A child’s safety is paramount.
For some time now many local authorities have been voluntarily ensuring that their children’s workers are safe to work with children.
From 1 September 2016 local authorities are legally required to ensure core children’s workers starting a new job are safety checked (including a police vet).
The safety checking requirements for local authorities and the organisations they fund to provide children’s services include all people who work with and around children. The requirements are being phased in, as follows:
- From 1 September 2016 new core children’s workers starting a job or contract must be safety checked before they start work.
- From 1 September 2017 new non-core children’s workers starting a job or contract must be safety checked before they start work.
- By 1 September 2019 existing children’s core workers (i.e., those currently employed or contracted) must have been safety checked.
- By 1 September 2020 all existing non-core children’s workers must have been safety checked.
Find out more about how to conduct a safety check.
Find out definitions of core and non-core children’s workers.
New Regulated Services
Schedule 1 of the Vulnerable Children’s Act has been updated to include local authority services, (brought forward from 1 July 2017) to include children’s workers in the following types of services:
Local authority services:
- social and support services, including (but not limited to) mentoring and counselling services, and community outreach, advocacy and engagement services
- education services, including (but not limited to) learn-to-swim programmes and digital literacy programmes
- services provided at community facilities, including (but not limited to) sports and recreation centres, libraries, swimming pools, galleries, and community centres
- services provided in public environments, including (but not limited to) surf and beach patrols, skate park guardians, and road safety coordinators
Core Worker Exemptions
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 includes the Workforce Restriction, which prohibits the employment of people with certain serious criminal convictions as core children’s workers, unless they hold a Core Worker Exemption (CWE).
The CWE implementation process for local authorities will be:
- From 1 September 2016 all new core workers with a specified offence require an exemption
- By 1 September 2017 all core workers with a specified offence will require an exemption
Find out more about the Core Worker Exemption process.
Local authority representatives helped compile the new regulated services for their organisations.