Child services organisations need policies that minimise the risk of sexual abuse of the children in their care. In particular, managers (and the public) are justifiably concerned when abuse is perpetrated by individuals who should not have been working with children in the first place. Unfortunately, there has been relatively little work on determining unacceptable risk for sexually abusive behaviour in child service organisations. The purpose of this paper is to describe the contexts in which screening procedures are appropriate, review the academic literature on screening procedures and present the results of a pilot survey of current screening practices in the United Kingdom. We comment on the effectiveness of screening measures available for use by organisations and provide suggestions for improvement. Specifically, we recommend that screening procedures consider risk factors associated with the onset and persistence of child sexual abuse perpetration.
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- child service organisations
- sexual abuse
- vetting and barring