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CRB checks for all parents

(194 Posts)
KIMItheThreadSlayer Fri 11-Sep-09 19:17:42

The world HAS gone mad, Fair enough, DH is a cubs helper and has been checked, and I do think all helpers with children should be checked, but if my friend picks up my child from school one day a week every week, is that going to be seen as needing a CRB check, .....

Parents who regularly drive children for sports or social clubs will have to be vetted or face fines of up to £5,000 under new rules.

Along with parents who host foreign exchange students, they will fall under the scope of the Vetting and Barring Scheme, the Home Office has confirmed.

The measures to stop paedophiles are being introduced from next month in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Critics have branded them "insulting" and say they could deter volunteers.

A separate but aligned scheme is being set up in Scotland, to be introduced next year.

Also, anyone barred in any part of the UK will be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults anywhere else.

'Frequent, intensive'

Informal arrangements between parents will not be covered, but anyone taking part in activities involving "frequent" or "intensive" contact with children or vulnerable adults three times in a month, every month, or once overnight, must register, it has emerged.

"The government's Vetting and Barring Scheme is a child of moral panic "

Mark Easton

BBC's home editor

Read Mark's thoughts in full

Q&A: Vetting and barring scheme

Mark Easton

All 300,000 school governors, as well as every doctor, nurse, teacher, dentist and prison officer will also have to sign up.

It is thought that 11.3 million people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - close to one in four of all adults - may register with the Home Office's Independent Safeguarding Authority [ISA].

According to BBC home affairs editor Mark Easton it is thought out of that 11.3 million, "something will come up", such as a conviction, for about one million.

"Of those million, they reckon 40,000 will be told they are unsuitable to work in those regulated areas," he said.

After November 2010 failure to register could lead to criminal prosecution and fine. The clubs themselves also face a £5,000 penalty for using non-vetted volunteers.

Children's minister Delyth Morgan said: "It is about ensuring that people in a position of trust that work frequently and intensively with children are safe to do so.

"Ultimately safeguarding children is the government's priority."

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "This new regime has the potential to be a real disaster for activities involving young people.

"We are going to drive away volunteers, we'll see clubs and activities close down and we'll end up with more bored young people on our streets."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said the government was "in danger of creating a world in which we think every adult who approaches children means to do them harm".

But John O'Brien, programme director of the Vetting and Barring Scheme, said it would be a "once-only, simple step". He denied it was a "presumption of guilt".

He told the BBC's Today programme: "We want to make sure we have got appropriate safeguards in place so that people with backgrounds we don't want to work with children and vulnerable adults are not entering the workplace."


"Our children need protection but this is going too far"

Fran Banks, Essex

Send us your comments

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of the Children's Society, said the new safeguards were the result of many years of research into abuse.

"What we have to understand is there's a great amount of learning that has been taking place over the years in looking at how people are abused and we have to apply that learning."

'Soft intelligence'

The scheme was recommended by the Bichard report into the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by college caretaker Ian Huntley.

Huntley had been given the job despite previous allegations of sex with under-age girls, which were not passed on.

Two hundred case workers at the ISA's Darlington base will collect information from police, professional bodies and employers, before ruling who is barred.

Ian Huntley

Even those like Huntley, without a criminal record, could be barred if officials are convinced by other "soft intelligence" against them.

Estimates suggest the number of people facing a ban will double to 40,000 once the scheme is up and running.

Those registered will face continuing scrutiny, with existing registrations reconsidered if new evidence is disclosed.

However, Soham report author Sir Michael Bichard suggested the scheme could be revised.

He told the Independent newspaper last month: "If you visit one school in January, and then don't visit that school again, but visit another school in February and another in March, is that frequent or intensive?"

He was speaking after a number of authors, including Philip Pullman and Michael Morpurgo, complained the requirement was "insulting" and pledged to quit school visits.

Mr Pullman described the scheme as "rather dispiriting and sinister".

"It's so ludicrous that it's almost funny," he said.

Registration will cost £64 in England and Wales, but unpaid volunteers will be exempt from the charge.

kathyis6incheshigh Fri 11-Sep-09 19:19:30

well I guess Darlington needs the jobs....

BethNoire Fri 11-Sep-09 19:21:34

Hmm, i've been checked many timesfor voluntary roles over the eyars; am not bothered in the elast.

