Summary of Safeguarding June 2013

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Lincolnshire District Safeguarding           

 

 

 

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service – combination of the previous CRB and ISA organisations. Came into force 1st December 2012.

 

Regulated activity – activity with children – a role that has contact once a week or 4 days within 30 days or an overnight activity between certain hours with low level/no supervision of those roles (see later)

 

Regulated activity – activity with vulnerable adults – no pattern but is about the nature of the work done (see later).

 

Groups 1 and 2 – refer to regulated activity which WILL need a criminal check.

 

Groups 3, 4, 5 and 6 – refer to groups who DO NOT need a check but for which safer practice and recruitment will still apply.  However, a District decision is needed as to whether some of these groups could be DBS checked at a Basic rather than Enhanced level.

 

 

Page No

Reference

LG District position

Comment

Checklist questions

Page 1

 

Front cover

The whole document should replace the existing one in the appropriate chapter of the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook

 

All those in a safeguarding role should have a copy.

There are more final changes in the Autumn 2013

 

DSG will take a lead role in translating this document into relevant local District practice.

 

 

District Council will consider and agree policy changes on July 15th 2013 so final District guidance can be issued.

Is this new guidance now in your Handbook?

Page 2 and 3

Self-explanatory

     

Page 4

Self-explanatory

     

Page 5

Bullet point 4

This re-enforces the need for ALL posts to be recruited to safely and in line with District policy.

 

Job descriptions should mention the duty to report any safeguarding concerns as per the District Procedure.

Job descriptions will need to be updated or created and used in situations of recruitment.

 

For all regulated activity posts (Groups 1 and 2) formal recruitment processes are mandatory.

Are their current JD’s for any posts within your church/circuit?

 

Is anyone in a post without having followed a recruitment process?

 

 

 

 

 

Page

6,7, 8

Eligibility for checks

The District will implement this - Groups 1 and 2 being eligible for checks

 

The remaining groups, whilst, not eligible for checks, can still be subject to recruitment processes.

 

For Groups 5 and 6, existing groups such as Monitoring Support Groups, Covenants of Care etc will be used to manage concerns

No person should change from a role that does not require a check to one which does WITHOUT a check for the new role being done.

“Internal casual” changes have to be carefully overseen to make sure criteria for checks have changed.

Is there anyone in a role that needs a DBS check (or needed an old CRB) without one?

Page 9

Group 3 and 4 – Decision will be needed about whether this group should be subject to Basic disclosures

 

Reference at bottom of page – Only 0ver 18’s should do Church work.

 

The use of young people for roles should always be properly assessed.

Anyone under 16 should not be in a role of sole responsibility, left unsupervised with children and vulnerable adults but seen more as a helper. No official title should be given to anyone under 16 that gives a false status or expectation of the person in that role.

Many churches will already have young people in place in a variety of roles.

It is not suggested that they be removed but

District Council to consider this position along with consultation with Youth and Lay workers.

Are there any young people under 16 in a role of leadership or which gives sole responsibility?

 

Are there any young people in a role that is not supervised or overseen by someone?

Page 10

Terminology

The verifier term will remain. Appointer and Safeguarder is more likely to fall within the remit of the Circuit Safeguarding Rep,

This will need a policy decision by District Council.

Even though we are not using the terminology involved yet, this list reinforces the need for key roles in the recruitment process and for roles to be formally agreed at the appropriate Circuit meeting by way of acknowledging which posts have been filled or are about to

be filled or remain vacant.

 

If the Circuit Safeguarding Rep takes on a more active role here then this will need careful consideration of the impact on their role.

 

 

Page 11

Flowchart

     

Page 12

The task

 

Decision needed as to who should take responsibility for this.

All posts should have a very simple JD.

This should contain the need for a DBS check.

It should have a sentence emphasizing the need to report any safeguarding concerns

The District will over time produce JD’s for all roles but in the meantime Circuits, if they wish, can develop these other than those already available within District Policy i.e. Reps, Contacts.

