Voluntary & Faith Sectors concern over new legislation

A number of organisations have raised significant concerns about the impact of the new safeguarding legislation as the Protection of Freedoms Bill  moves through the committee stage. 

The NSPCC has prepared a parliamentary briefing, which has led to an ammedment that retains the age of a child as being under 18, not under 16 as originally proposed.  Now the Faith sector, led by The Christian Forum for Safeguarding  and Fairplay for Children have added their concerns.  The points raised in these documents are outlined below and are covered in detail at our briefing events. 

The Christian Forum for Safeguarding 

In a letter to the Home Secretary and Secretatries of state for Education and Health, they raise the issue of the difficulty in identifying detailed implications due to the vagueness surrounding definitions. This particularly impacts the faith, sports and voluntary sectors as the guidance notes are based on the statutory sector.  Definitions needing clarification include ‘supervision’ and the nature of ‘regulated activity’.  Also the revised definition of  vulnerable adult leaves the position of many adults who are in receipt of welfare services from the church not the state in question.

They also express concern at the proposal to provide CRB disclosures only to the individual, as the expectation of recruitment decisions being made at local level does not fit with the practice of the majority of churches. This is similar for national governing bodies of sport and a number of voluntary sector organisations who also express concern.

Fairplay for Children  highlight that, without the continuous monitoring process, ISA will not receive the court results nor cautions automatically on everyone convicted of a crime against a child or vulnerable adult. Furthermore the change in the ISA scope mean that it will only be able to consider the suitability of those in or applying to be in regulated activity.  When coupled with the revised definition of regulated activity employers will have to consider the impact on a number of their roles.