The Video Players is a film & video production club based at Mid Kent College, Gillingham, Kent. As such, the club is open to students who may be classed as 'children' under the guidance for child protection within the UK, or otherwise may be classed as vulnerable adults. We at The Video Players are committed to a practice which protects all children and vulnerable adults from harm, especially as the processes utilised in the creation of film & video productions often creates an heirarchical structure of management and control which may be open to abuse.
Hereon, 'Children, young people and vulnerable adults' are addressed using the terms 'children' or 'child' for clarity in the document.
Staff, volunteers and members of this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of issues which cause children harm. We will endeavour to safeguard children by:
- Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff, volunteers and members.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff, volunteers and members.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers from the general membership
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice at regular intervals.
CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
Statement of Intent
It is the policy of The Video Players to safeguard the welfare of all children by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm.
This organisation is committed to creating a safe environment in which children can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of The Video Players activities, training events, workshops or productions. Personnel should at all times show respect and understanding for an individuals rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of The Video Players.
Guidelines for all The Video Players staff, volunteers and members
Staff, volunteers and members should be committed to
- Treating children with respect and dignity.
- Always listening to what a child is saying
- Valuing each child
- Recognising the unique contribution each individual can make
- Encouraging and praising each child
Staff and volunteers should endeavour to
- Provide an example, which we would wish others to follow
- Use appropriate language with children and challenge any inappropriate language used by a child or an adult working with children.
- Respect a young person’s right to privacy
ONE TO ONE CONTACT
Staff and volunteers should
- Not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children, away from others
- In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child make every effort to keep this meeting as open as possible, and ideally in full visible view of others.
- If privacy is needed, though ideally should be avoided as much as possible, ensure that other staff are informed of the meeting and its whereabouts
Staff and volunteers should never
- Engage in sexually provocative or rough physical games, including horseplay
- Do things of a personal nature for a child that they can do for themselves. If such an incident arises, for example, where a child has limited mobility, The Video Players staff should seek a parent, parental guardian or some other authorised and recognised member to deal with such an incident
- Allow, or engage in, inappropriate touching of any kind
Staff should be aware that the creation of drama productions introduces a potentially difficult area in that the needs of the scripted production may resulted in intended and planned actions that would otherwise be in contravention of these guidelines. Such scenes may involve such a simple act as a 'hug' of support within a scene, or a level of control exercised by the directing staff.
In these cases, staff should
- Not underestimate the potential consequences of even the slightest scripted action or directorial instruction to a child
- Ensure the cast and crew are familiar with the scripted content and are happy and comfortable with the material both in scripted activity and underlying subject matter. Be aware that some subject matter may have greater meaning to some children which may not be immediately obvious
- Respect the childs decision to participate in the production regardless of special meaning of the script - some drama work can be cathartic. Such participation should however, only continue with the written agreement of the parent or parental guardian and in the precense of a chaperone who can deal with difficult situations on set or location.
- Ensure that the scripted material is actually necessary in the first instance
- Ensure that any members involved in the production of a problematic scene are suitable and appropriate in age, maturity, gender and all other factors
- Ensure that the parents or parental guardians are informed of the full nature and structure of the potentially problematic scene and that they provide agreement, in the form of a written and signed release, that the child can participate
- Ensure that on location shooting, away from the established normal meeting location, all parents and guardians are given a detailed schedule of the shooting, detailed location information (preferably geo-coordinates), the official risk assessment and the option to have an authorised person, parent or guardian act as chaperone during the filming (such authorised person should, for insurance purposes, be regarded as a public observer and not part of the cast or crew)
- Ensure that no performance or directorial instruction be given in isolation rather than in the presence of the other assigned cast and crew.
- Ensure that any decisions made regarding casting, crewing or shooting of a production which may have resulted in alternate selections due to the risk of any of the above factors is documented and witnessed
Staff and volunteers should
- Be aware that someone might misinterpret our actions no matter how well intentioned
- Never draw any conclusions about others without checking the facts
- Never allow ourselves to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking situations such as tantrums or crushes
- Never exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues or make suggestive remarks or gestures about, or to a child, even in fun
Staff, volunteers or members who are involved in relationships with others in the club should ensure that their personal relationships do not affect their role within The Video Players.
SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION AND GOOD PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Good communication is essential in any organisation. In The Video Players every effort will be made to assure that, should individuals have concerns, they will be listened to and taken seriously.
It is the responsibility of the club committee to ensure that information is available to, and exchanged between all those involved in this organisation and its activities. Some information is confidential and should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.
Children and young people
Children have a right to information, especially any information that could make life better and safer for them. The Video Players will act to ensure they have information about how, and with whom, they can share their concerns, complaints and anxieties.
When sharing information, The Video Players personnel will be sensitive to the level of understanding and maturity, as well as to the level of responsibility, of the people with whom they are sharing.
Parents / persons with parental responsibility are ultimately responsible for their children’s welfare at all times, and they should be assured that their children are involved with a credible organisation.
We achieve this by
- Publicising information on all of our work and how it is undertaken.
- Publishing the named Designated Child Protection Person(s) and how to make a complaint.