Am having to look into it to see what it mans for a group I am invovled in, but am not ofended.If soemone is toblame it'snot the Governemnt IMVHO it;s the tossers who do abuse people (noy just kids, vulnerable adults also)

whomovedmychocolate Fri 11-Sep-09 19:25:17

Hang on a cotton ticking minute here - we are talking about filling in a form for free spending 35p on a stamp and sending it to Ofsted. Not a massive enquiry into your sex life hmm

Personally I feel quite a lot better knowing that there is less chance of people falling through the net. Yes it's a massive PITA to have to do it but you know what, if I am willing to volunteer my time, I don't care if the first half an hour of that is spent filling in a form.

I'm arranging to have a PDF drawn up with all the relevant info on it - so people just have to put in their names and addresses - so it's a five minute job.

Whether or not the approving authority will be able to cope is another matter. Personally I don't care how long they take, I've got enough security and background clearances for this not to delay me doing anything. But what it will do is deter those who really shouldn't be working with kids quietly doing so.

prettybird Fri 11-Sep-09 19:26:01

I was wondering when a thread would start on this.

I think it is protection gone mad. Dh was saying that at his rugby club, what they will have to start doing for away games, if they are not booking a bus, is telling parents "this is where you need to be - please liaise amongst yourselves as to how you are going to get there". hmm

It's all very well saying "it is not intended for on-off arrangments" or "volunteers don't have to pay the £64 fee" 'cos a) experience with Health & Safety and Data Protection legislation is that "Jobsworths" will try to expand the intended scope, so that normal, healthy activites will be curtailed because people are not prepared to jump through the perceived hoops and b) even if volunteers are not having to pay, we are all paying as it will still cost to do the check.

Why not just go the whole hog and do CRB checks on everyone - just in case you might have contact with a child hmm - or even worse, be a parent!

KIMItheThreadSlayer Fri 11-Sep-09 19:27:51

Well if they hung every pedophile they convicted it would be a start.

I have no problem with being checked, I have a problem with how long till I have to ask any of my friends who pick up my child from school now and then to prove they are not a violent pervert, also it is a piece of crap as I know people who have a clean CRB check but who I would not trust with my children

BethNoire Fri 11-Sep-09 19:30:15

Kimi they specifically said peoplewho make ad hoc arrangements will not fall under this system.

Am deliberately avloiding the other point yu made,have a badly cut foot, no DH and am not up for much mroe than chocolate tonight

prettybird Fri 11-Sep-09 19:30:27

My dh has had to have an enhanced CRB check for the local out-of-school club, even though he has no contact with children, a CRB check for ds' primary school (he was on the Parent Council and doing some work with kids as a result) and has had another enhance CRB check done for his rubgy coaching (minis).

But if the school were to want to take kids to the rugby pitch, dh wouldn't be covered for distance betwen the school and the pitch. Crazy.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 11-Sep-09 19:32:18

what about 'playdates'. Will you need a CRB to have a child in your house next?

BethNoire Fri 11-Sep-09 19:34:16

Prettybird in what way wouldn't he be covered? It's not an insurance scheme- you're either checked or not.

Anyway the new system as I read it is a one and all register; so I am hoping it provides some sensible respite from the multiple CRB check route- at one point I was given 7 in a single month (work, secndment, Brownies, rainbows, school......). Ridiculous.

SixtyFootDoll Fri 11-Sep-09 19:35:13

I just dont like this as the assumption s that every adult is a potential child abuser
I dont like the fact that there will be a database holding all this information
It is a fact that the majority of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members wiithin their own homes
Pointless beuracracy IMO

whomovedmychocolate Fri 11-Sep-09 19:36:00

Oh dear are we onto the 'string 'em up' bit of the thread already? hmm Most abusers were abused themselves, circle of abuse, blah blah blah, <insert your own namby pamby response here in reply> (could we just skip that bit please - I have ironing to do wink).

It's one tool in responsible parenting. You would do everything you could to ensure those who are in sole control of your kids are not going to harm them (and it's not just sex abuse, people who have been known to be violent are equally dangerous). I'd expect you probably also talk to them and go on gut instinct.

I am ambivalent about the value of police checks, they identify those who have two attributes: (1) They've committed a crime and (2) they've been stupid enough to be caught.

But it's hardly news that we are trying harder than ever to stop crims being alone with kids is it?

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 19:37:43

It does not apply to informal arrangements between parents. And anyway, an enhanced check is not exactly the most time consuming or onerous of processes - and it is hardly intrusive.

