When is CCTV considered necessary?
The use of CCTV is often considered necessary when there is immediate concerns/risk to the child. Such as a parents Mental Health, issues around Domestic Violence between parents, where parents are not meeting the child's needs or responding appropriately and consistently to their child, in addition to safety concerns, such as co-sleeping.
How long is CCTV in place?
CCTV should only ever be in place when there is an immediate risk to the child. It is not intended for long term use or as a way to monitor parents with their children during their assessment. Should a family be placed on CCTV at admission into the Centre, this is often reviewed within 7-14 days. During times where CCTV has needed to be implemented during an assessment, for instance, when a parent has co-slept, the length in which the CCTV is implemented will vary and will depend on the progress of the parent and the reduction of risk to the child.
Are there places where the child cannot be seen?
There are some 'blind spots' within the flats for which the child cannot be seen. The cameras are only installed in rooms such as the lounge and bedroom. Therefore, any corridors and hallways in the flats will not be covered by CCTV.
What happens if the child goes off-camera?
As a parent walks from room to room, immediately below the camera etc., the child will not be in view of the camera. Additionally, the bedroom camera is only on the child's sleeping area, and the rest of the bedroom gives privacy to the parent. Therefore, a parent needs to understand this and agree to co-operate by keeping their child within the viewable area. If it is noticed that a child is 'off camera' for an extended period of time, staff will call up to or attend the flat to address this. Further, unless specifically requested, the CCTV is for video viewing only.
Does CCTV include Audio?
CCTV does not automatically include Audio. Should Audio be required, this would need to be requested.
Are there times where CCTV is not considered appropriate?
We do not consider CCTV an appropriate way to observe older children during the day due to their age, stage of development and need to be able to move around the flat freely. In these instances, consideration would be given as to whether 24/7 staff surveillance should be implemented.
What does 24/7 staff surveillance include?
If the family poses a high/unpredictable risk to their child(ren), we recommend 24-hour direct supervision to be implemented. This can either involve a worker always remaining with the child(ren) or staff needing to spend prolonged period of time with the family during the day and CCTV being in place during the night. This cost is an additional £295 per day.
How long are CCTV recordings stored?
CCTV recordings are stored for a maximum of 30 days. However, this is dependent on the number of cameras in use and the frequency of movement within the flat. In these instances, the memory and the level of available storage space decreases and thus, the number of days in which we are able to store CCTV recordings is reduced, sometimes to five days.
What happens if access to CCTV recordings is required?
We are not able to provide recordings of full days. If professionals require access to recordings, the recordings of specific incidents can be provided.
What other supervision is provided?
On admission to the Centre, whether on CCTV or not, families will also be fully supervised whilst carrying out basic care tasks with their child and will be visited at least hourly by a member of staff in addition to all-time out of the Centre being fully supervised. Supervision levels are reviewed regularly throughout the assessment
In the initial four weeks, the assessment will focus on a Relationship-Based Practice approach with the family. Focusing on supporting them to settle into the Centre, parent and child wellbeing, helping parents understand the expectations of the assessment and getting to know their child and their child's needs.