- Publishing a full copy of the Child Protection Policy on the The Video Players website at www.TheVideoPlayers.org.
Staff, Volunteers & Members
As an organisation which offers support and guidance to children in our specialised area (classed as student enrichment), it is imperative that each member of the The Video Players is aware of their responsibilities under the Child Protection legislation within the club and indeed within society as a whole, and has a working knowledge of The Video Players procedures. Each staff member or volunteer will receive updated training in Child Protection when appropriate, while all other members should be provided with a printed copy of The Video Players child protection policy and code of conduct as part of their joining documents.
A copy of our Child Protection Policy will be made available to any other appropriate body.
SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CONCERNS WITH AGENCIES WHO NEED TO KNOW AND INVOLVING PARENTS AND CHILDREN APPROPRIATELY
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
In any case where an allegation is made, or someone in The Video Players has concerns, a record should be made. Details must include, as far as practical:
- Name of child or young person
- Home Address (if known)
- Date of Birth (if known)
- Name/s and Address of parent/s or person/s with parental responsibility
- Telephone numbers if available
- Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of somebody else? If so, record details
- What has prompted the concerns?
Include dates and times of any specific incidents
- Has the child or young person been spoken to?
If so, what was said?
- Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser?
If so, record details
- Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? e.g. school, designated officer, social services etc.
- Has anyone else been consulted?
If so, record details
It should always be remembered that The Video Players is a privately run club / society and is neither a part of or authorised in connection with any child protection organisation or state body. As such, as in all such circumstances, details of the above communications should be passed to a suitable external body (see contacts below) and in no way should be dealt with internally other than in the initial recording of reported information.
- TO BE REPLACED WITH PROCEDURE DIAGRAM -
DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION PERSONS
For reasons of confidentiality the only person(s) who need to know this information are the following Designated Child Protection Persons
- Craig Robinson
- Mid Kent College
Higher and Academic Studies
01622 691555 (reception)
01622 691xxx (direct - currently moving building)
Maidstone, ME16 8AQ
APPROPRIATE EXTERNAL BODIES
The Designated Person(s) will inform the relevant outside organisation of the incident.
- Children's Social Services
- 08458 247100 (emergency out of hours 0845 7626777)
- Medway Social Care
- 01634 334466 (emergency out of hours 0845 7626777)
- Ring 101 and ask for the Child Safeguarding Team
- NSPCC Help Line
- 0808 800 5000
- Child Line
- 0800 1111
All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files in a locked drawer or filing cabinet. Only the designated Persons will have access to these files.
- Never guarantee absolute confidentiality, as Child Protection will always have precedence over any other issues.
- Listen to the child, rather than question him or her directly. Offer him / her reassurance without making promises, and take what the child says seriously.
- Allow the child to speak without interruption, Accept what is said – it is not your role to investigate or question. Do not overreact.
- Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgement
- Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass the information on.
- Explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.
- Record the discussion accurately, as soon as possible after the event, use the child’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you have misconstrued what the child was trying to say.
- Contact one of the The Video Players Designated Persons for advice / guidance.
- The Designated Person may then discuss the concern / suspicion with the relevant organisation, and, if appropriate, make a direct referral.
- If a Designated Person is not available, or it is inappropriate to approach them, the volunteer / member of staff with the concern should make direct contact with the relevant organisation themselves
- Record any discussions or actions taken within 24 hours.
FOLLOWING CAREFULLY THE PROCEDURES FOR RECRUITMENT & SELECTION OF STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
The Video Players is a club / society which is open to membership to all staff and students at Mid Kent College, as well as other interested individuals from the general public. As such, it is impossible to implement specific recruitment procedures as would be expected in a company or voluntary organisation where all individuals are considered employees.
As with all clubs and societies however, The Video Players operates using an elected committee for management and decision making purposes. It is this body, and any volunteers which from time to time may be required to perform on the behalf of the committe, which should be regarded as 'staff' for the purposes of the Child Protection Policy.
While not required at this time (due to the current membership demographic), it may be the case that in future all members becoming staff or volunteers will be required to undergo a Disclosure & Barring Service check (replacing the older CRB) as part of this policy.
PROVIDING EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR STAFF & VOLUNTEERING THROUGH SUPERVISION, SUPPORT & TRAINING
The Video Players encourages the development of staff and volunteers through its on going support, supervision and training.
Each new member of The Video Players is made familiar with the policies and procedures of he club, including the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour, in a printed form as part of their joining documents.
- MENTORING SCHEMES
Each new member who wishes to be a part of an administrative role in the creation of The Video Players productions is assigned to a mentor for the duration of 6 months to 1 year. While this does not restrict the member in their operation (e.g. as a director, producer etc.), the Mentoring aspect provides the new member with opportunities to (in regards to their working with children in their specialised area) voice concerns and anxieties, ask questions about their work or the environment, or be advised when required.
The Video Players management take responsibility for the training needs of staff, volunteers and members. A major focus of the regular meetings of the club regards education in both the specialised areas of production as well as the correct means of interacting with other members. The individual, however, also plays a part in identifying areas they feel they require training in.