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how much is reasonable to disclose...... safeguarding


Guest Nuby
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safer recruitment training - expectation is that references followed up should give a good chunk of useful info about candidate that they are suitable, right? so is it unreasonable to ask if there any safeguarding concerns? if there any health and safety concerns or any disciplinaries right? according to my LADO that's what we should be doing. so I call a chain nursery for this info and their hr dept gives me the dates person worked and that no referral has been sent to dbs. that is all. I AM NOT IMPRESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is this just me? wanting more??

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I feel your pain in a different way, my previous employer (none childcare related) would only confirm my years of employment too which of course doesn't fall inline with what Ofsted / safe recruitment ask for - I was lucky I suppose that my committee at the time 'took the risk' on me but this is going back 10 years ago and it wasn't as important as it is now!

You'd have thought by asking another childcare provider that they would do it properly

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When I worked in a work-place nursery of a non-childcare company, I was only ever allowed to give out the same info that thumper mentions. Although I was allowed to add 'time keeping' comments too!!!

My refs requests had to go through HR so I couldn't add anything even if I wanted to.

I would have expected things to change by now, but obviously not. :(

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Absolutely!!! You would think another childcare provider would care enough about safeguarding children in general that their policy would be to give a detailed account of any concerns about the persons suitability to work with children!! It really grates me that they don't see it as having a duty of care to all children and not just their own! So as long as their children are fine sod everyone elses right????????? I am really fuming and with all the media hype about children's safety and knowing full well that a DBS is only as good as having not been caught and its the little triggers that build up to a bigger picture....its those little triggers that are so crucial in some cases to share and pass along because when it all kicks off there would be a paper trail, no? Ian Huntley and all that ....and we are still failing to share information!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You would think in this day and age that we would have learned from our mistakes!!!!!!!!! grrrrrrrr!!!!!!! I asked to speak to a more senior person at this chains head office so I am just waiting for their call! They best be prepared!

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I've come across it too. I sent our reference request form and it was returned blank, with a note saying it was company policy not to provide references and all they could do was confirm dates of employment. It is really shocking. And lazy to be honest!

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im sorry but I can't help but feel that the real issue here is employers fear of giving bad references..just google bad referneces and you will see the general advice is say very little rather than say anything bad...

 

Perhaps you should try "reading between the lines" or try a follow up phonecall to see if you can elicit any more information.

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Safer recruitment is safeguarding NO?? lets say as an e.g. an ex-employee does not complete probation due to an investigation because of repeatedly shouting abuse and physical mishandling of children..... an internal investigation is carried out as advised by LADO and Ofsted and no referral to DBS is made. Staff member applies for another job and this information is not shared........... ???

This is what concerns me.

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We too are only allowed to confirm employment (rather than give opinions as to how good they interact etc) BUT we also share any safeguarding concerns as they will have been properly documented and countersigned by said employee during the support/disciplinary stages so are equally as 'factual' and accountable.

We also make clear to staff on induction that this type of information will be shared on exit - they can choose not to work for us then if they don't like it!

We can cover attendance/sickness too if requested as again, it's factual not opinion based

 

We had the same situation - receiving a longish serving employee from a college based nursery - HR dpt controlled all the references - 3 requests to clarify safeguarding situation with in depth explanations as to why it was needed and eventually they took a phone call. YES there was a disciplinary action against said staff but it would not be confirmed 'on record' - even though it had been heavily documented with the staff!! Says it all!

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I give a very basic reference I add whether I would employ again if not then I don't write it.

 

They may well have been fine with and no issue but between leaving and whenever may not be and as a referee I do not want to say that all is fine

 

It's for you to play detective and robust recruitment not for previous employers to say they are ok because you don't really know that

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I have been both at the giving and receiving end of this.

When I left one of the nurseries they gave me a proper reference for my first job. This was nursery 1. Then I went on to work somewhere else (nursery 2). Then i applied for a job within the Local Authority and I lost out on it because nursery 1 had now decided that they will only confirm my dates of employment and whether or not there were any disciplinary issues/safeguarding concerns. Nursery 2 (my then current workplace) gave me a great reference but the council has policies and there was no chance they were going to give it to me even though I had more references from previously.

Then I applied for the nursery manager role and basically the same thing nearly happened again.

However now that I am sending out references I have twice send a standard reference both times because I had no safeguarding concerns but nothing good to say about that member of staffs practice.

DBS referral is difficult as the safeguarding concern has to refer to the children in your setting. We have let go of a member of staff who we seriously feel has mental health issues and is not suitable to look after children (for a long list of reasons and odd behaviours that are all documented) however as it doesn't A relate to our children and B we have no proof of this we can't refer on and the LA has also discouraged us from sharing this information with other settings due to lack of proof. It is not easy these days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I asked for a reference for a staff member and just got dates but as others have said it was their policy just to confirm dates. But you can't really assume there must be a problem. You genuinely don't know. I asked if as a minimum they would confirm that the person was suitable to work with children and they did. Fortunately her second referee was happy to give a full reference.

 

It does make the whole reference process a bit meaningless and unsafe.

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I agree Marsha , only yesterday having this conversation with a member of staff , big chain organisations often refer references to head office therefore only dates of employment given which is not helpful at all when securing references as they have not worked with the person. In a job where it is important to know someone's ability and experience this is not helpful.

 

Re: Devon Daisy comment employers cannot give a bad reference but can in fact refuse to give a reference .

I would always want a reference from last employer yet I know that not all employers are asking which does worry me.

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