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Concerns about a new member of staff's family........what do I do?


mrsbat
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We have just taken on a new member of staff to start in September and last night someone told me that her husband had been in prison for physically abusing his own children! She is 'almost' sure it was for that anyway......

The lady is lovely, has a clear DBS and has only been with her husband for 1 year after moving in to the area so this all happened before she met him - IF it happened.

My worry is that we are based in a very close and smallish community where everyone knows everyone's business and so this 'could' reflect badly on the setting

HOWEVER my opinion is that the lady is fantastic and should not be judged on what her husband has or has not done

So what would you do? Would you have a conversation with her and say you had heard some rumours and was there anything she thought we should know incase a parent came forward with concerns etc?

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Have you thought that maybe she doesn't know herself, if she's only moved to the area recently and this was supposedly before she was with him ? Difficult one for you, but as you say it shouldn't affect her position with you, providing you've followed your recruitment process, would be different if she was planning on becoming a child minder, good luck

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Don't quote me on this but in my mind somewhere I believe that if a member of staff lives with someone on the sexual offenders register then they themselves are no longer allowed to work with children at all in case undue pressure is put on them for the partner or spouse to use their position to get photos of or access to small children.

 

Whilst I get your concerns I don't think this would come under the same category as above but perhaps you could ring your LA early years team if you felt you needed clarification?

 

I too don't think someone should be judged by what a member of her family has done but then if she is married now to someone who has abused his children previously I think I might have a gentle conversation...... I don't think once a physical abuser always a physical abuser but it wouldn't be out of the realms of possibility for him to do it again and you may need to keep this in mind.

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This is a tricky one! IF IT HAPPENED IN OUR SETTING I THINK I WOULD - consider when I was a childminder all the family living at home 16 and above had checks. As all the family had access. As a preschool practititioner there will be however no contact at home. Staff are prohibited to take any information home re-learning journeys,photographs etc This would be my explanation. We also have a strict policy concerning how and when and where we take photos in the setting. I would ask what their concern was?

So what could go wrong? She MAY be groomed to take photos on the sly? It really brings it home to you that we all feel we know our staff but any one of them could meet a potential partner who MAY brain wash them into taking photos for them!!! It is the extreme but it does and has happened! You may be more aware with this member of staff but it could happen to staff you know!

Would I speak to the member of staff? with the uncertiny (sp) probably have to yes! Do you have a declaration they ahve to sign at appraisal to declare any convictions after dbs? perhaps we should include close family members?

Big hug to you Mrsbat x just what you DONT need at the end of term!!!

Andrea x

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the other thing to consider here is that if this is the cse she must not take information about the children home....in her annual declaration has she been asked if she is aware if anyone in her house has any conviction that may bar them from a dbs check. Perhaps have a chat to the nspcc

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Don't quote me on this but in my mind somewhere I believe that if a member of staff lives with someone on the sexual offenders register then they themselves are no longer allowed to work with children at all in case undue pressure is put on them for the partner or spouse to use their position to get photos of or access to small children.

 

Can anyone give any more concrete information about this please? A link to a regulation perhaps?

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If anyone in the house lives with anyone who is disqualified from working with children, they can't either. I would approach her and ask, if the rumours are true and she doesn't know I'm sure she would appreciate it and if they aren't then at least you can put the person straight, tricky though x

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Hello,

If it is true, she is disqualified. You must inform LADO and Ofsted and she must apply for a waiver from them (she does this, not you). You must then risk assess the situation in discussion with LADO. If she is working at the moment without the waiver, and what you have heard is true, you are in breach of statutory requirements.

 

pw

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Im afraid Purplewednesday is absolutely right here. You must deal with this via the Lado and Ofsted IF true, but first I would ask her for the facts.

 

All staff at my seeting have to sign a declaration every year to say that they are "suitable" to work with children as follows- Neither I nor any member of my family is currently subject to any police investigations which may affect my suitability to work with young children.

