Additional measures to protect vulnerable groups have “paralysed” professionals’ work with children, Scotland’s children’s commissioner has said.
Kathleen Marshall told the Scottish parliament’s education committee that Scottish executive legislation over recent years had added to society’s fear of interacting with children.
She urged ministers to rethink plans in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill to widen the range of people who must undergo police disclosures to work with children.
She said that voluntary groups feared that the cost and bureaucracy involved with being checked would put people off volunteering.
Marshall said: “There is a lot of good in the bill but parliament can make a strong stand and say to people ‘we hear you’. We need to come to some sensible arrangement that makes life better for everyone.”
The commissioner also revealed she would be publishing a report later in the year on Scottish local authorities’ policies and practices on care leavers.