Volunteering in Eastleigh
Page last updated at 25 May 2017 at 11:46
Volunteering for local community groups is a great way of meeting other people and helping to make our an even better place to live. If you are interested in giving some of your time to a local organisation, you can contact the Volunteer Centre Eastleigh who will discuss volunteering opportunites with you.
Screening is used here to mean checking if someone has a criminal record. It is one way of reducing the risk of recruiting volunteers or staff who may be unsuitable to work with children or other vulnerable people.
All organisations can ask on their application forms if volunteers or staff have a criminal record. This is vital where volunteers will be working with vulnerable people and something to consider for volunteers going into people’s homes or with unsupervised access to money.
Ex-offenders normally have the right not to reveal spent (old) convictions. But where work involves contact with vulnerable people, organisations can require applicants to declare spent convictions too. Vulnerable people includes people under 18 or over 65, people with a mental or physical disability or chronic illness, alcohol or drug misuses.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (previously the Criminal Records Bureau) conducts what was previously called police checks and these are now DBS checks. There are:
- Standard checks
- Enhanced checks
- Enhanced checks with children’s and/or adults barred list check
A DBS check may be needed for some voluntary work (or for more information call 0300 0200 190).
The Children Act
The Children Act 1989 in seeking to protect children, places certain responsibilities on childcare agencies. However the Home Office and Department of Health advise that these responsibilities do not extend to requiring that everyone in contact with children are screened. Those who have unsupervised contact or regular contact with children should be screened.
Most childcare providers caring for children under 8 must check to ensure whether they need to register with OFSTED.