Dealing with Disclosures - soft data(10 Posts)
Have to be careful what to say here but I am invovled in recruiting process for an after school club (primary age mostly) and deal with the vetting process. I am wondering how people deal with the so called additional information (anything police want to add). No-one checked so far has actual convictions, but 1 or 2 have soft data involving for instance arrest for BOP which did not go to court, stopped for suspicious behaviour in child friendly environments, etc.
I suppose it depends whether info is only given 'if deemed relevant' or if police take a kitchen sink approach to cover their own backs.
Should have added the decisions will be made among the team but I just wondered if anyone else is involved in this sort of thing and knows how things work.
What is BOP?
You are supposed to refer to the CRB Code of Practice to make this decision.
tbh, I read the Code and I can't make head or tails of what it means in practice, really, either. AND if you ask most people irl, I find, they will absolutely categorically say you shouldn't allow anyone thru who has anything at all on their record. Just toss the ap would be the prevailing attitude.
That may not be what you hear on MN, but it's what most people think in reality, I am convinced.
I suppose the half-way house is that if any of the allegations suggest inappropriate behaviour towards children or other vulnerable people, then you can justify excluding that person. On the other hand, if it's a different type of offense, only alleged not proven, and it's the sort of thing that would normally be considered "spent" by now (because enough time has elapsed), then you could argue that you are entitled to keep an open mind and let their application go to the next stage in the employment process.
These are the guidelines we use (not a school organisation, but same theory applies I guess) when assessing offences & we would apply the same logic to any soft data included (never had any yet since I've been doing the role though!)
So, using your examples
arrest for BOP which did not go to court - if eveything else clear and it was a while ago most probably wouldn't make a difference
stopped for suspicious behaviour in child friendly environments - would raise a concern, no matter how long ago.
i. the nature of the offence: In general, convictions for sexual, violent or drug offences will be particularly strong contra-indications for work with children;
ii. the nature of the appointment: Often the nature of the appointment will help to assess the relevance of the conviction. For example, serious sexual, violent, drug or drink offences would give rise to particular concern where a position was one of providing care. Driving or drink offences would be relevant in situations involving transport of children;
iii. the age of the offence and whether or not committed whilst a juvenile: Offences, which took place many years in the past, may often have less relevance than recent offences. However, convictions for serious violent or sexual offences or serious offences involving substance abuse are more likely to give cause for continuing concern than, for instance, an isolated case of dishonesty committed when the person was young. The potential for rehabilitation must be weighed against the need to protect children;
iv. the frequency of the offence: A series of offences over a period of time is more likely to give cause for concern than an isolated minor conviction
hope that is helpful?
>What is BOP?
I assumed breach of the peace in my answer
BOP is Breach of the Peace, this being Scotland where it is a specific offence of behaving in a manner that causes fear and alarm.
Would that mean the same as behaving in a threatening manner? Or could it merely mean swearing loudly and acting very rowdy (enough to upset old ladies).?
An arrest for a non-violent offence that didn't go to court - I would disregard.
Anything involving children, however vague, I don't think you could risk ignoring.
"Would that mean the same as behaving in a threatening manner? Or could it merely mean swearing loudly and acting very rowdy (enough to upset old ladies).?"
Any of those things as its such a broad ranging law, though I suspect any violent incidents would be described as such. Its such a grey area - an allegation could be exactly that or could be early warning signs. All I know is we have to take any info seriously.
Draw up a strong constitution which includes a code of conduct.
Volunteers are effectively representing the school and regrettable behaviour, whilst not criminal (or not proven to be criminal) reflects poorly.
From experience, arrests for BOP which do not go to court have been early warning signs.
Get your code of conduct drawn up before you recruit.
And decide how you are going to 'remove' volunteers whose manner makes other volunteers (not to mention the children) feel on edge & uncomfortable.
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