Children And Young People Protection Policy

LAST UPDATED 22nd May 2018

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and it may be amended at any time. We may also vary the procedures set out in this policy, including any time limits, as appropriate in any case.

  1. Policy Statement

    1. True North is committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children and young people. True North aims to work appropriately, responsibly and safely with children and young people and has developed this Child Protection Policy to support staff in following through this commitment.
    2. Children and Young People may be involved with True North in a number of ways ranging from being actors and participants in True North programmes to being audience members or work experience students.
    3. This Child and Young People Protection Policy establishes the responsibilities of everyone employed by True North whose work brings them into contact with children and young people. In the context of child protection, children and young people refers to anyone under 18 years of age.
    4. This policy is based on, and reflects, the principles of both UK legislation and guidance and other relevant policies and procedures. The approach has been developed in such a way as to be consistent with ‘Best Practice’ within the field of child protection. The key principles are:
      1. The welfare of the child or young person is the paramount consideration
      2. All children and young people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual identity have a right to protection from harm or abuse.
    5. It is the responsibility of everyone at True North to promote the protection of children and young people. Staff are always expected to maintain a sense of proportion, apply common sense to situations and prioritise the child’s welfare.
    6. It is also True North’s duty to ensure that staff are never placed in situations where abuse might be alleged. It is not intended that the policy should restrict staff from normal ways of working, but staff always need to consider how an action or activity may be perceived as well as how it is intended.
  2. Principles of Good Practice

    1. All production team members and supporting artists should follow the ten golden rules when interacting directly with children and young people in any capacity (taken from the BBC Code of Conduct: Child Protection):
      1. Prioritise the safety and wellbeing of the child at all times.
      2. Unless you have been specifically recruited as a fully qualified chaperone, you should never take sole responsibility for a child; if a child needs care alert the parent or chaperone.
      3. Only take on practical caring responsibilities, for example in an emergency. In this instance – remember rule 2.1.2
      4. Never give out your personal contact details, and do not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children when you are working on social networking sites.
      5. Remember they are children first, and contributors or participants second.
      6. Never lose sight of the fact that you are with children – behave appropriately and use appropriate language.
      7. Listen to and respect children at all times; don’t patronise them.
      8. Avoid favouritism, and treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination
      9. Always act within professional boundaries; ensure all contact with children is essential to the programme/event/activity/project you are working on.
      10. Ultimately, if you feel anyone is behaving inappropriately around children, you have a duty to report your concern to your Programme Executive Producer and the Commissioning Editor.
  3. Recruitment and Disclosure

    1. In cases where the position is going to entail unsupervised work, i.e. regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge with children and young people, and handling personal data on children and young people, a disclosure from the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) or Disclosure Scotland will be required before the role may be undertaken. This applies to individuals engaged on employment, casual and freelance contracts.
    2. Where an individual begins work prior to a satisfactory CRB/Disclosure Scotland check being received, the individual will not be able to work unsupervised with children. The individual’s manager will be responsible for ensuring a restricted duties plan is in place and this will be authorised by the Child Protection Manager (Carol        McKenzie).  The individual may also be asked to sign a True North Disclosure Form. If restricted duties are not possible then the individual will not be allowed to start work.
  4. Personal Disclosure

    1. Every person working in a position which entails working with children or young people will be asked to complete a Personal Disclosure Form when an assignment involves supervised contact with children or young people, but a                    CRB/Disclosure Scotland check is not required.
    2. Those people 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.
  5. True North Responsibilities

    1. Jess Fowle has been nominated as the Director with overall responsibility for implementing this policy
    2. Carol McKenzie will be responsible for the implementation of the Child Protection Policy, for deciding which positions require CRB disclosure, will be the focal point for all child protection questions within True North and its productions and will have  responsibility to provide advice and guidance to staff who, during the course of their work, believe that a child may be at risk of harm, and/ or are told by a child or young person of a child welfare issue.
  6. Programme Making

    1. In addition to having in place appropriate Child Protection procedures, True North shall seek to comply with the general welfare obligations for children set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, which sets out the following duties of care for broadcasters:
    2. Due Care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under eighteen 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 eighteen in loco parentis.
    3. Children under eighteen must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes.
    4. Prizes aimed at children must be appropriate to the age range of both the target audience and the participants.
    5. Social networking. Children who have featured in programmes can make themselves a target of unwanted attention by drawing attention to this on social networking sites.  True North will work to ensure that child participants, and their parents, are aware of this and don’t mention their participation in programmes online.
    6. True North will, in addition, ensure compliance with any other guidance issued by Ofcom that underpins the broadcaster duties. True North producers will liaise closely with those persons editorially responsible for the programme and with the broadcaster’s compliance and legal officers as appropriate.
    7. True North will obtain a licence for child performers where appropriate and adhere to all guidelines on working hours, chaperones and working conditions.
    8. True North will also comply with the guidelines provided by CBBC and CBeebies for working with Children and Young people (see section 14)
  7. Work Experience

