Meetings/2009-08-05/Agenda/CRB & Child Protection

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From my discussions with CC and reading up, if there are to be members (even just one,) in our organisation that would be having regular contact with vulnerable people, they and all the trustees would need to have CRB checks done. With regards to the transferrability of CRB's. The Chapter must hold a copy of the CRB that must come from the previous organisation. A copy of a personal CRB would not really suffice. It is all to do with the duty of care we have as trustees and that we should do everything in our power to ensure trustee's and employees are suitable to work with vulnerabl people. All though there is no legal requirement as our benefactors are the general public, as you can see below, where the CC uses phrases like recommend, suggest, and should, they consider it to be a requirement, albeit not a legal one.

Quote 1[edit | edit source]

We strongly recommend that charities working with vulnerable people, with positions which are eligible to obtain Disclosures from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), should do so.

Quote 2[edit | edit source]

Trustees of charities working with children or vulnerable adults should also make additional, more detailed checks, by obtaining a Disclosure from the CRB. We strongly recommend that trustees of charities that can obtain CRB checks take advantage of this option, to ensure both that the person they wish to appoint as a trustee is eligible and to ensure the safety of the charity's beneficiaries. There are some charities that must carry out these checks. You can find more information in section F6.

Quote 3[edit | edit source]

All charity trustees have a duty of care and a duty to act solely in the interests of the charity. The Commission believes that charity trustees risk being in breach of these duties if they fail, without good reason, to carry out appropriate CRB checks when they are entitled to do so. In some circumstances, such failures may be viewed as evidence of misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.

Quote 4[edit | edit source]

CRB checks are currently the best way for trustees to check whether a fellow trustee is disqualified from working with vulnerable beneficiaries. For this reason the Commission’s policy is that trustees:

  • must obtain a CRB Disclosure when there is a legal requirement to do so; and
  • should obtain a CRB Disclosure when there is a legal entitlement to.

Quote 5[edit | edit source]

Charities should recheck trustees, including trustees who were originally appointed by the Commission, and others in relevant positions, every three years.

Procedures[edit | edit source]

4. The child protection policy

This is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to safeguard children involved with a charity from harm. The essential inclusions for a child protection policy are outlined below:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount;
  • all children without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs;
  • the policy is approved and endorsed by the board of trustees;
  • who the policy applies to (i.e. all trustees, staff and volunteers);
  • children and parents are informed of the policy and procedures as appropriate;
  • all concerns, and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by trustees, staff and volunteers and responded to appropriately - this may require a referral to children’s services and in emergencies, the Police;
  • a commitment to safe recruitment, selection and vetting;
  • reference to principles, legislation and guidance that underpin the policy;
  • arrangements for policy and procedures review;
  • reference to all associated policies and procedures which promote children’s safety and welfare e.g. with regards to: health and safety, anti-bullying, protection of children online, and photography.

5. Child protection procedures and systems

Procedures and systems provide clear step-by-step guidance on what to do in different circumstances and they clarify roles and responsibilities. Systems for recording information and dealing with complaints are also needed to ensure implementation and compliance. Child protection procedures should be linked with the Local Safeguarding Children Board’s procedures or the All Wales Child Protection Procedures, as relevant.

The procedures and systems should include:

  • A named person (and deputy) with a clearly defined role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, appropriate to the level at which s/he operates.
  • A description of what child abuse is, and the procedures for how to respond to it where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare or concerns about the actions of a trustee, staff member or volunteer. Relevant contact details for children’s services, police, health and NSPCC helplines should be available.
  • A process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and storing these securely in compliance with relevant legislation and kept for a time specified by your insurance company.
  • Guidance on confidentiality and information sharing, legislation compliant, and which clearly states that the protection of the child is the most important consideration.
  • A code of behaviour for trustees, staff and volunteers. The consequences of breaching the code are clear and linked to disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • Safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures that include checks into the eligibility and the suitability of all trustees, staff and volunteers who have direct or indirect (e.g. helpline, email) contact with children. In the case of trustees, because of their position within the charity, we take the view that whenever there is a legal entitlement to obtain a CRB check in respect of such a trustee, a check should be carried out. This goes beyond circumstances where the trustee comes into contact with children.
  • A complaints procedure which is an open and well publicised way in which adults and children can voice concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children.
  • Systems to ensure that all staff and volunteers working with children are monitored and supervised and that they have opportunities to learn about child protection in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.
  • Requirements for trustees, staff and volunteers to learn about child protection in accordance with and as appropriate to their roles and responsibilities.

It is important that each charity’s safeguarding policy and procedures are tailored to the type of contact that the charity has with children and it also needs to take into account any particular vulnerabilities of the children with whom the charity has contact; for example disabled children who are at increased risk of abuse; babies and toddlers who are vulnerable due to their age and dependence on adults;