The purpose and scope of this policy statement
Roots for Churches (also known as ‘Roots’) publishes resources that are used with children and families. Sometimes Roots shares examples of how their resources are being used and this can include photographs and video clips of children and young people.
The purpose of this policy statement is to:
- protect children and young people who are included in photographs and videos used by Roots
- set out the overarching principles that guide our approach to photographs/videos being taken of children and young people
- to ensure that we operate in line with our values and within the law when creating, using and sharing images of children and young people. This policy statement applies to all staff, volunteers and other adults associated with Roots.
The legal framework
This policy has been drawn up based on legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England and Wales including the Data Protection Act 2018, the UK General Data Protection Regulation, and resources from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
We believe that:
- Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind.
- We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people so that they can flourish, and to take, share and use images of children safely.
We recognise that:
- sharing photographs and films of children and young people can help to inspire church leaders and volunteers who use Roots resources in their churches, schools and other groups; it can also celebrate the successes and achievements of children and young people, provide a record of Roots’ activities and raise awareness of Roots resources.
- the welfare of the children and young people taking part in photos and video clips is paramount
- children, their parents and carers have a right to decide whether their images are taken and how these may be used, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation
- consent to take images of children is only meaningful when children, their parents and carers understand how the images will be used and stored, and are fully aware of the potential risks associated with the use and distribution of these images
- there are potential risks associated with sharing images of children online.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- Always asking for written consent from a child and their parents or carers before taking and using a child’s image
- Always explaining what images will be used for, how they will be stored and what potential risks are associated with sharing images of children
- Making it clear that if a child or their family withdraw consent for an image to be shared, it may not be possible to delete images that have already been shared or published
- Changing the names of children whose images are being used in our published material whenever possible (and only using first names if we do need to identify them)
- Never publishing personal information about individual children and disguising any identifying information (for example, the name of their school or a school uniform with a logo)
- Making sure children, their parents and carers understand how images of children will be securely stored and for how long (including how we will control access to the images and their associated information)
- Reducing the risk of images being copied and used inappropriately by:
o Only using images of children in appropriate clothing (including safety wear if necessary)
o Avoiding full face and body shots of children taking part in activities such as swimming where there may be a heightened risk of images being misused
o using images that positively reflect young people’s involvement in the activity, where they are shown engaging with an activity from Roots.
Photography and/or filming for Roots’ use
When photography and filming is part of an event run by Roots
Children, young people, parents, and carers must be made aware if photography and filming is part of an event that we run – in person or online – and must give written consent before photography or filming can take place.
If we hire a professional photographer or ask a staff member to take photographs or film, we will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- providing the photographer with a clear brief about appropriate content and behaviour
- ensuring the photographer wears identification at all times
- informing children, their parents and carers that a photographer will be at the event and ensuring they give written consent to images which feature their child being taken and shared
- not allowing the photographer to have unsupervised access to children
- not allowing the photographer to carry out sessions outside the event or at a child’s home
- reporting concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography.
If consent to take photographs is not given
If children, parents and/or carers do not consent to photographs or videos being taken, we will respect their wishes. If they are being recorded in a group session, we will agree in advance how they would like to be identified so the photographer knows not to take pictures of them and ensure this is done in a way that does not single out the child or make them feel isolated. We will never exclude a child from an activity because we do not have consent to take their photograph.
Crowdsourced Video and Photography
When Roots asks other organisations (e.g. church leaders, youth groups) to send in photos and video or receives photo or video from other organisations or individuals
Leaders and volunteers must ensure that they comply with their own organisation’s child protection policies at all times, including their organisation’s policies around the taking and storing of images of children and young people. If the organisation or church does not have a photography policy, the values and requirements of the Roots policy should be followed.
Children, young people, parents, and carers must consent to photography or filming.
Roots must receive written permission from the parent or guardian to use submitted video or photographs. If an individual or church submits footage or images for Roots to use, they must provide contact details of parents so that Roots can ask them to complete a Roots image consent form to cover Roots’ usage.
Roots for Churches will store photographs and videos of children securely, in accordance with data protection law. We will store images and videos on secure electronic systems, with access restricted to authorised persons only. We will never store images of children on unencrypted portable equipment such as laptops, memory sticks and mobile phones. Images and videos will be stored for a period of two years. Roots for Churches does not permit staff and volunteers to use any personal equipment to take photos and recordings of children. Only cameras and devices belonging to Roots for Churches (or contractors who are explicitly engaged to take photos and videos on behalf of Roots for Churches) should be used.
If you have any queries regarding this processing activity, please contact, in the first instance, Tracy Somorjay, Marketing Officer
If you have any concerns or queries about how Roots for Churches handles personal data, please contact the Managing Director at:
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner online at: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your-personal-information-concerns/ or by telephone on 030 3123 1113 (local rate).
This policy statement has been developed using a template provided by the NSPCC. We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice.
15 June 2023
Tracy Somorjay, Roots