Using video clips

Read Be My Parent’s video clip requirements and how to make your own clip

1) Why use clips in family-finding?

2) Video clips for Be My Parent: how to send to us and requirements

3) How to make your own video clip

1) Why use clips in family-finding?

Video clips are used to help find permanent families for children in care.

Seeing the child in a range of settings and interacting with carers can really bring them to life on screen. This can encourage enquiries from potential families. It can also be really valuable to hear the foster carer speak about the child, their development, and how they manage any specific needs.

Films are particularly useful for children who are difficult to place or have complex health conditions.

Films can be used for different purposes, including on Be My Parent online, exchange days, introductions, and life story work.

Results from BAAF’s video research project found:

cover of Seeing the Difference report

  • 83 per cent of families and social workers who viewed clips on Be My Parent online found them “very useful”
  • 96 per cent of social workers involved said they would use film clips in future
  • A social worker of a ten-year-old girl said: “The film crew were great at engaging Charlotte. I definitely feel that it played a big part in securing a permanent family for her.”
  • An adoptive parent said: “I read about her but seeing a video really made her come alive. The video clinched it for me.”

Agencies can produce video clips by:

  • filming the children themselves
  • asking the child/ren’s foster carers to film them
  • using a professional film company (if so, check who is available in your area or ask nearby local authorities who they recommend).

2) Video clips for Be My Parent: how to send to us and requirements

How to send us a video clip

Send us the clip by:

  • post on DVD or CD Rom (make a spare copy to keep first or post by special delivery)
  • uploading via our secure online system
  • uploading via a secure online file sharing service.

Technical requirements

Length: 3 to 5 minutes for a single child and 5 to 7 minutes for a sibling group
File formats accepted: Upload MOV, WMV, FLV, or MPEG (not MP4) files via our secure online system. These and most other formats are accepted on disc or other file sharing service.
File size: Maximum 35Mb
Output dimensions: Approx. 320 x 240 pixels

Be My Parent’s standards

If the video clip does not meet Be My Parent’s standards of privacy and security or image quality, we may need to edit or cut it (e.g. to remove identifying information), or we may ask you to edit or replace if the editing required is substantial.

If you cannot do this, we may be unable to use the clip.

Video security

Video clips of children on Be My Parent online are secure, meaning:

  • they are not cached (stored or saved anywhere automatically when viewed)
  • it is not possible to, for instance, right click on the clip to save it
  • the clip is downloaded gradually while played, making copying or editing impossible without sophisticated software.

Read more about security on the Be My Parent website.

3) How to make your own video clip

Read on for helpful tips and guidance in making your own clips:

i. Watch BAAF’s training resource on how to film children for family-finding
ii. Follow Be My Parent’s 5 most important filming tips
iii. Read Be My Parent’s video clip guidance for more tips and guidance
iv. Watch an example of a professionally made film clip

i. Watch BAAF’s training resource on how to film children for family-finding

This resource is to help practitioners and foster carers feel more at ease when filming children. You can watch the training film (55 minutes), or just a relevant part: basic camera training, recording good sound, safety and confidentiality, engaging the children, interviewing the foster carer, dos and don'ts, what next: editing or not.

ii. Follow Be My Parent’s 5 most important filming tips

  • Do not film any identifying details, such as school logos on sweaters, street names, people or photos in the background, or the child’s full name or school name being given.
  • Ensure there are no inappropriate shots of the child, such as in the bath or wearing nightwear or skimpy clothes.
  • Only use copyright-free or copyright-cleared music
  • Be aware of background noises from things like television, radio, music and passing traffic.
  • Ask the child open questions, such as "tell me about...", "what...do you enjoy", "what’s it like to...". Let the child speak for themselves without prompting.

iii. Read Be My Parent’s video clip guidance for more tips and guidance

Video clip guidelines (447 KB) (49 KB)

iv. Watch an example of a professionally made film clip

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Last updated: 10 June 15

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