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thatdivalady 03-10-2012 09:21 AM

Consent for Video Camera Surveillance
Does anyone have a sample of what a consent would look like for this? We are having 4 cameras installed and the recording will be sent to a HDD. Obviously this is for liability protection (even though I know it won't guarantee it, it does help!). I really do not want to run into an issue with parents continuing to request to see footage just because they want to. I also want to make sure that the consent has everything it needs in it.

Anyone who currently uses a security system set up like this, what do you do? Thanks!

nannyde 03-10-2012 10:17 AM

I have a lot of experience dealing with cameras in child care both with using them in mine and working for centers by watching their cameras for them remotely.

I would encourage you to set a fee for any camera footage viewing. Set it high. The amount of parent conferencing time to review tape can get very very costly to the center. Be prepared for requests for live feeds.

Be prepared to get requests to show tape to your licensor if there are accidents, accusations, or complaints. Be prepared for your staff who has access to the tape to video tape the tape with their cell phones.

If you just have video and not audio you will get about 15 percent of the total information on what happened or is happening. It's time consuming to deconstruct the other 85 percent. Staff who are on camera figure out where the blind spots are so if you see a lot of going off of camera you can be sure that they are hiding something which can be cell phone use all the way to being rough with the kids. They learn how to LOOK good on camera while they are doing something they shouldn't or making it look like they are doing something they really aren't. Nap time is a HIGH time for camera dodging. Watch for blanket use with staffs hands and arms under blankets.

With everything great there is a downside. There are a LOT of downsides to having cameras. The consent needs to be more informative then permission. Be clear that the camera footage belongs to the center and if you will allow review there has to be a steep fee for review and conferencing. You will have requests to review for things like diaper changes and feedings so you may have to review an entire day to answer the parents questions.

Get an attorney to write up the release and have it be solely for your protection and do NOT give any promises of heightened security or performance because of the cameras. You don't get better performance because of being watched. The staff figure out how to manage the cameras in a couple of days and then pretty much forget they are there. They figure out that the majority of the things they do are not caught or the time it would take to really watch them is something that the center doesn't have. Having the cameras doesn't really do any good if you don't have someone watching them live. They help in some ways to protect but they offer up as many day to day issues as they do protect from some big issues.

thatdivalady 03-10-2012 10:56 PM

As usual (I have read a lot of your posts!), you are very thorough! Thank you for taking the time to reply because some of what you stated, I hadn't even thought about such as the extra fee and time to review with parents. I will definitely have to work on that portion.

We plan to have dummy cameras in addition just to have them and hopefully curtail additional off camera behavior :D

Currently there is just myself and my assistant but certainly this will come into play big time when hiring additional people.

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