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Safe recruitment of staff

The single most effective time at which an organisation can minimise the possibility of abuse to children in its care, is the appointment of new staff.
The vast majority of adults working with children provide a safe and supportive environment for those in their charge.  Unfortunately, there will also be adults who wish to gain access to children for abusive purposes, and use employment as a means for this opportunity.
Time, care and patience devoted to checking every applicant will reduce the likelihood of pain and trauma later on. Relying on ‘common sense’ or a belief in the good intentions of staff does not adequately safeguard children, and therefore it is essential that organisations carry out a thorough safety check whether the applicant is a volunteer, employee or trustee.

Examples of Policy Statements:

  • {Your Organisation} ensures that all staff working with children, both paid and voluntary, have been appropriately vetted and screened.

  • {Your Organisation} ensures that all staff working with children are employed in accordance with the Safe Employment Policy.

Screening” means an internal process for identifying suitable candidates – in this case, those who can be relied on to keep children in your care safe.
Screening is about following a process to collect enough information so that you can be satisfied, having assessed the risks, that the applicant is safe to work with children in the role they are applying for.  More specifically, it means verifying their identity, gathering information about them through application forms, interviews and reference checks, and finally checking what you know through the use of external checks like the Police vetting service.

Vetting” means the formal process of obtaining checks from another agency, e.g. the Police vetting service, criminal record checks
Further guidance regarding the safe recruitment of staff can be found in the publication Safer Recruitment Guidelines published by Ministry of Education and Child Matters.