Magazine article Public Finance

'Up to Half' of Care Home Staff Not Fully Vetted

Magazine article Public Finance

'Up to Half' of Care Home Staff Not Fully Vetted

Article excerpt

The government faces renewed pressure to improve security procedures in care homes in the wake of the furore over sex offenders found to be working in schools.

Campaigners say that employees in care homes for vulnerable children and for adults are often completely unchecked.

Figures recently published by the Commission for Social Care Inspection found that in 2004/05 45% of children's homes did not fully implement the statutory standards for vetting staff. These include checks against the Criminal Records Bureau and Protection of Vulnerable Children Act barring list.

The percentage of homes for older people failing to perform the required safety checks was even higher, at between 46% and 48%. Homes for adults with mental illness and secure units for vulnerable children performed the worst, with 51% and 50% respectively failing to adequately implement security procedures.

'It's completely unacceptable,' Chris Mills, national policy adviser on child protection for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, told Public Finance. 'No one should be able to work with vulnerable adults, children and young people until it has been established that they are safe to work with them.'

As PF went to press, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly was preparing her statement to the Commons on creating better links between the List 99 of people deemed unsuitable to work in schools, the Sex Offenders' Register, the Criminal Records Bureau and the two lists established under the protection of vulnerable adults and vulnerable children Acts. …

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