DBS Checks: Getting your house in order

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks have consistently topped the list of queries Lynn Rees has received since he became St Davids Safeguarding Support Officer. Here he highlights some of the key issues and offers guidance

DBS checks are an essential part of safe recruitment that we must get right, however it is clear that there is a lot of uncertainty across the diocese as to how the process works and what the criteria are.

SafeguardingPolicyApril2016The new Church in Wales Safeguarding Policy was published as an online resource in April and Section 4 provides guidance on safe recruitment.

A flowchart has also been published on the diocesan website to help clarify the process

A DBS check must be completed for all clerics who hold a Bishop’s Licence in the Church in Wales. Others who hold a Bishop’s License, such as lay ministers, readers and evangelists, must also complete a DBS check, as must youth workers, family workers, bell ringers and tower captains who train children, leaders of parent and toddler groups where children are cared for away from their parents and drivers for activities organised by the church.

Not every volunteer who works with children or adults at risk requires a DBS check, nor is the list exhaustive. As a guideline, you should ask “does the person have regular unsupervised contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults?” If the answer is ‘Yes’ then a DBS check is required.

It is important that these checks are kept up to date and the new policy recommends that they are done every three years. I am currently reviewing the lists held for each parish and will forward them to Area Deans to ensure that the information is updated and anyone who is no longer in post is removed.

Since June 2013, the DBS stopped returning results to the Representative Body (RB) and the results are sent directly to the applicant. It is essential that the applicant sends the result certificate to the Safeguarding Administrator at the RB. In many cases this has not been done and I am chasing up the outstanding certificates via Area Deans. If you have received your result certificate but not submitted it please do so.

You are not alone – the Safeguarding Team is here to help.

The Safeguarding Administrator at the RB in Cardiff is Debbie Fisher, tel: 02920 348248; e-mail: debbiefisher@churchinwales.org.uk  or please do not hesitate to contact me: tel: 07881 016188; e-mail lynnrees@churchinwales.org.uk