    1. On occasions True North may offer work experience placements to children and young persons under the age of eighteen. In these cases, the child will be allocated to a member of staff and will be supervised throughout their time at True North. We will ensure children are not left to work on their own and are not set tasks unsuitable to their age and maturity. A risk assessment specific to that work experience placement will be completed by the supervising member of staff.In the case of work experience placements, it is important that we follow the provisions – as set out above – in relation to not being left alone with Under 18s.
  8. Health and Safety

    1. 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 set out what arrangements are in place for their care and supervision, e.g. by a school, parent, guardian or chaperone and how these will be communicated to the appropriate parties. It should specify the nature of the work they will be doing, the way the work will be organised and carried out, any transport arrangements, and the controls put in place to minimise any risks.
    2. True North will always work with statutory hours allowed for working with children;      tutoring will be provided in line with current legislation as required. Particular attention will be given to scheduling in regular rest breaks and ensuring that refreshments are provided. Appropriate clothing and facilities will always be provided according to the conditions involved for filming.
  9. Transport

    1. All licenced children must be accompanied by their registered chaperone, parent or guardian while travelling and it is not acceptable for them to be brought in unaccompanied in an approved taxi under any circumstances. The registered     chaperone is the name that appears on the licence.
    2. Where children are not required to have a licence they should also be accompanied by a chaperone, parent or legal guardian where-ever possible. However, in exceptional cases the child may travel with an employee of True North if the employee is a registered chaperone with the specific prior consent of their parent or guardian. A child must never travel unaccompanied in a taxi or with an individual without a CRB check.
  10. Accommodation

    1. Children – Any child will be accompanied by a registered LEA chaperone if required to stay overnight on any True North production. Should a parent prefer to accompany and stay overnight with their child then True North will respect their wish.Young Persons – (A Young Person is someone who is over school leaving age, but under 18). No Young Person should be required to stay overnight without a registered chaperone, parent or guardian. In exceptional circumstances written parental/ guardian consent will be sought before a Young Person is asked to stay unaccompanied overnight in accommodation.
  11. Data Protection – Policy

    1. True North complies fully with the CRB/Disclosure Scotland Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure information. True North also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  12. Storage and Access

    1. Hard copies of all CRB information are kept securely in locked cabinets for up to 6 months and are then shredded, unless there is a reasonable likelihood of the decision being disputed, in which case it will keep a hard copy of the CRB Disclosure      Certificate until the dispute has been resolved. No photocopy or any other image of the Disclosure documents will be made.
    2. In the exceptional circumstances where we consider it necessary to keep hard copies of Disclosures for longer than six months, we will consult with CRB/Disclosure Scotland and give full consideration to the data protection and rights of the individual before doing so.
    3. Every production involving children will draw up a specific Data Protection protocol to outline how they protect the personal details of children gathered in the course of production, how the information is stored and what happens to it when the production is finished.
  13. Usage

    1. Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicants full consent has been given
    2. Further details of the use and storage of personal information can be found in the True North Data Protection Policy (True North Policies/Data Protection 
  14. CBeebies and CBBC Practices

There are protocols specific to any programmes in production for CBeebies and CBBC which tie in closely with the True North principles above.

  1. Anyone working with children on a programme (production team and supporting artists) must go through and review the Podcast on the following link and be added to the BBC Working With Children Course list by your Production Manager or Series Producer. You will then need to undertake this course and notify your PM/Coordinator that you have completed the course prior to working with children.
  2. All members of the team and supporting artists are required to sign a BBC Personal Disclosure for when they start and must also be given a copy of the BBC Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct, which is a simple 10 bullet-point list setting out the golden rules that must be complied with when working with children. They should be asked to confirm that they understand that they are bound by the obligations and responsibilities within the Policy and Code and know who to go to with any questions. The programme Production Manager will have responsibility for ensuring this protocol is followed.
    The BBC Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct, and Personal Disclosure forms can be found in Shares/True North Policies
    True North also require team members and artists to complete a CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) or DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check when working on a programme involving children