Safeguarding is the responsibility that an organisation has to ensure that their employees, partners, vendors, operations and programmes do no harm to children, young people or vulnerable adults (together referred to as ‘vulnerable people’ under this policy); that they do not expose them to the risk of discrimination, neglect, harm and abuse; and that any concerns the organisation has about the safety of vulnerable people within the communities in which they work, are dealt with and reported to the appropriate authorities. It is also the responsibility that the organisation has for protecting its employees when they are vulnerable, for example, when ill or at risk of harm or abuse.
Child protection is a central part of but not separate to safeguarding. It is the process of protecting individual children identified as either suffering or at risk of significant harm as a result of abuse or programme of work. It also includes measures and structures designed to prevent and respond to abuse.
Through their work, Wonder Talent Agency employees, employees of partner organisations may engage with young people and vulnerable adults either directly or indirectly.
Wonder Talent Agency recognises it has an obligation to put in place all reasonable safeguarding measures to ensure, as far as possible, the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults with whom we work.
The purpose of this policy and associated procedures is to provide clarity to all on how they should engage with children, young people and vulnerable adults when working for, on behalf of, or in connection with Wonder Talent Agency. It is also to help us make sure that employees and other representatives are protected.
This policy constitutes Wonder Talent Agency’s global policy. Whilst it is recognised that local legislation may vary from country to country, this policy identifies our minimum standards and may exceed the requirements of local legislation.
Any breach of this policy will be treated as a disciplinary matter, which may result in immediate termination of employment or contract and reporting to the police, relevant regulatory authority or other body.
Abuse can be a single act or repeated acts and can be unintentional or deliberate. Abuse often involves criminal acts.
Abuse - a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It can take the form of physical, psychological, financial or sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the health, survival, development or dignity of a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Discriminatory abuse - abuse motivated by a vulnerable person’s age, race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or other personal characteristic.
Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Neglect - the persistent failure to meet a vulnerable person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of his/her health or development. Examples include failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, failure to protect them from physical or psychological harm or danger; failure to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a vulnerable person’s basic emotional needs.
Physical abuse - includes hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.
Psychological abuse - includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks. Examples include not giving a vulnerable person opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on a vulnerable person, which may include interactions that are beyond a vulnerable person’s developmental capability. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), or the exploitation or corruption of a vulnerable person.
Sexual abuse - involves forcing, enticing or coercing someone to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the vulnerable person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving a vulnerable person in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse can be carried out by adults or other children.
Child – Wonder Talent Agency regards a child as anyone under the age of 18 years, irrespective of the age of majority in the country in which the child lives or in their home country. It is widely recognised that children are generally more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to factors such as age, gender, social and economic status, developmental stage, and dependence on others.
Vulnerable person/people – for the purposes of this policy this is an umbrella term which covers children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Vulnerable adult - a person, 18 years and above, who by reason of disability, age, gender, social and economic status, or illness, the context they are in, may be unable to take care of or to protect him or herself against abuse, harm or exploitation.
Youth or young people - individuals aged 15 to 25 (15 to 35 in some countries) – Wonder Talent Agency recognises that this group spans the categories of ‘children' and ‘adults’ but regards young people as having particular safeguarding needs and requiring distinct consideration aside from younger children and older adults.
This policy is mandatory for all Wonder Talent Agency employees. For the purposes of this policy, ‘employee’ is defined as anyone who works for or on behalf of Wonder Talent Agency, either in a paid or unpaid capacity. This therefore includes directly employed staff, clients, trustees, contractors, employees and volunteers of sub contractors, consultants, interns and all visitors to Wonder Talent Agency offices or productions.
It also covers implementing partners whom we work with who we expect to work under the policy as a condition of their involvement with Wonder Talent Agency.
This policy demonstrates how Wonder Talent Agency will meet its legal obligations and reassure clients, employees, partners and members of the public:
There are additional procedures in place that apply to those that work with or have contact with, either directly or indirectly, children, young people or vulnerable adults.
Wonder Talent Agency has zero tolerance against abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. Wonder Talent Agency also recognises that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and that it has an obligation to put in place reasonable measures to ensure, as far as possible, the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people with whom we work.
Wonder Talent Agency works to the following key principles to protect vulnerable people:
All employees, clients, consultants, agency staff, sub contractors, partner organisations and visitors are obliged to follow this policy and maintain an environment that prevents exploitation and abuse and which encourages reporting of breaches of this policy using the appropriate procedures.
