Staffing and Safe Recruitment

Untitled Document


Contents

  1. Staffing
  2. Safe Recruitment and Employment Checks
  3. Post Appointment
  4. Disciplinary Procedure
  5. Safer Recruitment Policy


1. Staffing

The Home will be managed by a permanent, suitably experienced and qualified registered manager. Urgent action will be taken to address any vacancy of the registered manager post. Those with a leadership and/or management role should be visible and accessible to staff and able to deliver their leadership and/or management responsibilities. Any registered manager employed in the Home should have sufficient capacity to ensure that the Quality Standards are met for each child in the Home.

Any registered manager placed in charge of the Home or staff member in a deputy or supervisory role such as 'shift leader' should have substantial relevant experience of working in a children’s home and have successfully completed their induction for the Home in which they are employed.

The registered person should have a Workforce Plan which includes details of the experience and qualifications of staff, including any staff commissioned to provide education or health care; and details of the management and staffing structure of the Home, including arrangements for the professional supervision of staff, including staff that provide education or health care.

The Workforce Plan should:

  • Detail the necessary management and staffing structure, (including any staff commissioned to provide health and education), the experience and qualifications of staff currently working within the staffing structure and any further training required for those staff, to enable the delivery of the Home's Statement of Purpose;
  • Detail the processes and agreed timescales for staff to achieve induction, probation and any core training (such as safeguarding and health and safety and mandatory qualifications);
  • Detail the process for managing and improving poor performance;
  • Detail the process and timescales for supervision of practice keep appropriate records for staff in the Home.

The plan should be updated to include any new training and qualifications completed by staff while working at the Home and used to record the ongoing training and continuing professional development needs of staff – including the Home's manager.

The following elements of the workforce plan should be included in the Statement of Purpose: (in accordance with Schedule 1 (paragraphs 19 and 20)) the staffing structure; experience and qualifications of staff and arrangements for supervision of staff practice.

The Home must be properly staffed and resourced to meet the needs of the children. The registered person should plan staffing levels to ensure that they meet the needs of children and can respond flexibly to unexpected events or opportunities. Staffing structures should promote continuity of care from the child's perspective. If children complain or give a view on how the staffing structure could be improved to promote the best care for them, appropriate action should be taken.

Contingency plans should be prepared in the event of a shortfall in staffing levels. If it is likely that there might only be one member of staff on duty at any time the manager should make a formal assessment of the implications for children’s care, including any likely risks. This assessment should be recorded and available for inspection by Ofsted and placing authorities.

The registered person should monitor and review the patterns and trends of turnover of staff, whether agency or directly employed, and be able understand and where possible, address any negative trends.

Whenever possible, staff in day-to-day contact with children should include staff from  different gender groups. Where the Home's Statement of Purpose makes it explicit that the Home uses staff of one gender identity only, clear guidance will need to be in place and followed as to how children are enabled to maintain relationships with people of a different gender identity.

Staff will be suitably vetted and qualified and able to deliver high-quality services to children and their families. The registered person should ensure that staff can access appropriate facilities and resources to support their training needs and should understand the key role they play in the training and development of staff in the Home. See also Staff Qualifications Procedure.

Staff will work collaboratively to provide consistency and stability, with clear responsibilities and accountabilities to ensure that staff have a sense of shared ownership about their practice. Arrangements for recruitment and appraisals are robust and include children as appropriate.

Volunteers who work with children living in the Home are trained, supervised and supported to carry out their roles appropriately and to provide a high-quality service that enhances the experiences of children.

Staff should be made familiar with the Home's internal whistleblowing procedures through the induction process.

The employment of any person on a temporary basis at the Home does not prevent children from receiving such continuity of care as is reasonable to meet their needs. The use of external agency staff can be a positive choice to complement the skills and experiences of the permanent workforce. Any external agency staff should meet the requirements in regulation 32(4) regarding mandatory qualifications (Level 3 qualification) and the registered person should consider their skills, qualifications and any induction necessary before they commence work in the Home. The use of agency staff should be carefully monitored and reviewed to ensure children receive continuity of care. No more than half the staff on duty at any one time, by day or night at the Home should be from an external agency.

At all times, at least one person on duty at the Home will have a suitable first aid qualification.

The design of the Home should be such that staff who sleep in the Home overnight have appropriate accommodation and facilities to do so.


2. Safe Recruitment and Employment Checks

Careful recruitment and regular monitoring of staff and volunteers is used to prevent unsuitable staff from being recruited and having the opportunity to harm children or to place them at risk. The relevant authorities and professional  bodies will be informed of any concerns about inappropriate adults.

