Safer recruitment (employment & volunteering with children) – advice for practitioners
Safer recruitment is central to the safeguarding of children and young people. All organisations which employ staff or volunteers to work with children and young people have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare. This includes ensuring that the organisation adopts safe recruitment and selection procedures which aim to prevent unsuitable persons from gaining access to children.
Does an employee or volunteer need a Disclosure and Barring check?
The primary role of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is to help employers and voluntary bodies make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children.
For local assistance for voluntary and community volunteers and criminal record bureau checks contact Macc www.macc.org.uk/
How do I report concerns regarding an employee or volunteer?
The Designated Officer (formerly known as the Local Authority Designated Officer or LADO) should be informed of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
Allegations made against workers who are paid, unpaid, volunteer, agency, casual and self-employed as well as foster carers, and adoptive parents of children on Placement Orders should all be reported to the Designated Officer. This should be done within 24 hours of the incident.
Any allegation should also be reported immediately to a senior manager within your organisation. All employers should identify a designated officer/senior manager to whom allegations or concerns should be reported.
What is the role of the designated officer/senior manager/child welfare officer?
The designated officer/senior manager/child welfare officer designated by your organisation will be responsible for:
- contacting children’s social care when a concern, complaint or allegation of a child protection nature is made against a member of staff or volunteer;
- referring cases of suspected abuse or allegations to children’s social care;
- acting as a source of support, advice and expertise both within your establishment and to the local authority Designated Officer;
- liaising with senior management to inform them of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role.
All staff working or volunteering within your organisation should be made aware of the guidance and procedures for managing allegations so that they know what action to take if they receive an allegation and who in the organisation should be informed.
Concerns regarding people who work with children and young people
Children and young people can be subject to harm by those who work with them in any setting. This may be by a professional, staff member, foster carer or volunteer. All allegations must be taken seriously and treated in accordance with agreed procedures. These procedures apply to all organisations within Manchester who have contact with children and young people or provide staff or volunteers to work with or care for children and young people.
The Greater Manchester Safeguarding Partnership (GMSP) procedures must be followed by all organisations providing services for children and staff or volunteers who work with or care for children in Manchester. Any organisation that commissions services for children must ensure that their arrangements with those services are consistent with the requirements in this procedure. Guidance for Safe Recruitment, Selection and Retention for Staff and Volunteers can be found in section 5.1.
Working Together to Safeguard Children refers to recruitment and supervision of people who work or volunteer with children.