Many services fail to meet minimum standard on vetting and recruiting staff

Many children’s services are failing to meet the national minimum standard for recruiting and vetting staff, according to a report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Adoption agencies topped the league of poor performers, with nearly two thirds failing to meet the standard. However children’s homes and fostering services also fared badly with compliance rates of 57% and 64% respectively.

CSCI found that voluntary providers did better than local councils and private providers, and that voluntary sector children’s homes had improved the most going from 38% in 2003-4 to 66% last year.

Organisations who failed to meet the standard had consistently fallen down on verifying the suitability of staff by carrying out thorough pre-employment checks and references and not having sufficiently robust written recruitment policies and procedures. There were also problems around the application and interview process and employment history checks.

Dame Denise Platt, chair of the commission, said: “While there has been progress in the last couple of years, many care providers are still not meeting the minimum standard.

“Employers need to be more rigorous in their recruitment and vetting practices, so that people who use services can have confidence that their care is safe.

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