All People Working with Wonder Talent Agency will;
All people working with Wonder Talent Agency will not:
Managers at all levels are responsible for ensuring employees, clients, consultants, visitors and partner organisations are aware of the policy and are supported to implement and work in accordance with it, as well as creating a management culture that encourages a focus on safeguarding. They must ensure that they are responsive, acting immediately if they become aware of any safeguarding concerns, and supportive towards employees or clients who complain about breaches in this policy.
Designated safeguarding officers are responsible for handling reports or concerns, about the protection of vulnerable people, appropriately and in accordance with the procedures that underpin this policy. The lead designated safeguarding officer is responsible for:
Wonder Talent Agency’s current safeguarding officers are:
The Wonder Talent Agency Directors, Donia Youssef and Jordan Reeve are responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of this policy and associated procedures and ensuring that everyone linked with Wonder Talent Agency is equipped and supported to meet their responsibilities.
Parents or 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.
Under section 37(4) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, a licence must only be granted by the local authority to which the application is submitted once it is assured that:
A child can work for 6 consecutive days for a period of 8 weeks. After this the child must have a break of at least 14 days following the last performance where the child has been performing on the maximum number of consecutive days over a period of 8 weeks, unless the period for which the licence applies is less than 60 days.
A child may take part in more than one activity in a day, e.g. rehearsal and filming. The more complex the performance, the more important it is to have an early discussion with the child’s local authority.
Information on ‘Performance licences and supervision for children’ can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/child-employment/performance-licences-for-children
The licensing authority is the Local Authority. Details of the relevant authority can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-child-performance-licence
Wonder Talent Agency must be provided with a copy of the licence for its records.
Exemptions to the licensing requirements are outlined in section 37(3) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963. These only apply where no payment in respect of the child taking part in the performance is made to the child or another person, other than expenses.
If a child has not performed on more than 3 days in the last 6 months, no licence is required for performance on a fourth day. Once a child has performed on 4 days in a 6-month period (in any performance, regardless of whether a licence was in place on any of those days or the child was taking part in a performance arranged under a body of persons approval) then a licence is required for any further performances.
If a producer is relying on the four-day rule as a basis for not applying for a licence, they should have reasonable grounds for believing the child has not performed for more than 3 days in the previous 6 months. Producers relying on the four-day rule are required to obtain written confirmation from the parent that their child has not performed on more than 3 days in the last 6 months. A copy of the written confirmation must be provided to Wonder Talent Agency for its records. Producers relying on the four-day rule are still required to use a parental permission form to obtain consent for a child to be filmed.
If a child is to be absent from school this exemption cannot be relied upon and a licence will be required. It is a legal requirement to seek a licence when one is required and any person who causes or procures any child to do anything in contravention of the licensing legislation can be prosecuted. Whether a child is performing under licence or not, the same duty of care applies.
The person in control of the filming must document a full risk assessment specifically relating to the child or young person. This should take into account their exposure to an unfamiliar environment, throughout their time at the production site and not just their role within the film. The risk assessment must pay particular attention to:
Children and young persons must not under any circumstances be exposed to the following:
Although the following areas would have been considered as part of normal planning, you should ensure that full consideration is also given to the fact that there will be a child or young person on set:
Where a child is to be employed on set, the risk assessment should be undertaken well in advance. The details of the risk assessment must be communicated to the child’s parents or legal guardian before the filming takes place and should set out the key findings of the assessment and any particular protective or preventative measures that have been put in place.
Where a young person is employed on set, the finding of the risk assessment and the specific controls that you have put in place to protect that person should be communicated to them. In most cases where young people are employed, it is recommended that you allocate them a buddy, or person to supervise and monitor them throughout their time on site.
The supervision of a child or young person throughout their time involved in the production (from leaving their home to arriving back at home) should be considered as part of the production planning. No child must be left unsupervised at any time.
It is recommended that the child is supervised at all times by their parent or guardian. Where this is not possible the Producer of the film will have to arrange with the parent or guardian the provision of a professional chaperone. Producers must provide copies of the professional chaperone’s licence for Wonder Talent Agency’s records.
All children on set must be accompanied by a licensed chaperone or parent or guardian acting as chaperone. Chaperones will have care and control of the child, and will safeguard, support and promote the wellbeing of the child. The maximum number a chaperone can take care of at any one time is twelve.
The rules for working hours, rest breaks and meal breaks vary depending on the area where the child has been licensed. It should be noted that time spent in wardrobe or make-up prior to going on set counts as work. Working hours are counted from the moment a child arrives at the place of performance. A child taking part in a performance must not be employed in any other employment on the day of that performance or the following day.
