New warning over vetting scheme

The British Association of Social Workers has urged that the
vetting and barring scheme to be set up as recommended by the
Bichard report should not prevent social workers from working with
children and vulnerable adults unnecessarily.

The association states, in its contribution to the consultation on
the scheme, that there should be a high threshold of culpability so
that social workers in need of further training are not
automatically barred for poor practice.

BASW claims that there is “a distinction to be made” between those
people and “potential abusers”.

Bars on working with children and vulnerable adults, together with
all conduct issues, should be left to the General Social Care
Council, BASW said.

But the NSPCC warned that setting a high threshold would result in
a system little different to the one already in place. Kerry
Cleary, the charity’s human resources safeguarding manager, said:
“There is a danger that the threshold will be so high that you
would have to literally physically harm a child in a sexual or
violent way to get on the list.”

The new system is set to be introduced in 2007. The consultation,
Making Safeguarding Everybody’s Business: A Post Bichard
Vetting Scheme
, closed last week.

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