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Child Safety Week: Ensuring Safe and Secure Environments Through DBS Checks


Running between 3rd-9th June this year, Child Safety Week is an annual campaign dedicated to important conversations around children’s safety and how to manage risks.

It is of pivotal importance that children can grow up in safe environments where they are free to develop and learn effectively.

This year’s theme, ‘Safety. Sorted!’ highlights a need for increased awareness and understanding of the right considerations to be taken into account to prevent accidents.

One of these is DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Checks, which ensure that the individuals who work with children or spend time in the same environments as children can safely engage with them.

Here, we explore the role of DBS Checks in creating safe and secure environments in different industries.

Why are DBS Checks required to work with children?

DBS Checks are a critical requirement in various sectors where individuals interact with vulnerable groups of people, one of which is children.

Individuals who work in education, health or social care, for instance, have a serious responsibility toward children, regularly engaging with them or providing services that involve coming into contact with them.

Ensuring these groups of people are suitably vetted with the right level of DBS Check before being recruited for a specific role is of pivotal importance in preventing accidents.

Depending on the type of DBS Check, these will be able to show spent and unspent cautions and convictions as well as information held on local police records. Enhanced DBS Checks can also include a check of the children’s barred list, checking the individual’s name against a list of individuals who are barred from working with children.

The education sector

The Disclosure and Barring Service plays a significant role in ensuring the highest standards of safeguarding in education.

Since April 2022, the DBS has issued over 1.7m Enhanced DBS certificates for those working in the education sector.

Schools, nurseries, colleges, and universities require Enhanced DBS checks for any role, including teaching, support staff, volunteers and more.

It is vital for educational institutions to vet their staff to maintain a safe learning environment, particularly as this is one where children spend a large portion of their time.

This extends to all positions in schools supporting, supervising children or providing care, such as counsellors, nurses or sports coaches, referees and lifeguards.

Childcare and social care

DBS Checks are essential for those who work directly with children or run a childcare organisation due to the sensitive nature of these jobs.

Roles such as childminders, nannies, care/social workers, playgroup owners or children’s home directors require DBS checks to ensure the safety children in care, particularly as the responsibility for their wellbeing is often directly entrusted to these individuals.

These workers support some of the most vulnerable people in our society, including children with limitations to their mental or physical capabilities, young people living in disadvantaged communities, and individuals with addictions, or suffering from mental illness.

Due to the varying degrees of interaction that are required with these individuals, different types of DBS checks may be needed.

Fostering and adoption

The primary concern in adoption is the safety and wellbeing of the child. When fostering or adopting a child, carers take on a huge responsibility, and it is vital that these individuals are suitable for looking after young and vulnerable children.

DBS Checks help ensure that prospective adopters do not have any criminal convictions or a history that could pose a risk to the child, ensuring they are placed in safe and caring environments.

Charity work

There are a range of roles within charity work that require interacting with children, as well as a plethora of children’s charities whose sole purpose is to help children. It is therefore vital that individuals who work in charities don’t have a history of criminal behaviour that could pose a risk to the safety of children.

DBS Checks should be obtained for trustees of children’s charities and those who undertake Regulated Activity with children, including most types of charity workers. This can also help maintain trust and confidence in a charity, demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding.

No matter the industry, prioritising the safety and security of children is of paramount importance, and DBS Checks are a key piece of the puzzle.

Find out more about DBS Checks in your industry here or contact our team to learn more about how eSafeguarding can support your organisation with its safe, secure and speedy DBS checking service here.

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