Chaperones accompany young people on assignments to protect and care for them. They are a licenced person, are there in place of the parents, and are expected to do what a parent might reasonably be expected to do. A parent could be the licenced Chaperone.
A Chaperone could collect a young person from home/school/an assignment, or they could accompany a young person or young people travelling to or from assignments, while they are filming on a set, for 24 hours while the young person is working away from home, while they are backstage at a theatre or during rehearsals, and so on.
The Chaperone's job is to be with and care for children in their charge. This means they need to know where the children are at all times when they are under the Chaperone's supervision.
A Chaperone can officially look after twelve children of the same sex at any one time, but we at Superarts feel something like eight children, of the same gender and similar ages, is more appropriate.
Once the assignment is completed, the Chaperone still has a duty of care to the children, until the parents or someone the chaperone has been notified about in writing turn up to collect them. As a parent, it is important to know that the Chaperone is only obliged to stay with the child for 30 minutes after the child has finished their assignment, and though they would never leave a child unsupervised, it is the parent's duty to inform the chaperone if they will be late or delayed or arrange for other care.
The Chaperone also keeps the children comfortable and occupied during rest periods or breaks in rehearsals etcetera. Keeping the children safe and happy, and ready for the job at hand is an important part of a Chaperone's work.
They can also be required to keep records of all the times that the children are working, having a break or having lessons. This information is for the children's licencing authority, to ensure the terms of the childs licence have been kept to. If there are any problems it will be the Chaperone's job to act on behalf of the child should they be asked to work more than they are allowed (see the section on Child Working Hours) or if the working conditions are not acceptable.
You realise that on one of the days your child is working you happen to be free, so you tag along to find out more about this part of your child's life, and over time you find yourself, like other parents before you, gradually drifting into being a Chaperone. This is the time to apply for the licence you need in order to be a qualified chaperone - this work takes a lot of energy, concentration, patience, resourcefulness, kindness, and organisation. Just like a parent.
You will also need to know the rules and regulations around your job as a Chaperone and around the job of the child you're looking after.
If you want to become a Chaperone talk to us and we can help you. We only use people we know, who are accredited, and whom we trust to look after our young people.