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Scout leaders - question about DBS checks

(25 Posts)
AChickenCalledKorma Fri 12-Jun-15 16:02:42

Can anyone who is a Scout leader comment on whether there is a new requirement that all parents complete DBS checks?

Have just had a request from our local Scout leader. From what I know of safeguarding procedures it seems odd that they would require all parents to obtain one. There is reference to it being so that we can help with transport, parents' rota etc. But at the moment neither of these is a regular commitment and not all parents are available to fulfill those roles.

I didn't think you could ask people to do a DBS "just in case" without them having an official role.

(NB - don't read anything into this - I have no problem personally with getting yet another check to add to my collection! I'm more interested in finding out what Scouting's approach is, as part of my general knowledge about the current approach to safeguarding.)

Seeline Fri 12-Jun-15 16:07:57

Our scout group gets them done for all parents so that we can help on parent rotas etc.
I've never had to get one done for any of the guiding groups though and help out in the same way....

fiftyandfat Fri 12-Jun-15 16:12:25

As far as I am aware it is only necessary if the parent volunteer is not under the supervision of a leader - i.e. completely alone with the children.
It would be very time consuming and expensive to check every parent.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 12-Jun-15 19:21:39

Thanks both of you. Interesting to know that another group does the same, but my understanding was the same as fifty's.

ragged Fri 12-Jun-15 19:54:17

very expensive, didn't think any troop could afford that!

fiftyandfat Fri 12-Jun-15 21:19:05

I am the verifier for my club and I would be overwhelmed if I had to do all the parents. I just can't see that it is necessary. We do the leaders and a few official "parent helpers" who can superise a small group on their own. Other parents help, but alongside a leader.

Ours don't. I'm supposed to have had one done as I'm on the exec. committee, but they haven't got round to it.

Sinkingfeeling Mon 15-Jun-15 22:27:48

I"m a Cubs leader - our Group policy used to be a DBS check for every parent (all parents are on a parent help rota, but were never left alone with a child or group), but now, thankfully, they only do DBS checks for regular volunteers (as well as new leaders and Exec members of course)

Groovee Fri 19-Jun-15 19:15:27

My sons SG pvg checked all parents when they needed a parents rota. But now it's just exec members and leaders.

ShonaTorch Mon 22-Jun-15 16:47:33

If someone in your son's Scout Group is DBS checking EVERY parent as a matter of course, they are committing a CRIMINAL OFFENCE under the Section 5 of The Police Act 1997, an offence for which the perpetrator can be fined up to £5000 and or imprisoned for up to six months.

The rules are that only those who have regular unsupervised access should be checked or those involved in overnight activities. Do a search of Scouts DBS policy and you will get the information.

However, as you will see from another posting I now say DO NOT, EVER volunteer for any position involving a DBS check as to do so means you are entering into a 'notifiable occupation'. Get a complaint or 'allegation' made against you as a volunteer and it could ruin your career.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Tue 23-Jun-15 23:23:22

ragged DBS checks are free for charities such as Scouting and Guiding.

ShonaTorch Wed 24-Jun-15 13:21:48

The fact that they are free does not mean people can get them done illegally.

My strong suggestion here is that this parent needs to report the person who is doing this to the police.

momb Wed 24-Jun-15 13:27:47

They are not free. GGUK pay for every check we do, and I suspect the scouts are the same.
Our local cubs DBS everyone because they run family camps and everyone there has to be DBS checked.

AdventureBe Wed 24-Jun-15 13:36:00

DBS checks are free if the role is a volunteering one momb. We have to pay for staff, but not for volunteers.

A few years ago the rules were tightened and loads of organisations over reacted by checking everyone and his dog. There was outcry at the huge administrative burden it placed on groups and the requirements were relaxed a lot. Trouble is, the consequences of it going "wrong" are still so high that some people are scared to not check, even when it's not required.

