The safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is at the heart of any civilised society. The UK has built upon a system of police record checks, barring and policy guidance to develop processes that ensure that those working or formally volunteering with children and vulnerable adults are appropriate to do so. However these processes are complex, and impact large numbers of people working with the groups defined as ‘vulnerable’.
Questions have been raised about the extent of criminal records checks, which the Government has considered in a number of reviews. Most recently the Protection of Freedoms Act has come into effect. It aims to halve the numbers of people defined as working in ‘regulated activity’ with vulnerable groups, and thus the level of vetting check permitted. The parallel drive to reduce bureaucracy means that other legislation has changed the safeguarding approaches that organisations need to follow.
Meanwhile many examples including the cases of Jimmy Savile and Winterbourne care home illustrate the continuing risks to children and vulnerable adults. There is still a need for robust safeguarding approaches. Employers, regulators, vocational training providers, recruitment agencies and voluntary group leaders all need to understand their changing responsibilities and liabilities.
Safeguarding Matters is led by policy and communication specialists who are tracking the changes to legislation. We offer impact assessments, best practice advice and independent consultancy about the changing world of safeguarding for organisations in different sectors. We also run open briefing events about the changes and promote training provided by other safeguarding specialists. Contact us to discuss your requirements.
On this site we are tracking a number of the related topics in order to provide a strategic overview for readers. These include criminal record disclosure changes, police database development, changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, the Education Bill, the Health and Social Care Bill, and the changing roles of regulators measures. Register with us to be the first to hear about events and briefing papers that offer a highly informed view of the changes and how they will impact your organisation. Our News blog is updated regularly with links to source materials, including ministerial announcements, news items and significant cases.