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Advice - Volunteers And Crbs?


JJA
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Hi.

As a full day care setting we rarely have volunteers or parent helpers as our families work. However, we are just starting to set up an 'allotment' and are keen to get some local helpers in to share their expertise (I am sure there are lots of grandparents around the village who would love to help out for an hour a week!)

I wasn't going to CRB them. They are obviously never going to be alone with children, and we have a strict mobile phone and photo policy so what would you do?

I was going to ring OFSTED for advice as well, but wondered what the thoughts were on here.

 

Thanks!

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I phoned them recently about the same thing. Our volunteers come in once a week for 2.5 hours and are never left alone or do toileting. Man at Ofsted said its considered good practice but I wouldnt be breaking the law if I didnt get them done.

As I have 12 to do for the new committee members I decided not to.

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I've been told 'regular' volunteers (1 hour a week every week) need a CRB. It is free for volunteers, which is something, although they still have to fill out the form which puts many off.

 

I have regularly complained to the Ofsted phone line people about this, as has Rea I should imagine!

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Sorry to raise this, but when I was looking into having an allotment for our preschool, I was told that it would need to be registered as a setting and have an inspection, etc. as it was on a separate site to our main registration.

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Sorry to raise this, but when I was looking into having an allotment for our preschool, I was told that it would need to be registered as a setting and have an inspection, etc. as it was on a separate site to our main registration.

At my first inspection Mrs Ofsted visited our allotment with our children, and in the second a different Mrs Ofsted commented on the activities we carried out there. On neither occasions was it mentioned that I should have registered it as a setting. Sounds like maybe someone was having an off-day at Ofsted on the day you rang!

 

As for the volunteer and CRBs, when I did the safeguarding training when the ISA was first launched, we did a lot of work around the typical profile of people who offend against children. One of the things that has stuck with me is that a typical pattern of offending is to secure a position (either paid or voluntary) where they can gain access to children on a regular basis so that they can form a friendship with them and their parents. From here they develop a friendship outside of the setting (very often with children they have identified as being emotionally needy, or whose parents might need support) based on the fact that they are known to the family in a semi-professional capacity. From here they are able to become an integral support to the family, offering to babysit or take children on trips and outings and so on. In order to offend against children they do not need to have been left alone with children whilst in the setting.

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It was our early years advisor who told me that! But the idea was more of an 'allotment school', where we spent a whole afternoon there once a week so maybe that is different to occasional visits?

 

Good point about offender profile, had never thought about that. Mind you, that description does kind of tar all volunteers with the same brush and if a clean CRB is the only difference I'm not sure how realistic it is for preventing offending.

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Good point about offender profile, had never thought about that. Mind you, that description does kind of tar all volunteers with the same brush and if a clean CRB is the only difference I'm not sure how realistic it is for preventing offending.

I hear what you're saying, SuzieC8 and it is a common warcry. However I view it a bit differently. As I see it, if I allow a volunteer or visitor into my setting I am saying to parents and children that this person is 'ok' and is safe to be around. This is what the potential offender relies upon, because being a regular part of the team confers a level of approval that the average man on the street doesn't have.

 

So rather than viewing every volunteer as a potential offender, carrying out a CRB check and getting references etc is just my way of ensuring that a regular visitor is safe and worthy of the trust I am placing in them, and that my level of trust can be relied upon by my parents.

 

Paper doesn't protect children, people protect children and the CRB system is by no means watertight. However it does play an important part in our safeguarding systems alongside vigilance, monitoring, and sometimes going with our own gut reactions about a person.

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At my first inspection Mrs Ofsted visited our allotment with our children, and in the second a different Mrs Ofsted commented on the activities we carried out there. On neither occasions was it mentioned that I should have registered it as a setting. Sounds like maybe someone was having an off-day at Ofsted on the day you rang!

 

As for the volunteer and CRBs, when I did the safeguarding training when the ISA was first launched, we did a lot of work around the typical profile of people who offend against children. One of the things that has stuck with me is that a typical pattern of offending is to secure a position (either paid or voluntary) where they can gain access to children on a regular basis so that they can form a friendship with them and their parents. From here they develop a friendship outside of the setting (very often with children they have identified as being emotionally needy, or whose parents might need support) based on the fact that they are known to the family in a semi-professional capacity. From here they are able to become an integral support to the family, offering to babysit or take children on trips and outings and so on. In order to offend against children they do not need to have been left alone with children whilst in the setting.

 

 

This point is why I keep swinging between the two views. I absolutely take your point (tantamount to 'grooming') but then on the flip side do not want to put off those occassional grandparent helpers that I am trying to target. It is such a hard decision to make.

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Point taken Maz but having said that, statistics show that it is much more likely to be a teacher or staff member, and even more likely to be a parent.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

I am trying to encourage parents to come in to volunteer to improve my QuILT module for parents as partners, however I need to write guidelines to give to them before they come into volunteer. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips to write the guidelines?

Thanks

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