Safeguarding In Production 

Safeguarding children and vulnerable people who are taking part in a production, contributing to content or attending an event can be a complex process but is nonetheless vital.

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Safeguarding children and vulnerable people who are taking part in a production, contributing to content or attending an event can be a complex process, but is nonetheless vital and getting it wrong can lead to significant harm to both the child and the organisation involved. 

Since the scandals that emerged following the identification of Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolfe Harris and Gary Glitter as prolific child sex offenders, the safety and well-being of children involved in the performing arts has been taken more seriously than previously and media organisations now require policies, guidance and training in place for those working with children that is robust and effective in reducing risk to children and vulnerable people.  

Whether you are a large or small production company that works with children a lot or rarely, the responsibility and duty of care remains the same.

Safeguarding children requires a comprehensive understanding and adherence to the organisation child protection policy and best practice as well as legislation.

Examples of some of the issues that an organisation faces are:

  • How to protect data.
  • How to gain informed consent and who legally can give it.
  • When performance licenses are required
  • How many hours a child can work under license, who can chaperone a child.
  • How to limit identification of a child so that they can’t be sourced and how to safeguard children on-line. 
Further practical steps that can be taken to reduce risk include crew child protection briefings and criminal background checks where applicable. 

It’s also important to remember that, regardless of whether you are working with freelancers, 3rd party contractors or other partner organisations, robust and proactive safeguarding of children and vulnerable people must be the ‘golden’ thread that runs throughout the event or production.

1st Option Safety can help you work your way through the processes that will ensure that children and vulnerable people will remember their time with you for all the right reasons.

The services we offer range from policy development, pre-production briefings, advice on safe recruitment, production support around issues such as consent, licensing, chaperones, pre and post-production duty of care, and site visits. All the above will help you to ensure that your organisational risks are understood, managed and that safeguarding is embedded within your culture.

Caroline Brant 

Caroline started her career in the NHS and for over 25 years developed her love of safeguarding children as a registered nurse, midwife and health visitor. 

In 2002 gaining a Master degree at Keele University in Child Care Law launched her career further to including chairing multi-Agency child protection committees and serious child protection case reviews. She spent the next 10 years in senior leadership roles for the NHS including heading up childrens safeguarding services for a number of counties and acting as independent consultant advising on strategy, policy, procedures and operational delivery.

From April 2013 Caroline spent over 5 years as the Head of Child Protection & Safeguarding (CP&S), at the British Broadcasting Corporation where her skills took the organisation from the troubled status post Jimmy Savile and the Dame Janet Smith Review to being regarded as an exemplar for the media sector. She comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge around all aspects of production. 

> 'Safeguarding in Production' blog - Written by Caroline Brant. Click here.