Images - Children

You will almost certainly have a policy framework for safeguarding provided by your national/regional denominational (or other) affiliation, and depending on your denomination, that will either be your literal church policy, or the basis for it.

It will very probably include something about using images of children on church websites. If that doesn't help, guidelines/policy need to be drawn up and agreed to cover this sensitive issue. If you don't currently have anything, search for 'safeguarding' on denominational websites and/or look at www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/safeguarding (...)

You should exercise care, caution and sensitivity about this, but there is no need to overreact and ban the use of photos of children altogether. Some widely publicised extreme viewpoints and a general fear of paedophiles have caused some confusion about this. There is no reason why you shouldn't include, for example, pictures of groups of children enjoying church activities on your website, but...

  • Check with parents/guardians first. This is vital if you are not sure of a child's background and family history. There may be very good reasons for not using images which include a particular child.
  • Obviously you would avoid using pictures which any child or parent might find embarrassing.
  • The general rule-of-thumb for school websites is to avoid associating names with faces, and it's a good model to follow. So use general captions rather than captions which tell you who's who.

See also...

  • The technology section, where there are some notes about (for example) making sure you don't load excessively large or detailed images;
  • A guidance note about photographing children (in a school context) from the Data Protection Registrar.
Last updated: April 2017
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Proverbs 15:23
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