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NCJ Number: 220453 Find in a Library
Title: Safer Recruitment?: Protecting Children, Improving Practice in Residential Child Care
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:July-August 2007  Pages:223-236
Author(s): Helen Kay; Andrew Kendrick; Irene Stevens; Jennifer Davidson
Date Published: July 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines and describes which elements of safer recruitment procedures have been implemented in voluntary and statutory sectors in Scotland.
Abstract: In the wake of a number of high-profile cases of abuse of children in residential child care, there have been repeated calls for the improvement of recruitment and selection of residential child care staff. Findings show that although local authorities have been more likely than voluntary organizations to have gone forward in implementing safer recruitment procedures, the recruitment process lacked rigor and commitment to safer procedures in some organizations. Safer recruitment of staff is an important strategy in ensuring the protection of children in residential care. However, the research shows that there are some problems in this area, even after a comprehensive resource, Toolkit for Safer Recruitment Practice (2001), was launched for the purposes of training/guidelines. The summaries of survey findings showed the systematic checks were regularly undertaken by all employers but that there was much more variation in the implementation of assessment exercises. This suggests that recruitment procedures were focused on checks to prevent the selection of people who had proved unsuitable in the past. The exercises to identify and select people who would be capable of providing high standards of care in the future were not as well developed. The research demonstrates that further development and implementation of the Toolkit should be required to address the following areas: training for all staff in safer recruitment, more human resources staff to administer checks, and front line cover for those involved in recruitment. This article discusses the current barriers to the introduction of safer recruitment methods and proposes some possible solutions for the future, as well as other aspects such as a willingness to accept ownership of safer recruitment practices, leadership to drive forward all those involved in residential child care, and a radical rethink about the perceived value and role of residential child care at local and national level. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child abuse; Child care services; Residential child care institutions
Index Term(s): Abused children; Assessment (child health and welfare); Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse prevention; Scotland
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