The safeguarding of children and adults at risk 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 adults at risk are appropriate to do so.  However these processes are complex, and impact large numbers of people working with the groups defined as ‘vulnerable’.

On this site we are tracking a number of related topics in order to provide a strategic overview for readers.  These include criminal record disclosure changes,  barred list management, police database development, changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, the changing roles of regulators and registered bodies and media updates.

Questions have been raised about the extent of criminal records checks, which the Government has considered in a number of reviews.  The most significant was the Protection of Freedoms Act. It  halved the numbers of people defined as working in ‘regulated activity’ with vulnerable groups, and thus the level of vetting check permitted.  This meant changes to organisation’s safeguarding approaches.

Meanwhile many cases involving  schools, voluntary organisations and care homes illustrate the continuing risk to children and adults at risk.  There is 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 has been set up by  people that have worked in safeguarding across a number of government departments, voluntary sector organisations and regulatory bodies.

Some of the team were involved in the review of the CRB system and barring scheme.  As the scheme went across several government departments we are aware of the complex number of policies and organisations involved in establishing safeguarding best practice.

From presenting to thousands of stakeholders we are aware of the questions and issues you face.  We organise open briefing events about the impact of the reviews and the changing world of safeguarding.  We  also welcome opportunities to work together with other professionals and consultants to offer an independent and pragmatic view of the ever changing world of safeguarding.