Child Protection Policy

1. Background

The Mandy Network Ltd (Mandy) champions the right all children have to be protected. While this online service is designed to be used by an adult representative on the behalf of child actors (e.g. casting agent, parents or other legal guardians), the welfare of children is always the most important consideration. Responsible practices concerning security and protection are at the centre of how our company operates.

While The Mandy Network Ltd staff has limited direct contact with children and young people, we acknowledge our responsibility to create a safe online environment within which families can promote those under the age of 18. In our occasional presence at exhibitions and workshops, we also have a strict code of conduct that governs which checks should be in place.

We meet our responsibility to children both on and off-line by maintaining awareness, both of our own activities, and of the legislation and documentation concerning young people involved in the performing arts. How we do this is discussed in more depth throughout this document. Central to this activity is the knowledge that all children are entitled to equal treatment.

This policy was compiled after conversations with Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP), using guidance from the NSPCC and to inform online safety.

Where the performing arts are concerned, the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and its subsequent revisions has been a core resource.

2. Policy

2. 1. Prevention. Our duty is to eliminate any situation that compromises the safety of a child. While we do not interact with young people directly, we do observe   the following practises and rules to keep the young people featured on our site secure:

    2. 1. 1. The site is designed for parents and guardians. Clear guidelines upon registration, stating that only over 18s can register. Parent name and email address is a compulsory field in creating a profile. All profiles suspected to be operated by a child are instantly shut down until the child’s legal guardian calls the office 
    2. 1. 2. Non-candidate profiles are monitored. The behaviour of all employers, agents and service providers is closely observed. All profiles require email verification. Site activity and page impressions are closely monitored. If any doubt about a particular user is raised, their profile will be locked until verification is received. Background checks are run on employers, including phone calls and online searches. Site users are able to flag messages sent through the site, immediately limiting a particular user’s actions on the site. All job posts are verified via phone and e-mail. 
    2. 1. 3. Confidentiality of information. The Mandy Network Ltd staff will never give away personal contact details unless formally requested by law enforcement bodies. All photos uploaded onto the site are monitored, and no suggestive or revealing photos are accepted (including school logos, nudity, other confidential information like name, contact details). Families using the site are prevented from disclosing personal contact information on the site (email addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses are never shown). The site is built on a framework that abides by the Data Protection Act (1998).  
    2. 1. 4. Encouraging site users to take responsibility for protecting young people: distributing licensing information to employers and families and notifying employers of their legal obligation towards child actors' every time a job is posted.
    2. 1. 5. Awareness across the company. All staff members have read and agreed to this policy. Sensitivity and security is a concern at the HR level when recruiting new staff. All members of staff are delegated specific tasks relating to child protection and are aware of their responsibilities in this issue. 
    2. 1. 6. Internal correspondence is monitored. Unlawful, unauthorised or offensive content is forbidden under the company’s terms and conditions. Automated systems are in place to detect potentially offensive language and block such mail until approved by an administrator/site manager. In order to keep your contact details safe, DO NOT include them in the profile sections visible to unregistered users - "About me", "Additional skills", "Additional information". Please inform the Administrators if the potential Employer requires you to fill in any forms or register on the sites which are not a part of our website. 
    2. 1. 7. Security tips and settings. The Mandy Network Ltd has been designed to help promote our members so many profiles also appear on Google. Should you wish to stop your profile from appearing in the search engine please visit 'My Account' -> 'Profile Settings'. Although it's not advisable, we allow parents to register their child with the full first name and the initial of their surname in order to help tighten the security. Your child should never be asked to send inappropriate photos or take part in scenes that you're not happy with. Always pay attention to the script and any documents provided, and read them carefully before signing on behalf of your child.

2.2 Response

It is unacceptable for any child to experience abuse or neglect.

Site users are encouraged to report any issues relating to the protection of children and suspected malpractice to The Mandy Network Ltd, who will treat any such discussions with confidentiality.

Every concern and incident regarding the safety of children will be reported to the Actors. Mandy Manager (the staff member at The Mandy Network Ltd with designated responsibility for child protection issues).

The Mandy Network Ltd keeps an incident folder, where all security concerns – no matter how minor – shall be reported.

Discussions relating to malpractice or abuse will be conducted with parents and the necessary authorities, and never the child involved.

When dealing with any issues that arise, The Mandy Network Ltd staff will be alert to the sensitivity of the incident. When completing the actions above, The Mandy Network Ltd staff will respect the child’s right to privacy.

3. Application

This policy was last reviewed on the 24th of July 2017. 

This policy applies to all staff of The Mandy Network Ltd., volunteers at the company and freelancers.

This policy is approved and endorsed by The Mandy Network Ltd CEO. A signed copy is available upon request.