a child protection self-disclosure form to confirm that they have no previous record of any child related offence (and where a DBS check is not required). Those who disclose that they have been convicted of any offence relating to children or young people, and/or subject to any disciplinary sanction relating to children or young people, will not be permitted to work on any production/project which involves contact with children or young people.
DBS’s - As part of the My Perfect Cousin recruitment process, offers of work for positions where working with/contact with children and young people is an expected part of that role will be subject to a satisfactory DBS check. This applies to individuals engaged on staff, freelance and casual contracts.
Additionally some schools, colleges and event organisers may require that My Perfect Cousin employees have been subject to a DBS check.
A satisfactory DBS check will be required in the following circumstances, prior to any duties being undertaken:
● Where the individual is required to work unsupervised with a child or young person.
● Where the individual is undertaking a “regulated activity”. Regulated activity is:
Activity involving contact with children and of a specified nature (e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, moderating, driving) on a frequent basis (once a month or more), intensive (takes place on 3 or more days in any 30 day period) or overnight (between 02.00 and 06.00 hours) basis; and activity involving contact with children in a specified place (e.g. schools, care homes etc.) frequently or intensively.
Current Staff whose roles do not entail working with children or young people, may on occasion work on projects that involve supervised contact with children/young people. In such circumstances, they will be asked to complete a child protection personal disclosure form (where a DBS check is not required).
Staff who disclose that they been convicted of any offence relating to children and young people; and/or disciplinary action or sanction relating to children/young people, will not be permitted to work on any production which involves children.
In cases where a role entails caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children / young people, a DBS disclosure will be required before the role is undertaken. Such staff may require renewed DBS disclosures at regular intervals as required by My Perfect Cousin heads of department
Disclosure Service The disclosure service is provided by the DBS and provides a regulated checking process against official data sources. The service is aimed at helping organisations make more informed recruitment decisions by reducing the risk of appointing someone with an unsuitable background to particular type of work.
Disclosure applications are checked against records of people banned from working with children held on the Police National Computer and by local police forces as well as other statutory lists. There are two levels of disclosure, each representing a different level of checking:
● Standard disclosures are primarily for posts that involve working with children/young people and vulnerable adults;
● Enhanced disclosures are for posts requiring a greater degree of contact with children/young people and vulnerable adults. In general the type of work would involve caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge/unsupervised conduct with children/young people and vulnerable adults.
My Perfect Cousin Producer in conjunction with the Managing Director shall be My Perfect Cousin child protection officer. He/she shall decide which positions require DBS disclosures and shall be the focal point for all child protection issues.
He/she should be contacted if staff believe that a child/young person may be at risk of harm and/or staff are told by a child/young person of a child welfare issue. The procedures for concerns regarding children /young persons under My Perfect Cousin control are set out in Appendix A (on page 6).
HEALTH AND SAFETY
My Perfect Cousin health and safety policy gives guidance to those whose roles involve working with children/young persons.
A full health and safety risk assessment will be completed before bringing any child onto location or set.
Where a child or young person is involved, the risk assessment must take account of their particular vulnerabilities, which will include child protection.
The risk assessment should also set out what arrangements are in place for their care and supervision e.g. by a school, parent or chaperone and how these arrangements will be communicated to the appropriate parties. It is recommended that during production an appropriate person – a child ‘buddy’ is given responsibility to oversee, check and document the child’s welfare throughout and it is prudent that the child’s parent or guardian has access to this person throughout the production.
My Perfect Cousin will always work within the statutory hours allowed for working with children and tutoring will be provided in line with current legislation as required. Particular attention will be given to scheduling regular rest breaks and ensuring that refreshments are provided.
Appropriate clothing and facilities will always be provided according to the conditions involved for filming i.e. warm, dry shelter if filming in cold weather; water/shaded shelter from sun if filming in hot weather.
Children - When children are being transported on behalf of My Perfect Cousin, they should always be accompanied by a parent, guardian, chaperone or teacher.
All children for whom a licence is required during engagement with My Perfect Cousin, must be accompanied by their registered chaperone or parent whilst travelling. The registered chaperone is the name that appears on the relevant LEA child performance licence.
In exceptional cases where a child who does not require a licence is to be transported unaccompanied by their parent, guardian, chaperone or teacher, this must be with taxi companies that provide drivers with suitable background checks and satisfactory DBS disclosures (approved taxi companies), or by a member of staff who has a satisfactory DBS disclosure and in either case only with the specific prior consent of the parent or guardian.
Young Persons A young person is someone over school leaving age, so does not require a licence or chaperone, but is under 18.
Young person’s engagement on productions, who may travel unaccompanied on behalf of My Perfect Cousin should be transported by approved taxi companies or a member of staff who has a satisfactory DBS check. The prior consent of parent/guardian should also be obtained.
Children - Any child will be accompanied by a registered LEA chaperone if required to stay overnight on any production. Should a parent prefer to accompany and stay overnight with their child, this wish should be respected.
Young Persons - Written parental/guardian consent must be sought before a young person is asked to stay unaccompanied overnight in accommodation.
Other Welfare Considerations:
In addition to having in place appropriate child protection procedures, My Perfect Cousin shall comply with the general welfare obligations for children set out for broadcasters, under the OFCOM broadcasting code. The broadcasting code sets out the following duties of care:
● Due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under 18 who take part or are otherwise involved in programmes. This is irrespective of any consent given by the participant or by a parent, guardian or other person over the age of 18 in loco parentis (in the place of a parent).
● Children under 18 must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes.
● Prizes aimed at children must be appropriate to the age range of both the target audience and the participants.
In order to ensure compliance with the OFCOM code, My Perfect Cousin shall also seek to adhere to any guidance issued by OFCOM from time-to-time that underpins these broadcaster duties. In addition, My Perfect Cousin shall also closely liaise with those editorially responsible for the programme and with the broadcaster’s compliance and legal staff (as may be appropriate).
Any person working on behalf of My Perfect Cousin who is concerned about a child or young person involved with the company should refer the matter to My Perfect Cousin child protection officers.
Based on the circumstances, allegations of harm will be dealt with in the following way:
1. Where it is believed that a child or young person may have been abused, harmed or may be at imminent risk of harm:
a. Contact the police and/or social services.
2. Where it is believed that a child or young person is not at imminent risk of harm, but there are concerns:
a. The My Perfect Cousin child protection officer will clarify the concerns, record information, alert the line management and decide a course of action.
A course of action may include:
● Contacting the police
● Seeking guidance from social services and/or child protection agencies
● Investigation, followed by an agreed and implemented course of action
If concerns remain, agree to monitor and review the situation or record concerns, but not proceed with further action.
Allegations made against staff
Allegations made against staff would trigger an investigation and disciplinary process (as may be appropriate).
Reviewed: June 2018