As you may know, there’s a new system that’s been developed to try and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse which means that a lot of people will have to register with an organisation called the Independent Safeguarding Authority (the ISA), possibly as well as getting CRB checks (at least in the beginning).
This is a hopefully helpful and entirely unofficial summary of the information they’ve put on their website, and this one’s entirely in web form, for the critics!
Who doesn’t need to register?
- Anyone under 16
- If you’re a friend looking after a child or vulnerable adult with no contract or particular expectation of payment, that’s fine. It’s the same if you’re a family member (which includes living in the same house and treating each other as family).
- If you’re a parent or friend of the child or adult who needs care and you hire someone to look after them, you don’t need to register, but all other employers do.
If you’re not changing your job or volunteering role you don’t have to apply until 2011, but employers will probably be asking you to apply earlier than that to get the paperwork over with.
If you’re a parent or guardian employing home tutors, nannies or carers you can check if they’re registered with the ISA or not. If they’re on the banned list they shouldn’t be looking after kids or vulnerable people, though â€“ that’s illegal.
Who does need to register?
If you’re applying for a new job or take up a new role from October 2009 you need to apply to the ISA, and get a CRB check. There’ll be a combined form out later on so you don’t have to do them separately. (Ed: I think this is right, but I’m not entirely sure)
You need to be registered (either now or eventually) if you:
- Look after kids and vulnerable adults a lot, overnight, or have a lot of contact for short amounts of time, for example: teaching, training, care, supervising, advising, treating kids or vulnerable adults, and ferrying people around.
- Are foster parents or look after fostering arrangements
- Are employed in childcare
- Are a school governor, director of social services or a trustee of some charities â€“ any positions of authority which give you responsibility for the welfare of childrens/vulnerable adults.
What is ISA registration going to involve?
This is what we do know:
- you will need to supply valid ID with your application
- if when you apply the ISA find anything relevant they need to tell you about it.
- if they find nothing then they have to tell you that too â€“ unless you’ve applied for an enhanced CRB check at the same time (where they will tell you anything you find anyway).
- you’ll be checked regularly to make sure the info is up to date and you haven’t done anything that would mean you get barred.
- you will have to pay a small fee, unless you’re a volunteer and then it’s free.
If you’re no longer working with children or vulnerable adults and can prove it, you can ask the ISA to stop recording you.
Who can see my info?
- Your employer can only see that you have registered, they can’t see the details.
- ISA case workers and the police will be able to see details.
- If you’re on a register like the Teaching Council or Medical Council, the people who look after the register are allowed to find out whether you’re registered with the ISA, barred, or being investigated for possible barring.
What happens after I’ve got my registration?
Once you’ve got your ISA registration, your employers, social care agencies, local authorities and other public health organisations will have to report to the ISA on the way you act with the children or vulnerable adults in your care.
Parents and private companies that want to bring the ISA’s attention to your behaviour will have to go through an intermediary.
If you harm a child or vulnerable adult, cause them harm indirectly, put them at risk of getting hurt, attempt to harm them, or if you ask or encourage someone else to hurt them, it may go on your record or get you put on the barred list.
If I’m barred, can I work with children or vulnerable adults at all?
- Support work in a general health settings, the NHS and further education. (Like cleaners, caretakers, shop workers, catering staff, car park attendants and receptionists.)
- If you work for an organisation that has access to sensitive records about children and vulnerable adults.
- Support work in adult social care. (Like day centre cleaners and those with access to social care records.)
So what’s illegal now that wasn’t before?
You can be sent to prison or fined up to £5000 for newly employing an unregistered or barred person to work with children or vulnerable adults. It’s illegal for employers not to check if somone is registered.
It’s also illegal to do anything you have to be registered to do, if you are not registered or you’re barred.