Age of Child
0 - 4 Years
5 - 11 Years
Age of Child
Max hours per day in attendance
Max hours per day performing
Max continuous hours per day performing
0 - 4 Years
5 - 8 Years
Age of Child
0 - 4 Years
Any breaks must be for a minimum of 15 minutes. If at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours, breaks must include at least one 45-minute meal break.
5 - 11 Years
If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours, they must have one meal break of 45 minutes and at least one break of 15 minutes. If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more, they must have the breaks stated above plus another break of 15 minutes.
Age of Child
0 - 4 Years
5 - 16 Years
3 hours per day (maximum of 5 hours per day). 15 hours per week, taught only on school days. Minimum of 6 hours in a week if aggregating over a 4-week period or less.Tutoring time can be broken down but can be no less than 30 minutes.
A child must have an overnight break of a minimum duration of twelve hours between attendance at a place of performance or rehearsal.
Producers are responsible for keeping a detailed log of the hours they are on site and what they are doing, what breaks they have taken, a record of the amount of time in tutoring (if applicable), time they were on set, time in rehearsals etc. and provide copies to Wonder Talent Agency.
The daily working hours log, accident book etc. must be kept for 6 months after the child has finished on the production. Wonder Talent Agency must be provided with a copy of the log by the end of each day of rehearsal and/or production.
Producers are required to use a parental permission form to obtain consent for a child to be photographed and for the photographs to be used for promotional purposes. The form must clearly state the purpose(s) for which the photograph(s) will be used. Producers should also obtain the child’s permission to use their image.
Children’s names must not be used in photograph captions. If a child is named, avoid using the photograph. Only use images of children in suitable clothing to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. Some activities, for example swimming and drama, present a much greater risk of potential misuse. Images or video recordings of children must be kept securely. Hard copies of images should be kept in a locked drawer and electronic images should be in a protected folder with restricted access.
Safe recruitment and vetting processes are followed for all clients, employees, consultants and partners. Where an employee, client or partner is engaged in ‘regulated activity’ (direct work with vulnerable individuals), a criminal background check (DBS) will be undertaken as part of the recruitment process. All Wonder Talent Agency employees and volunteers must sign and abide by this safeguarding policy.
Advice, support and training on safeguarding will be provided to all employees and volunteers on:
Ensure that clear processes for reporting and dealing with safeguarding concerns and incidents are widely communicated, regularly reviewed and consistently applied. Where allegations are made about an employee, careful consideration must take place about the appropriateness of the person continuing to work with Wonder Talent Agency (for more detailed guidance, refer to the WTA Disciplinary Policy).
Ensure that personal information is kept confidential unless we have the agreement of the individual and/or their parent/guardian, except where it is necessary to pass this to a specialised child welfare or law enforcement agency in relation to a safeguarding incident (for more detailed guidance, refer to the WTA Data Protection Policy).
Where employees or clients are contracted by other employers, or when working with partners, sub contracted agencies, Wonder Talent Agency will brief them on our safeguarding policy and ask for information on how the organisation works to protect vulnerable people and ensure that they meet our Safeguarding Standards.
Wonder Talent Agency’s policy regarding the media and the use of actual names, images, including photographs and recordings is applied in all situations. Specifically relating to protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults, we will:
Wonder Talent Agency places a mandatory obligation on all employees, clients, contractors and partners to report concerns, suspicions, allegations and incidents which indicate actual or potential abuse or exploitation of vulnerable people or which suggests this policy may have in any other way been breached. It is not the responsibility of the employees to decide whether or not abuse has taken place, however, concerns should be raised with an individual’s manager or a designated safeguarding officer who will initiate the procedure for dealing with suspected or actual incidents of abuse.
Designated Safeguarding Officers are responsible for ensuring that the reporting procedure is followed so that suspected or actual cases of abuse are responded to appropriately and consistently, and referred to the relevant statutory authority.
To ensure that all such situations are handled appropriately and effectively:
In any case where an allegation is made, or someone in Wonder Talent Agency has concerns, a record should be made and presented to a designated safeguarding officer. Details must include, as far as practical:
A safeguarding complaint involving a member of staff must be reported to a designated safeguarding officer immediately. If the complaint involves a Director then the next most senior member of staff must be informed. Consultation without delay with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will determine what action follows. A multi agency strategy meeting will be arranged to look at the complaint in its widest context; a senior member of the organisation will attend this meeting.
Wonder Talent Agency has a Whistle Blowing Policy which provides guidance to staff and volunteers on how they can raise concerns and receive appropriate feedback on action taken.
A copy of our Child Protection Policy will be made available to any other appropriate body.
This policy will be reviewed annually and updated when required, and the availability of updated versions will be communicated to staff and volunteers. It is the individual member’s responsibility to ensure they are complying with the most current version of the policy.