Creating a Safeguarding Culture in the Workplace
Last updated 14/07/2021
Making sure that we do everything we can to prevent appointing people who may pose a risk to children is an essential part of creating a safeguarding culture in the workplace.
Sefton Local Safeguarding Children Board (Sefton LSCB) has a responsibility to ensure that agencies fully comply with safer recruitment processes as stipulated in s11 of the Children Act 2004. All organisations that employ staff or volunteers to work in regulated positions with children are required by law to make reasonable efforts to ensure they are suitable for the position. Disclosure and barring (DBS) checks are just part of these efforts.
The law in relation to the scope of criminal records and barring checks changed in 2012, making a distinction between supervised and unsupervised positions. The ‘best practice’ requirement to renew checks on an individual every three years is now unstated. The current guidance on safe recruitment also allows for explicit use of ‘judgement’ in decision-making.
This set of minimum expectations has been developed in order to provide some clarity of expectation to employers who commission and who provide services.
All organisations, whether commissioning or contracted, should as a minimum:
- Have a recruitment and selection policy in place that includes explicit reference to safeguarding children
- Include a generic statement within every job description attached to a job involving contact or work with children or adults with children that outlines the organisational expectation of the post-holder – e.g.:
“All staff has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults. The post holder will undertake the appropriate level of training and is responsible for ensuring that they understand and work within the safeguarding policies of the organisation”
- Include a definition within each job description of the nature of safeguarding supervision a post-holder will receive
- Require a new DBS check at enhanced level for every new member of staff who works directly with, or has regular contact with, children and young people, based on levels of contact
- Conduct repeat checks every 3 years on every member of staff who works directly with, or has regular contact with, children and young people – either by means of the DBS Update Service or otherwise.
- Takes up a minimum of 2 written references, one of which must be from the most recent employer through direct contact.
- Ensure that every manager receives and can evidence that they have received safe recruitment training and refreshes this whenever the law in this context changes.
 The definition of regulated position covers those who work regularly, intensively or unsupervised with children.
 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (SVG) Act 2006 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007, both amended (in particular by, respectively, section 64 and Schedule 7, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012