It will be good to take a sample of those already being used in the District so as not to re-invent from scratch.

 

 

Page 13

Which Group?

 

 

 

The new language is about “workforce”. This is demonstrated on the new DBS application.

Any JD should just simply refer to whether the role is within the “Children’s workforce”, “ Adult workforce” or Children and “Adult workforce”

 

 

 

Page 14

Recruitment groups 3 and 4

 

2nd Para under Task – changes regarding spent convictions

Decisions need to be made as to what recruitment steps are needed.

Some form of recruitment is necessary. In the meantime no-one should commence such a role without basic recruitment - an interview however informal and references.

   

Page 15 and 16

Recruitment groups 1 and 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 16 – last point –use of references

The District Policy is that all posts in this group MUST be recruited to and MUST NOT commence without a DBS check being received, shown and verified.

 

 

Lessons learned in the District show references sometimes are too brief and too “friendly”. It is important to get a reference from someone who has witnessed the applicant working with children/adults.

 

 

Is there anyone in a role at the moment without the required DBS check or has commenced before it has come through?

 

Is there a proper recruitment process in place within the church/Circuit that is consistent for every role?

Page 17

Self declaration Forms

These should be used for all posts in Group 1 and 2.

 

These forms are being used differently across the District.

 

Have people been asked to fill them in even before the changes?

Page 18 and 19

The check

 

 

Practical advice on page 18 on answering specific questions on the application form

 

 

Page 19 – the update service

For new applications until further notice, the Verifier will undertake the usual process of agreeing the detail of the application.

 

 

 

 

 

The District are NOT using the update service until Connexion confirms they are happy with initial use and teething problems sorted.

 

 

 

If someone has signed up to the update service and want to use an existing DBS, please contact the DSO for assistance

It will be important to stress to people that portability is only possible if the individual applicant is registered on the Update service.

There is a cost to this and some may wish to do so. In general, we are waiting for further advice from Connexion about the use of the update service.

 

Page 20

Follow up

 

Reference to the new terminology and their roles and responsibilities – not being used until decision made by District Council

 

 

From 17th June, 2013 DBS certificates will be sent only as a single copy to the applicant and NOT to anyone else.

 

For now and until District Council agree policy, the applicant should be told that they MUST show the certificate once it has been returned.

 

No one can start in a role unless the certificate has been seen and approved.

 

Systems will need to be established in Circuits/Churches to know who has applied, for what and the outcome.

 

A District decision will need to be made about who oversees the process of reporting Blemishes to DSO and the ensuing process of assessment.

 

It is clear that, for some people, showing their certificate could be a problem if there is a blemish on it.

 

Advice will be given as to who the applicant can go to should this arise.

 

All blemishes must be reported to the DSO who will make the necessary liaison with Connexion if appropriate.

 

Most Circuits/Church have a system already to record who has a DBS and when they are due for renewal

 

Currently, are there systems in place within Churches and Circuits to know who has applied for a check, when they are due etc?

 

Is there anyone with a blemished old CRB or more recent DBS in a role and the DSO has not been informed?

Page 21

Assessment

If there is any information contained on a DBS certificate, the DSO should be informed without delay and he will advise the next steps and make the necessary arrangements for the appropriate level of assessment depending on the nature of the information

 

   

Page 22

Renewing checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These will be done every 5 years.

Circuits/Churches should have a system to know when they are due.

If someone has been subject to safeguarding concerns it may be that they will be required to apply for another check. Individuals in a role should also know when they will be due.

The update service will be used when Connexion agree the start date.

 

 

Updated DBS checks should not be delayed otherwise the person is not approved to act in that role – see bottom of Page 22

Are all renewals for all appropriate roles up to date?

 

 

Page 23

Safer working practice

Support and induction is most important as a person settles into a role.

 

The Circuit rep will have a critical role in ensuring person in Groups 1 and 2 understand their role.

