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Vetting volunteers with guest Baroness Neuberger


1 vetting

There are growing fears that vetting is putting off volunteers, and casting suspicion on people whose motive is to help. Watch this frank discussion between Baroness Julia Neuberger, Chair of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering; Josie Appleton, from the Manifesto Club’s Campaign against Vetting and Mervyn Barrett, from the crime reduction charity NACRO.

Related topics: Civil Liberties

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Mervyn from Nacro said:

My organisation, Nacro, takes the view that the interests of children and vulnerable adults must take precedence over the interests of ex-offenders. However, the interests of both groups are not incompatible, for very large numbers of people with criminal records have a great deal to offer the most vulnerable people in society and would not dream of harming anyone. At the same time, their exclusion from paid and voluntary work means that the very same vulnerable people lose out on the help they need. The introduction of Disclosure checks has resulted in considerable exclusion. It has meant that large numbers of people are not putting themselves forward for both paid and unpaid work because they are too embarrassed to disclose stuff they have often put behind them a long time ago. Disclosing personal, private, confidential information is a big deal for most people. They are also not putting themselves forward because they feel they will be discriminated again, and they are right to fear discrimination. The Nacro helpline routinely receives calls from people refused employment, and volunteering opportunities, on the basis of ridiculously minor, old and/or irrelevant cautions and convictions. And usually the refusal is made by people acting, not on the basis of rigorous assessments of risk (few professionals know how to assess risk), but on the basis of their particular personal moral codes and prejudices.

jamie said:

What a great short film I found it very revealing and hadn’t real though about it in this way before. I think we all just assume more and more must be done to protect vulnerable people but from who we could ask ? Here its clear that everyone is under suspicion untill checked by poilice- that is scary-trust noone except people in uniform and those with a piece of paper issued by them. This is very corrosive and dangerous we will end up trusting noone.

Aisha said:

in the west we are control freaks, a million and one laws are made every day to control and protect ourselves against…ourselves and each other. It’s in our nature; we are scaremongerers, always expectant of paedos lurking in the bushes everywhere. We buy in to the panic. We react to sensationalised events with an influx of rules, regulations, monitoring and bureaucracy. I work in the youth sector, and I do completely appreciate that safety measures need to be taken to protect young people, I am all for that, but what is missing from this overly bureaucratic process is the consideration of one’s sound judgement.
But more importantly, I think the whole system needs to be centralised, this is what really annoys me. I hate having to complete a CRB form for each and every youth organisation I work for, it makes no sense. I recently had to complete 2 CRB checks within the space of a week, as I had to do a separate one for each organisation I was working for, it’s crazy, and it’s £60 a check. What a waste of time and resources. Surely just one should be recognised for all organisations and valid for a set period of time. Sort it out.

Amil said:

If the government is so keen to get people involved in volunteering, to the extent of making it compulsory (not sure how that makes sense?) why are they so hell bent on excluding some people from the experience simply because of who they are and where they’re from? The wierd rules and regulations around volunteering seem so abstract from the actual process itself which is ultimately about sharing experiences, helping one another and, for some, doing something that you believe strongly and passionately in.

That something as ‘community building’ that really draws people together can be kept from some people in society BY LAW – it’s incredible.