Safe Recruitment and Employment
Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB) expects all organisations employing staff to work with children, work to a consistent set of procedures designed to ensure they do not constitute a risk to children, have clear guidance on acceptable conduct and that allegations against them are managed effectively.
These requirements are audited on a regular basis by the LSCB as part of the organisations overall safeguarding arrangements under section 11 of the Children Act 2004, known as 'the section 11 audit'.
All LSCB member agencies as part of their Section 11 Children Act duties recognise the importance of implementing safer recruitment and selection policies to ensure that those who are unsuitable from working with children are prevented from doing so. LSCB member agencies support and advise all agencies working with children, young people and their families to have in place a safer recruitment policy that adheres to the principles set out below.
Where any agency does not meets these standards, they are advised to adjust their policy so that it does meet these minimum standards set out below:
- References are always verified, and at least one referee will be contacted in person to verify the reference and this properly recorded in staff files. Character references or references from friends or colleagues should not be considered as acceptable.
- An application form is always used and a full employment history is available on file for every member of staff, any gaps in employment history are checked and accounted for and qualifications are checked.
- Checks will be carried out to establish identity and Right to Work in the UK for all employees and the relevant documents verified to establish they are certified originals and retained securely a personnel file.
- An Enhanced DBS check will be undertaken for any staff working in “regulated activity” who have not previously been subject to these checks, including temporary, agency or contract staff.
- Where an individual already holds an Enhanced DBS Check an on line check should be undertaken through the DBS Update Service to ensure the information held on the certificate is up to date.
- Any disclosure that reveals information is dealt with through the recommended Positive Disclosure process and a thorough risk assessment is carried out in all cases.
- Induction will include an introduction to the child protection procedures and attendance at the appropriate child protection course, as relevant to the post.
- Staff involved in recruitment and selection will attend the relevant training provided/arranged.
- LSCB agencies will ensure that all staff, new and existing, are aware of the Allegations Management procedures and who to report concerns to.
- Where behaviour of the individual or allegation may indicate that the person meets the criteria for consideration under allegations management, they will be referred to that process via the Senior Manager.
- All agencies ensure that new staff are provided with a copy or are made aware of the Guidance on Safer Working Practices as part of their induction.
- A model whistle-blowing policy is available across agencies and known by staff.
- When commissioning work from organisations who will come into contact with children and young people, ensure that those contractors comply with the LSCB's safeguarding requirements and are able to provide written assurances prior to awarding contracts.
Disclosure and Barring Service check
Staff who work in regulated activities should have a Disclosure and Barring Service check, previously CRB check. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). A DBS check may be needed for:
- Certain jobs or voluntary work e.g. working with children or healthcare
- Applying to foster or adopt a child
Read further information regarding DBS checks on the GOV.UK website.
All allegations of abuse against a member of staff, including a volunteer, must be dealt with consistently, fairly, sensitively and as quickly as possible in a way which provides effective protection for the child and provides support for the person who is the subject of the allegation.
It is therefore important that all staff, regardless of their position in the organisation are aware of the procedures relating to allegation management.
Guidance on safe working practice
We have adopted the nationally recognised Guidance for Safe Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People. This covers all areas of expected conduct including in particular contact with children out of work, acceptable use of IT and use of punishment and sanctions.
It is expected that this guidance (or an acceptable equivalent) is issued to all staff on appointment and is referred to as the required standard whenever breaches of conduct occur.