I.e there is no requirement for a parent helper on a school trip to be checked, if their volunteering is one off of irregular, but if they did commit a crime against a child and the school was found not to have made the check which showed they had prior convictions, things would be made very uncomfortable for the school staff, even though they did nothing wrong.

ShonaTorch Thu 25-Jun-15 12:02:22

Again, however, UNLESS they have a family camp in which EVERY family is attending, they are BREAKING THE LAW if they check every family.

And once again, I remind people, when you have a DBS check done, you enter a 'notifiable occupation'. So, suppose you were 'routinely' DBS checked for no good reason and suppose someone decided to make a 'complaint' about you in that group. Then, under the rules, details of that complaint would have to be forwarded to everywhere where you also might do 'notifiable' occupation work. So again, I strongly advise, NEVER volunteer for ANY role requiring a DBS check, particularly if your paid job also requires one.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 25-Jun-15 19:35:45

It's free for charities to DBS volunteers momb

LillyBugg Thu 25-Jun-15 19:53:58

Shona are you honestly saying that no one should volunteer in any role where a DBS check is required? Have you got any idea how many charities rely on these roles?! I must be misunderstanding your posts.

However you are right in the legality of what you are saying.

ShonaTorch Mon 06-Jul-15 15:35:28

I am saying EXACTLY that.

I have a DBS for my paid work and because of that there is no way I would now volunteer for a role also requiring one. This is because if someone were to make a complaint against me in my voluntary role, my career could become affected.

Look out for another posting i shall be making on this very point, giving examples, very soon.

LMGTFY Mon 06-Jul-15 15:49:25

shona how is it breaking the law? I'm not disputing it is I'm just genuinely interested and I really shouldn't be on mn as I'm at work so no time at the mo to look it up (and am impatient!).

puddock Mon 06-Jul-15 15:55:12

I am an occasional parent helper at Beavers. I help once a month, and have not had a DBS. I understand that policy (at least locally) is to DBS any volunteers who help more frequently than once a month.

BackforGood Mon 06-Jul-15 15:55:18

Shona - I don't know your back story, but quite frankly you are talking absolute rubbish.

Lots of Scout Groups ask parents as a matter of course to get dbs checked, then they have a pool or cleared people to call upon whenever support is needed. Suggesting reporting that to the police is quite frankly ludicrous.
It is up to each parent if they agree to it or not - there is no compulsion, but it really works well in many groups who work well as a 'family'.
Of courser you don't have to OP, but many parents who can't commit to regular volunteering feel they are willing to help out sometimes and this way it's much simpler on those occasions when you can smile
It doesn't cost charities to DBS check people, so whoever talked about it being expensive can stop worrying about that. smile

BackforGood Mon 06-Jul-15 15:57:47

puddock - the words they use are 'regular'.... to my mind, once a month should definitely be dbs checked as that is very regular. The allowance of 'not' checking people is for when you are doing a particular badge or topic or interesting evening and someone has some specialist knowledge so is coming in specifically for that evening, not for regular people helping on a rota, or doing a Leader's role '"part time" as it were.

LillyBugg Wed 08-Jul-15 10:09:34

Wow well lucky that the rest of the world has common sense and charities like Scouting can continue to offer wonderful opportunities to young people by relying on thousands of volunteers around the world. I wonder how many young people and vulnerable adults would be damaged by following your guidance of 'no volunteering when a DBS is required'. I dread to think.

Supersoft Thu 16-Jul-15 18:48:56

a parent / occasional helper in scouts should not be volunteering more than once a month (or be unsupervised). If they want / need to volunteer more than this, or stay overnight on camp, they must have a dbs check.

MrsFionaCharming Sun 26-Jul-15 00:53:35

Occasional Helpers within Scouting do not have the same level of insurance as other volunteers, such as Sectional Assistant who do a similar role. For this reason, there's been a push recently to register parents as S.As instead of OHs, but this would require a DBS check.

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