Good practice is that within Circuits there is some mechanism for ensuring the progress of someone in a role, no matter what that role is, to ensure all parties are happy with how it is working.

For paid roles, some form of line management meetings/supervision is essential

Are their systems in place for overseeing those in key roles and what help is offered to ensure they are happy with the role and developing well?

Page 24 ad 25

Appendix 1

 

 

Re-affirms the need for JD’s. Some examples given.

The District, through DSG, need to consider afresh the use of JD’s in all appropriate roles and whether standardized ones can be created

 

Page 26,27,28

Appendix 2

Self explanatory except:

 

Circuit Safeguarding reps/Church Contacts do not need to be checked unless they are in another role that requires a check.

These charts will be scrutinized by District Council and will make them relevant for District roles.

 

Page 29 and 30

Appendix 3

Group 1

 

Page 30

 

 

 

 

 

Page 29

 

 

Regulated activity for children is determined by a “Period condition” which is outlined on page 30

 

Regulated activity for Vulnerable adults is not about “Period condition” but the characteristic of the recipient and the nature of the service offered –page 29.

 

If a role is supervised this means that role is not regulated because people are not working in isolation.

 

 

   

Page 31

Appendix 4

Group 2

A bit complicated but in essence checks and recruitment are needed as per District Policy

   

Page 32

Appendix 5

Any information about a barred role or where it is clear someone has applied knowing they are barred should be referred to the DSO

   

Page 33,34,35

Appendix 6

 

Page 34 – new changes about spent and old offences

 

 

Page 35 – advice for verifiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This advice should be followed when completing the form.

 

 

   

Page 36 and 37

Appendix 7

 

Bottom of page 37 – reference to DBS applications on line

Portability can only be achieved if the applicant is registered with the Update service so that they can be verified on that system. In addition, the criteria at the bottom of page 36 apply.

 

Connexion is not using this service for a few months until they are satisfied it is working effectively.

 

In the meantime a new DBS check would be needed.

The portability is now about workforce rather than role. If someone is changing role to work with a different service user group, then a new DBS is needed.

 

For many posts, it will advisable to put Children and Workforce on the DBS application form.

 

 

For those who wish to use their DBS from another agency, the guidance at the bottom of page 36 is to be followed

 

 

Page 38

 

Self declaration forms MUST be completed before the DBS check is made.

 

It is part of what needs to be a discussion with the applicant about anything that they think might come up or be on significance.

This form could be used for all roles whether or not they are eligible for a check as part of the general recruitment process – Decision to be made.

That early discussion is so important when someone shows an interest in a post or has been appointed.

 

Lessons learned from situations in the District show that surprises often come when the DBS is returned and this could have been avoided and planned for in advance.

This is particularly important in respect of Local Preachers. (see later)

 

Page 39 ad 40

Appendix 10

This re-enforces again the importance of not allowing people to start in a role without a clear process of recruitment. In the end, this leaves the person vulnerable in all sorts of ways not least the confusion often as to what the role entails.

No-one should have to work it out as they go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Page 41,42,43

Appendix 11

 

General advice about specific situations

District Policy:

 

Local Preachers will apply for their DBS check BEFORE GOING ON NOTE, rather than on trial.

This will follow a discussion and assessment at the outset with Local Preachers as to their reasons for being a Local preacher etc

 

Pastoral Visitors WILL be DBS checked given that most people visited will be vulnerable in some way.

 

 

Circuit meetings – Decision needed as to whether all members need to be cleared.

 

Ecumenical events – there should always be a lead denomination who will take the lead on organising the checks (as well as training etc)

 

 

 

Remaining categories are clear on these pages are clear

 

   

Page 44,45

Appendix 12

Guidance is clear

 

   

Page 46

Appendix 13

District Policy is that advice MUST be sought from the DSO when information from the Police is required.

   

 

 

 

Howard Smedley

District Safeguarding Officer

26th June 2013