New Government Child Protection Initiative (CRB/ISA) regarding working with children

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by winterman, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. winterman

    winterman Member

    Just hit this article on TheRegister which talks about a government consultation on the ISA (Independant Safeguarding Authority) new rules which extend way beyond CRB Checks.

    Interesting and important reading for anyone working with children whether voluntary (Youth Bands etc) or professionally.

    From next year, all those who wish to work, either paid or unpaid, with children or vulnerable adults will need to be vetted. Those who fail the vetting will be barred from obtaining such work. Individuals who seek to work in these areas, knowing that they have been barred, will be committing a criminal offence. Registration will cost £64 per person, although this will be waived for those only wishing to work in an unpaid voluntary capacity. This initiative will be supported by a central database, holding the details of 11.3 million people, or slightly more than a quarter of the adult population. This is an increase of nearly 3 million over initial Home Office estimates, making it the most extensive database of its kind in the world. The scheme launch has been put back to next year as a result of ‘concerns about data security’ and extra work needed to ensure its database was ‘robust’.

    The ISA is due to take up its full responsibilities in October 2009. It recently announced its appointment of a board to supervise future work, under the chairmanship of Roger Singleton, former chief executive at Barnardo’s. Concern focuses on two areas.

    According to Appleton, who is co-ordinating a national campaign against this new legislation, 'The vetting database is based on the misconception that it is possible for the state to regulate every interaction between adults and children. If only 'state-approved' adults can relate to children, we'll see the death of the many informal clubs, societies and nurseries that are so important for children's development.'

    Full article at
  2. LilMissFlugel

    LilMissFlugel Member

  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Why is this a bad thing? Its not going to cost volunteers anything, and it means a bit of extra security and peace of mind for parents. If a person has nothing to hide, there's no harm in being vetted, and if they avoid the vetting or fail it then you probably wouldn't want them anywhere near kids anyway!

    Hopefully the BFBB will adapt their child protection policy to reflect these changes, which would make life easier for member bands.
  4. winterman

    winterman Member

    I didn't say there was anything wrong with the core concept (I am CRB checked every year for at least 2 different roles I have). I am totally in favour of ensuring youngsters are safe and not put at any form of risk by colleagues and co-workers.

    I posted this so that others involved in working with young people (particularly in banding) are aware of the changes and maybe spark a fresh discussion on Child Protection Practises in banding. Particularly as this would imply that every single member of your band would have to be checked if you have a couple of young folk in the band

    My only real concern is the hints at "Big Brother" implied towards the end of the article, it does seem to be a bit of a ploy just to start introducing the "We know everything, including when you last had a dump!" database.

    This, to me, is a serious disadvantage with some Community Workers, many of which in my experience (which in my younger days was quite a lot in various inner city youth projects), come from a very dark background and have reformed. These people, especially street workers, are able to achieve what they do with youngsters on the street because of the way they lived before.

    They understand what the youngsters go through purely because they have been there and been caught up in the problems themselves. To me, this is going to make it impossible for these brilliant role models, who show how life can be turned around from even the lowest depths, to get on with what they do the best!
  5. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    No you didn't.... I was replying to the other response of 'oh dear'

    I agree the BFBB policy and new changes like this shoud be prompting more awareness and discussions within bands, even ones that don't include any under-18s.

    I hear the 'Big Brother' argument all the time; about this, ID cards, CCTVs etc etc, but I still come back to the thought - for anyone who hasn't done anything wrong (or has reformed) and has nothing to hide, why does it matter?

    Interesting point about Community Workers though, and hopefully as the system develops it will be able to take specific cases like that into account. However, I do think the risk of losing out on a few workers who could have been great but for some reason failed the 'vetting' is more than outweighed by the reduced risk of our kids spending quality time with criminals.
  6. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Agreed with 100%
  7. dizzy068

    dizzy068 Member

    Coming at this from the law enforcement side of the fence and with experience in working in child protection. I would like to know what checks are going to be involved in this vetting and what sort of data would lead to someone being 'banned'.

    Assuming that we are trying to protect children from predetory sex offenders and persons with convictions for violence against children. Those with existing convictions are already lawfully prevented from such contact to varying degrees and are monitored as far as is practical.

    So is vetting going to extend to looking at police intelligence on all individuals? will this information be grounds to exclude someone from working with children? Given that the majority of this information is unverified and could easily be unfounded (if it were not then investigations would have ensued...).