- I have no criminal convictions or proceedings pending

- My relationship status has not changed to include anyone who has been deemed unsuitable to work with children or who has a criminal record which may affect my suitability to work with children.

- I have not had any changes to my health, including the need to take medication or mental health issues, which could affect my suitability to work with children.

- I agree to immediately inform the manager should my circumstances change. I understand that failure to disclose information that affects suitability to work with young children is likely to be regarded as gross misconduct.

Edited by eyfs1966
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How would you know a member of staff is living with/married to a disqualified person - it's been flagged in this case because of gossip but what if it hadn't been?

 

We have a declaration on our application forms - but this doesn't mean to say someone would be honest :-/

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I think the issue with honesty is valid, but as an employer, all you can do is put the emphasis on staff to tell you. If they lie, they lie, but by asking the question the employer has done all they can.

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I think the issue with honesty is valid, but as an employer, all you can do is put the emphasis on staff to tell you. If they lie, they lie, but by asking the question the employer has done all they can.

it's so scary isn't it :(

it's a shame you couldn't put additional info on the DBS check of those living with; not bulletproof though as it's not 'live'

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Thanks so much everyone for the replies......Sorry I typed this and went straight off to work so only just been able to read the replies.

I am so gutted about this and it's really not a discussion I want to be having but I guess I have to :(

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Sorry can I just get this straight in my head as looking through the links I'm not sure....

If this is true but he hasn't been disqualified from working with children could she still work for us?

Also no contract had been signed etc yet so IF it is true and he is disqualified - also making her disqualified - would I still need to inform LADO and OFSTED or am I within my rights to say the job is no longer available? That would be so sad as she is really fantastic :(

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Personally I would go through the lado regardless. Our duty of care is to all children, if she no longer works for you she may get employment elsewhere. I understand that the whole thing seems completely unfair, especially, as if this did happen, she may not be aware BUT children's safety and welfare has to be paramount.

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Oh dear, I do feel for you, but at this stage why don't you have a "general enquiry" type chat with the Lado, saying what you know so far, explaining nohting as yet is proven, and just ask for advice.

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Thanks again all, I am going to ring her tomorrow during the day when she is more likely to be on her own and sort of sound her out in general then see if she can meet up for a chat - I'll call LADO as well....

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hhmm just heard from the person who originally told me about the issues and they have said that she may have been mistaken and what actually happened is his wife took him to court and accused him of physically abusing his child but the court cleared him and he has now in fact been given custody of the children! I'm still ringing lado tomorrow but this kind of changes things - I wish people would get facts right before starting to pass on info!?!?!?!

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This is a sad post but I think a sign of the times really that we have to be soo careful. I suppose the bottom line is this if there is nothing to hide then however uncomfortable the situation there is no reason not to go through proper channels and trust the process. If there is an issue then the sooner everyone knows and takes whatever action is needed the better.

I have heard of a setting where someone was asked to leave because their partner was accused of something. I think the criteria there seemed to be why when you work with children would you want to be with someone who would harm them ( this is not my judgement just what I heard) and that a general sense of 'she should have know better'.

If you or your staff ever take learning journey's home or type up observations at home etc... how could she do this with everyone including her being a hundred percent sure that the information was safe. Also what happens if he ever want to come on site to pick her up after a shift or drop her off in the morning. I am not saying I agree with such a judgemental view but you do have to think there will be people that will.

However right or wrong it might seem for her it may come down to job with children or partner she may have to make that choice.

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I was recently on safeguarding training and they said apparently disqualification by association has existed previously but has been put in the EYFS because no one knew about it. People can be dishonest - but if you as employer / manager have asked the questions and documented this - then you have done all you can.

Talking of tough choices someone shared a story of someone having to tell their son who was about to finish a custodial sentence that he would have to find somewhere else to live.

Be interested to hear what your LADO says...

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