Storm in a tea cup.

piscesmoon Fri 11-Sep-09 19:38:05

I think some parents would like them Rivened! I think parents should make their own judgements the way they always have. I have made quite a few friends through my children-you need basic trust. I have a CRB check-but I wouldn't tell parents of school friends-they can rely on their own judgements! It will make people even more neurotic!

choufleur Fri 11-Sep-09 19:39:32

I think the new system will mean that you only have to be be checked once, rather than having separate CRB checks for every employers/organisation that you work/volunteer with.

I don't really have a problem with it.

MissisBoot Fri 11-Sep-09 19:42:42

current proposals will mean that you only have to register once - but this is only for vetting and barring - so it will show that you are not a person barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. CRB's are not included under this.

prettybird Fri 11-Sep-09 19:46:17

It is like an insurance schmme - you are covered ofr the purpose for which you initially apply. if that shanges, you have to re-apply.

Having said that, we are in Scotland, so it is not CRB anyway - is is Discolusres Scotland.

Sixtyfootdoll - that is exactly why I am uncomfortable with this new legislation.

foxytocin Fri 11-Sep-09 19:46:17

Along with parents who host foreign exchange students, they will fall under the scope of the Vetting and Barring Scheme, the Home Office has confirmed."

The thing is, we cannot reciprocally vet foreign parents when we send our children abroad on an exchange.

Now that should open a can of worms.

ABetaDad Fri 11-Sep-09 19:46:52

What about all the parent helpers who go on school trips as a one off? Every school is grateful if a few parents will go with Reception and Yr 1 and 2 kids to help out.

I went on a trip with DS2 when he was in Reception. I was not CRB checked and only went because DS2 was not very well. A little girl got stuck on a climbing frame and I had to call a teacher over rather than grab her myself. I stood by the frame ready to catch her if she fell but it did seem ludicrous not just to lift her down myself. The teacher said she would not have minded at all but she agreed that as I was not CRB checked it was better for her to lift the girl down rather than me.

It is hard to know where to draw the line.

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 19:48:53

Xo get CBD checked, Abatadad! It is incredibly simple and the school will do it for you if you're going on school trips.

madusa Fri 11-Sep-09 19:50:31

my husband and i both have an enhanced disclosure due to the nature of our jobs.

I don't see the problem TBH

peanutbutterkid Fri 11-Sep-09 19:51:44

I have mixed feelings about this.
The new regs will put some people off volunteering. They won't like the inferences, or they don't want to have to explain some petty stupid crime they committed decades ago.

The forms are a hassle (I used to do CRB checks for an organisation), they take time and care to fill in correctly and there will be a HORRENDOUS backlog and delays and chaos when the new system comes online next year.

The results can easily be misinterpretted and wrong decisions made about actual relevant risk, regardless of what the CRB code of practice says info recipients should do.

A new database about millions of people will get created -- something else to fall into the wrong hands.

Most abuse is committed by people with no relevant criminal record, this will do nothing to deter them.

The govt. will pay millions for volunteers to get the new checks; that's a lot of payment for you me and Jo Taxpayer to have to contribute to.

Somebody will have yet more paperwork to keep track of in getting the checks done and keeping the records of results and when the checks were last done, etc. Yet more work for volunteer administrators who are often already swamped and unthanked and unqualified for the responsibilities heaped on them.

I don't know what a better system is, but that doesn't mean I'm happy with this one.

SixtyFootDoll Fri 11-Sep-09 19:57:48

It will lull people into a false sense of security
Just becuase someoen hasnt done somethng before doenst mean that they wont do it in future
What happened to 'instinct' and 'common sense'?

flashharriet Fri 11-Sep-09 20:03:41

Really good blog about this here and the comments following make for interesting reading too.

victoriagirl Fri 11-Sep-09 20:06:25

I have a problem with it. In my understanding- if you 'informally' help at a chidren's group you need one done. So an ante-natal group which meets once a week, but everyone kind of pitches in to organise it means you will need one or a toddler group. I think its over the top. I know it is being introduced to protect children but I am concerned about the people who desparately need support but who would not then attend groups etc, because they are just not in the right place emotionally to fill yet another form in, or they might have a small conviction and so be afraid of filling it in. Their children will potentially then be more at risk because their mothers might not be able to cope but they might not feel able to access the help they need. I also think we put too much store on CRB's- it could potentially make people complacent, thinking everyone has been CRB checked and therefore is safe with their children and then not be as vigilant as they would be otherwise.

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