    The uncomfortable truth is that children are more at risk from persons within the family that outside it. I don't see what benefit this will bring to the safety of children but if there is evidence that it will uncover active offenders then obviously I'm in favour of it but I just don't think that the information is out there to support the hypothesis.
  8. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    What about the £64? Will employers pay this, or employees? Wouldn't be too chuffed about losing this from my pay packet when am already CRB checked, and for people on part-time jobs this could make it not worthwhile starting them. Used to agree with the 'if you're innocent you've got nothing to fear' argument, and still do in a lot of respects, but have seen people's careers wrecked by unfounded allegations, and if these were kept on record and used against people this would happen even more.
  9. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Also, as someone pointed out, what about vetting all parents and family members, they're the most likely to endanger kids.
  10. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Because it erodes the personal freedoms of the individual. For years successive governments have been chipping away at our rights and freedoms and one wonders where it will all end. As a parent myself I fully recognise the need to protect our children but at what point did we devolve that responsibility to the government. It is up to parents to take some responsibility for the safety of their children. If this goes through I think you'll find that a lot of individuals, yes even those with "nothing to hide", will probably just feel that it is all too much hassle and prefer not to get involved.
  11. Al

    Al Member

    First off, of course I understand the thought and reasoning behind this. That said:

    I joined our local brass band at an early age. There was never any problem whatsoever and I felt part of a big family. 40 years later some of those band members are still about and we are as good friends now as we became all those years ago. I have mourned those that have departed as if they were my own family.

    It would sicken me if anyone had to be vetted because there were children in the band and I am sure that that would have driven a big wedge between the relationship between the young and the not so young in the band.

    This current sort of nanny state thinking is infiltrating our lives and is ultimately doing more harm to children's growing up than protecting it.

    There are laws in place to protect anyone harming children, or anyone else for that matter. Many of the do-gooder brigade have made an industry out of their paranoia and inability to understand social groups such as brass bands.
  12. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    If I didn't know of one case where a music teacher/bander has committed offenses resulting in inclusion on the sex offender register then I'd agree with you all..... but actually there have been several. That is a good enough reason for me to think any new legislation is a good idea.

    It may sicken you to think of any of your 'family' being vetted Al, but wouldn't it sicken you more if you found out too late that one of them should have been?
  13. dizzy068

    dizzy068 Member

    I don't believe that this additional legislation will add anything to what is already in place. All it will seek to do is tie up professionals in further red tape. I am not aware of any futher checks/vetting that could be done that is not already done or of any databases of information that would hold usefull data that could further protect children.
  14. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    And probably some of these had already been CRB checked and had shown no inclination towards these actions. Have no objection to checks as long as there aren't double standards, parents should be checked as well, or neither parents or other people, and it should be from the public purse, as the people who benefit are the public not the employees who are out of pocket. There would also have to be a guarentee that any false allegations were COMPLETELY wiped from the record, as in not used at all, or peoples careers and lives could be ruined.

    Also, would brass bands count as voluntary, as they charge for concerts, and the government would quickly start to get sick of paying money and would probably start to close the volunteers position.
  15. Al

    Al Member

    Yes, it would sicken me more if that were the case, but that fact remains that in 40 years of banding, in my experience no one needed to have been vetted.

    I have no doubt that in that time and over the whole of UK there have been dreadful incidents. The law of averages unfortunately dictates that. But I think you will find that in most of those cases, it was the authorities themselves who covered up, or refused to take anyone seriously. The authorities were incompetent.

    These proposed measures are deflective, to cover up the failings of the authorities.

    Yes, as with any activity whatsoever brass banding must always remain aware of the dangers but such vetting is not some sort of panacea.
  16. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    What gets me about all this stuff is, there has always been a set amount of perverts in sociaty, there isnt anymore now then there was 100 years ago, its just the tabloids have gone crazy on it and it gets the attention of the great unwashed because of the subject being so emotive. The top and bottom of it is because two police forces/authorities didnt do there job by not communicating and therefore letting that nutter Ian Huntley do what he did, everyday organisations are going to be forced to jump through all these pointless and expensive hoops. All this fear of the boogie man is akin to the reds under the bed stuff in 1950's America. Spreading a general feeling of fear, with a means to a end. The main part of it being a erosion of our rights via the back door. 42 days without charge, pointless I.D cards, C.R.B checks for grannies, helpers, parents. All it will do is what the fear of being sued did to school trips. Finish it off!!! Another nail in the coffin of Brass Banding!!!
  17. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    A great post!
  18. Al

    Al Member

  19. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Thirded - I wonder if any band's are seriously considering a restriction on the age of band members? If you have no under 18's you don't need the checks.