All adults who want to work with children should be vetted to
ensure they are safe to work with children, according to the
Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People today,
writes Clare Jerrom.
Nigel Williams launched the outcome of his review into vetting
and called for clear guidelines to help organisations keep children
“Today I have made recommendations in five key areas,
aimed at improving the safety of children and young people by
improving the way we protect them from potential abusers who try to
gain positions of trust through employment or volunteering,”
“I know that we cannot create a perfect way to do this ,
but I want to make sure that we do all we can – and I am
calling on the Secretary of State to extend the statutory
requirements to make sure that all adults who work with or
volunteer to work with children are vetted,” Williams
His report is based on a year long independent study which was
carried out at the request of the then Secretary of State in
Northern Ireland Paul Murphy following the Bichard Inquiry into the
murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley in Soham
in August 2002.
The recommendations include:-
• The Secretary of State should extend the statutory
requirement of checking those in regulated positions to all adults
who work with children.
• Departments which fund organisations that work with
children need to be satisfied that staff within those organisations
are appropriately recruited and vetted.
• The Secretary of State should ensure that all relevant
recommendations from the Bichard inquiry are being applied in
• An effective interdepartmental group to manage and ensure
the effective co-ordination of policy and practice in this area
should be established.
‘A Right to Protection’ from www.niccy.org/helpful/aspx