Children and Young People, Working with
In this article
Last updated: October 2010
Editorial Guidelines Issues
This Guidance Note applies to all children and young people we work with - contributors and actors. It should be considered in conjunction with the following Editorial Guidelines:
- Children and Young People as Contributors
- Harm and Offence
The Editorial Policy Guidance Note on Interacting with Children and Young People Online contains further advice on user contributions.
Summary of Main Points
- The interests and safety of children and young people must take priority over any editorial requirement. If you have a concern that a child or young person is at risk of harm you should refer this to your nominated manager. However, if you suspect a child is at immediate risk of harm and the nominated manager cannot be contacted immediately, the police should be alerted straight away.
- If you become aware of any incident of suspected "grooming" online, you must refer it promptly to the CBBC Interactive Executive Management Team (or, for Commercial Services, to the relevant editorial leader) who will report it to the appropriate authorities.
- To help keep children safe, consider carefully how much information you plan to give out on air/online and think about all the points at which children's data needs to be kept securely.
- Wherever possible liaise with the parents/school for contact information and use a BBC/Independent company contact address, email or phone number, especially for any contact with children.
- Your behaviour with a child should be appropriate. Do not initiate physical contact. However, if a child comes to you, or is in distress, act responsibly and in public. It is sensible to provide a single, consistent point of contact on the production team.
- Consider carefully the impact and possible consequences of any material which involves a child, both during the production process and once the material has been broadcast. Productions must consider whether it would be helpful to seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional, such as a child counsellor or psychologist.
- With sensitive and controversial material, in addition to any expert opinion, it can be advisable to speak to the Head teacher of the child's school for an opinion, from someone who knows them well, about the child's participation.
- Consider the impact on young actors and contributors of witnessing or participating in activities that might have a negative psychological effect on them.
- Aftercare is important. It may be appropriate for a member of the team, preferably the main contact, to keep in touch with the child and their family to monitor any specific after-effects that might have resulted from the child's participation. In some cases, providing access to sources of professional help or support may be advisable.
- There may be some very sensitive content where it could be appropriate for the BBC to limit the period of time that the programme should be repeated for.