Introducing the brand new role on set:

The Child Intimacy Specialist

What is a Child Intimacy Specialist?

A Child Intimacy Specialist (CIS) is an on-set professional focusing specifically on diffusing traumatic, intimate and possibly harmful content for minor actors through imaginative play, acting coaching and intimacy protocols.

By working closely with the director, the CIS will assist in creating believable performances, while keeping the minors safe, comfortable and engaged. The CIS works within specifically designed protocols that include pre-production conversations, on-set coaching, creative expression, step-in and -outs and postproduction checkups. The CIS is different from a child minder, tutor or intimacy coordinator.

Our Child Intimacy Specialist (CIS) has 25 years of experience in child acting coaching, acting and play therapy.

Why use a Child Intimacy Specialist?

Historically, there has not been a dedicated third party person on set to specifically manage intimacy with minors. Child chaperones have assisted in managing child actors and tutors have looked after their schooling on set, but there has not been a role that focused on the quality of performance through imaginative play and trauma disarming in the context of safety and well-being.

Safe Sets aims for every minor to leave a set inspired, motivated, excited and enabled. We have achieved our golden standard when:

  • The minor's development has not been hastened,

  • Exposure to topics beyond their phase of development has been thwarted.

  • Their innocence has not been scarred,

  • Yet, performances are honest, truthful and character driven.

The child's well-being should not be sacrificed in service of the storyline and trauma should never be collateral damage for art, rather the CIS is equipped to facilitate a safe, consensual, playful and uplifting creative experience that simultaneously aims to achieve the directorial vision for the scene.

What is Intimacy for Children?

Intimacy is a much wider concept than just sex, sexuality and nudity. For us, intimacy encapsulates any action, behaviour, language or scene that has the capacity to wound someone. This wound can be inflicted emotionally, psychologically, spiritually or mentally. This might include, amongst other, the filming of:

  • Bullying

  • Violence

  • Domestic violence

  • Adult actors screaming at minors.

  • Death - suicide or homicide

  • Dead or injured animals

  • Scary spaces or places

  • Fire, water or other elements

  • Drug and substance abuse

  • Self injury

  • Sexual violence

  • Sexual intimacy

  • Sexual innuendos

We propose the use of a CIS in all instances where there is a risk of traumatising or wounding a minor on set.

Is the Child Intimacy Specialist an Intimacy Coordinator?

No, the CIS is not an Intimacy Coordinator, but rather a specialist in minor acting and trauma diffusion, adjacent to the IC. Much like an IC, the CIS is a third party on set.

In instances where trauma or intimacy relates to sex, sexuality and nudity, the CIS will collaborate with an IC to ensure optimal protection for everyone involved in creating these scenes. There are strict rules and laws surrounding minors in regards to sexuality and nudity. These rules differ globally. With a finger on the pulse of these restrictions, the IC and CIS, in tandem, bring the necessary knowledge and skills to facilitate a safe set.

Can a chaperone work as a Child Intimacy Specialist?

A Child Intimacy Specialist, like an Intimacy Coordinator, approaches the production from a story lead perspective working closely with the actors, the directors and their parents/guardians.  The CIS finds a balance between creating and maintaining a safe/brave space for the child to work, while assisting them on delivering the performance that the director needs to tell the story.

If a chaperone has a background in acting, performance coaching or similar, then up skilling to become a CIS might be possible.  Please do reach out to the Safe Sets team if you would like to learn more about the role.

It is not the Child Intimacy Specialist's role to monitor working time, education, meal breaks etc. on set, an appropriately qualified Chaperone or Child Minder should fulfil these duties.  The CIS does have a duty of care however, and would flag if they felt there were any issues arising on set if these needs weren't being met.


"In her role as acting coach, she possesses an extensive knowledge base, demonstrating not only expertise but also a remarkable ability to connect empathetically and personalise the learning experience. Her versatility is evident in her skilful engagement with both adults and children, the latter underscoring her distinct capacity to challenge, nurture, provide solace, all while fostering the growth of young talent."



"From the very first introduction, I could feel that Tamryn has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. We connected instantly with Tamryn and I immediately felt safe leaving my daughter in her hands. Tamryn's teaching has simple concepts with lasting results. Not only did she bring out the best in Lamiyah's character, but she could also easily get her out of character - enabling Lamiyah to adapt to her normal routine and just be herself again. Tamryn has walked this journey with Lamiyah from start to finish, giving Lamiyah the tools to achieve a sublime performance. We can't express our appreciation to Tamryn enough."


mother to actor Lamiyah Barnard: Snake

"Ms Speirs was nothing short of miraculous as an acting coach. She guided our child actor through a very intense process - not only teaching her crucial acting skills, but making her feel emotionally safe at all times. Ms Speirs works with huge skill and empathy, and, having worked for over two decades as a children's drama teacher, has a toolkit of special techniques for drawing out believable and even inspiring performances from a child."

DIRECTOR - Meg Rickards 


Productions that have used the Safe Sets Child Intimacy Specialist: