DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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Birmingham Bus Company Under Fire For DBS Check Failing

What Is Safeguarding & Why Is It Important?

Sadly, abuse is prevalent in society and often it is the most vulnerable people that are commonly victims of abuse. It is a basic human right for a person to live in a safe environment away from harm or abuse and they should, in no circumstances, be exploited. Therefore, safeguarding procedures are a pivotal component to ensuring these individuals are protected.

In this post, we’ll discuss what safeguarding is and why it’s so important. We’ll also cover some common signs of abuse and how to report suspected abuse.

What Is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is a vital process that protects children and adults from harm, abuse, and neglect. The safety and wellbeing of adults and children is important as they come into contact with the services that schools and workplaces provide.

It is the duty of every staff member in a school and a workplace to safeguard all staff and children and provide the right services to those who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, harm and neglect.

Why Is Safeguarding Important?

If your business works with children and/or vulnerable adults, strict safeguarding policies must be in place. Every person should live their lives without harm, no matter the age, gender, ethnicity or religion. It’s vital that every vulnerable child and adult is kept safe.

Organisations such as schools, hospitals, care homes and charities will have safeguarding procedures in place. Other types of workplaces must also have a plan in place to ensure all staff are looked after appropriately. For every person to be safe under your care, employees must be trained adequately so they can carry out safeguarding duties as expected.

You must be vigilant for potential signs of abuse and neglect because missing them would be catastrophic. If an organisation has poor safeguarding policies or no safeguarding in place could lead to:

  • Abuse and neglect being missed.
  • An increase in abuse cases.
  • Vulnerable people not being treated with compassion or empathy.
  • Increased confusion and distress for suffering individuals because they have no one to turn to.
  • A complete loss of dignity and autonomy for vulnerable adults.

Common Types Of Abuse

  • Sick people are often open to neglect because they’re unable to take care of themselves.
  • Mentally disabled individuals can be manipulated into doing things as their disability makes them unable to refuse.
  • Children aren’t aware of social norms – especially young children – which can lead them to think that certain behaviours are normal.
  • Elderly people have memory issues that leave them open to manipulation.

Primary Safeguarding Issues

Abuse, harm and neglect can manifest themselves in many forms, however, there are some which are more dominant than others. They include:

  1. Child criminal exploitation
  2. Child sexual exploitation
  3. County lines (whereby gangs and organised networks groom and exploit children specifically to sell drugs).
  4. Domestic abuse
  5. Preventing radicalisation
  6. Upskirting
  7. Honour-based abuse

The Safeguarding Principles:

There are six safeguarding principles that were created by the UK government to help better protect vulnerable individuals and which have been agreed upon within the Care Act 2014. They are:

  1. Empowerment: Ensuring people are confident and supported in making their own decisions and giving informed consent. Empowerment gives individuals choice and control over decisions that are made.
  2. Protection: Providing support and representation for those greatest in need. Organisations can implement measures to prevent abuse from occurring and support those at risk.
  3. Prevention: It is imperative to act before harm occurs, preventing neglect, harm or abuse. Organisations work to prevent abuse from happening by raising awareness, staff training and making information accessible. They also encourage individuals to ask for help if they feel at risk.
  4. Proportionality: Explores what the least unintrusive response to a situation is in correlation to the risk. This aims to ensure the individual’s life is impacted as little as possible by accurately assessing the risk.
  5. Partnership: Forming partnerships with local communities can create solutions as they can assist in preventing and detecting abuse.
  6. Accountability: Safeguarding is everybody’s duty and people who are in contact with a vulnerable person should be responsible for noting any risks. Although carers and social workers have a responsibility to highlight any potential harm, it should also be noted that doctors, friends and relatives also have a responsibility to flag any concerns.

Importance of Safeguarding Children

A child is legally any individual under the age of 18. Children must be protected from harm under safeguarding policies.

The importance of safeguarding children is highlighted by the 2020 statistics released by the Office of National Statistics. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated one in five adults experienced a form of abuse as a child before the age of 16.

To safeguard a child, you must:

  • Protect them from abuse, exploitation and mistreatment.
  • Stop anything harming their health and development.
  • Make sure they group up in a safe and caring environment.
  • Take necessary action so the child gets the best outcomes in life.

Children’s Safeguarding Policy

To complete the above, a Child Safeguarding Policy must be put in place. Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 states that all organisations must have a Child Safeguarding Policy in place and ensure all employees are checked for a criminal record.

This policy should:

  • Describe the aims and purpose of the policy for the organisation.
  • Explain the process in the event a child’s well-being becomes a concern.
  • Include procedures that are put in place to safeguard children from abuse.
  • Inform staff of the legislation and guidance that influences the policy.
  • State clearly who is protected by the policy and who must adhere to it.
  • Include the additional needs for those with disabilities or those from ethnic minorities.
  • Inform staff when the policy comes into effect and when it will be reviewed.

Staff should undertake regular safeguarding training to ensure they fully understand the latest threats to the welfare of children and young people.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Vulnerable adults are defined as people who are unable to take care of protecting themselves against harm or exploitation for any reason. Safeguarding adults involves reducing and preventing the risk of harm, neglect or abuse alongside supporting them to maintain their own lives.

While most would consider vulnerable adults to be those who lack capacity, adults with full capacity can also be considered as vulnerable as well. This is when they are unable to take care or protect themselves from harm.

An example of a vulnerable adult is an elderly person and according to the World Health Organisation, one in six people of 60 or above experience some form of abuse and neglect.

To safeguard vulnerable adults you must:

  • Ensure the person can live in safety, away from abuse and neglect.
  • Encourage individuals to make their own choices and provide informed consent.
  • Prevent any risk of abuse or neglect and stop it from happening.
  • Promote the wellbeing of the person and take their thoughts, feelings, wishes and beliefs into account.

Safeguarding: A Nurse’s Role

Safeguarding adults is everyone’s responsibility, but nurses have a professional duty as directed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. All nurses should promote and protect the rights of patients who are unable to protect themselves from any harm or abuse. They should not assume that someone else may have flagged a concern and should continue to raise a safeguarding concern.

Nurses also need to ensure that any reports of abuse need to be done with discretion and in accordance with local policies, procedures and legislation.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

DBS Checks And Safeguarding

DBS checks are an important element of safeguarding in the workplace.

What Is A DBS Check?

A DBS check is carried out by employers on members of staff and volunteers who will work with children and vulnerable adults. The process ensures that the potential employee is vetted against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer (PNC). Anyone who has been arrested for an offence will be picked up by the PNC.

With a successful DBS check, a disclosure certificate is given, proving the individual in question can work in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults.

The DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The check allows users to make safe decisions on who they employ and to avoid employing somebody who is barred from working with vulnerable groups.

Which Type Of DBS Check Is Needed?

While there are different levels of DBS check, for those working with or around vulnerable children or adults, an employer must apply for an enhanced DBS check. Individuals working as teachers, healthcare workers, taxi drivers, and dentists must have an enhanced DBS check with a barring list.

Those working in industries such as warehouses or factories, office-based jobs, retail, hospitality or leisure, security, domestic housekeeping can apply for a basic DBS check.

Volunteers for community or faith groups must apply for a volunteer DBS check.

How Long Does A DBS Check Take?

62% of DBS checks take 24 hours through Care Check. 85% of checks are completed within five days.

How To Apply For DBS Check

Individuals can only apply for basic DBS checks, while standard, enhanced and volunteer DBS checks must be placed by an organisation or charity.

You can register your business with Care Check today with prices starting at £29 per application and £6 per volunteer application. With bulk pricing offers available, you can ensure staff are vetted appropriately and quickly with Care Check. If you have any questions regarding safeguarding, please do give us a call on 0333 777 8575 or contact us online and we will be happy to help.

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