Schedule 2 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 requires the following checks for people who wish to manage or work in a Children’s Home:

  • Proof of identity including a recent photograph;
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (depending on the nature of the role);
  • Two written references, including a reference from the person’s most recent employer, if any;
  • If a person has previously worked in a position involving work with children or vulnerable adults, verification so far as reasonably practicable of the reason why the employment or position ended;
  • Documentary evidence of any qualifications which the person considers relevant for the position; and
  • A full employment history, together with a satisfactory explanation of any gaps in employment, in writing.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

The appropriate level DBS checks must be carried out before a person is appointed to engage in Regulated Activity within the Home. To determine which level of DBS check a role is eligible for, refer to the DBS Eligibility Guidance (GOV.UK).

The information contained in an up-to-date DBS certificate must be reviewed to decide whether this reveals any concerns about the person’s suitability to work with children. If there are concerns, the information must be used to come to a conclusion whether or not to appoint the person. Providers and managers must keep up-to-date with what constitutes Regulated Activity and fully investigate any information that indicates that a person may be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Anyone who is barred from work with children is committing an offence if they apply for, offer to do, accept or do any work constituting Regulated Activity. It is also an offence for an employer knowingly to offer work in a regulated position, or to procure work in a regulated position for an individual who is disqualified from working with children, or fail to remove such an individual from such work.

Once appointed, a person must continue to meet the remit-specific regulatory requirements after the initial recruitment process.

In relation to the Disclosure and Barring Service checks, the following must be recorded:

  • The date the DBS check was carried out;
  • The DBS certificate number;
  • The name of the person who checked the original certificate;
  • Whether there was any information or concerns arising from the check that required further attention before you decided to appoint the individual;
  • The name of the person who carried out the update check, if the individual is registered with the DBS update service;
  • If concerns were identified once a person was appointed, steps you have taken to review a person’s suitability to continue to work with children;
  • What actions you take if a person changes their role after they have been appointed;
  • The actions you have taken in order to protect children from contact with unsuitable persons; this may include referral to the DBS or other relevant authorities.

Disclosure and Barring Service checks should be:

  • Treated as confidential;
  • Kept secure;
  • Destroyed as soon as no longer required.

Information on checks for candidates who have spent time abroad or have come from abroad can be found at: GOV.UK, Criminal records checks for overseas applicants.

Please note: A DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It’s up to the employer  to decide when a new check is needed. The frequency at which DBS checks will be repeated should be detailed in the Safer Recruitment Policy.

Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), operate an optional Update Service which is designed to reduce the number of DBS checks requested.

Instead of a new check being necessary whenever an individual applies for a new role working with children, individuals can opt to subscribe to the online Update Service. This will allow them to keep their DBS certificate up to date, so that they can take it with them from role to role, within the children’s workforce.

Employers do not need to register, but can carry out free, instant, online status checks of a registered individual's status. A new DBS check will only be necessary if the status check indicates a change in the individual's status (because new information has been added). See GOV.UK for more information.

For the latest guidance on DBS referrals, see the GOV.UK website.

Checking an applicant’s right to work in the UK

As part of the recruitment process, the employer/prospective employer  must also check that the applicant has the right to work in the UK.

See: GOV.UK: Checking a Job Applicants Right to Work.

Employers can be penalised / fined if they employ someone who does not have the right to work and they did not carry out the correct checks, or did not do them properly.


3. Post Appointment

The registered person must:

  • Ensure that each employee completes an appropriate induction;
  • Ensure that each permanent appointment of an employee is subject to the satisfactory completion of a period of probation; and
  • Provide each employee with a job description outlining the employee’s responsibilities.

The registered person must ensure that all employees:

  • Undertake appropriate continuing professional development;
  • Receive practice-related supervision by a person with appropriate experience; and
  • Have their performance and fitness to perform their roles appraised at least once every year.

See also: Staff Supervision and Appraisal Procedure


4. Disciplinary Procedure

The registered person must operate a disciplinary procedure which, in particular:

  • Provides for the suspension from work of an employee if necessary in the interests of the safety or welfare of children; and
  • Provides that the failure on the part of an employee to report an incident of abuse, or suspected abuse, whether past or present, in relation to a child to the appropriate person (the registered person, an officer of Ofsted, an officer of the local authority in whose area the home is located or a police officer) is a ground on which disciplinary proceedings may be instituted.


5. Safer Recruitment Policy

Customer to insert Safer Recruitment Policy (local information)