The Big Question

Should people who provide services to direct payment recipients be vetted under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill?

Shaun Webster – Change self advocacy group
People who receive direct payments shouldn’t be able to employ someone with a dodgy past. I wouldn’t want a personal assistant with a criminal record working with me – I’m a parent and they could be a thief, a murderer, a paedophile or anything. The government is doing the right thing by bringing in this law.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
It depends on the conviction. They might have committed the kind of offence that could have a direct impact on the child or vulnerable person – paedophiles working with disabled children, for example. Some people find a niche in which they can abuse vulnerable people. The government should conduct a referendum on this among direct payment recipients.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
Any organisation that is helping disabled people to fund their own care should make clear the possible pitfalls. The difficulties may occur if a person has inadequate support interviewing and recruiting assistants. Many disabled people would be happy to employ people with some types of criminal record.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
In principle, I see a need to vet all who work with vulnerable groups, whether their service is provided to direct payments recipients or not. But I also feel it is important to not take away choice and independence from individuals receiving the service. In reality, how trustworthy a worker is depends on the effectiveness of the vetting system.


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