Safeguarding is hitting the headlines, and for all the wrong reasons.
The media has abounded in the last few days and weeks with stories of scandals, first at Oxfam and then Save the Children.
The Charity Commission is currently investigating Oxfam and the conduct of a number of its staff in Haiti, who are alleged to have sexually exploited some of the local people. The former chief executive of Save the Children has resigned from his Unicef role due to allegations of inappropriate behaviour while he was at the charity.
The Oxfam scandal raises an issue about the safeguarding of vulnerable people. Just when they are needing help, the very opposite is happening.
What is safeguarding?
According to the Care Quality Commission, safeguarding means protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It’s fundamental to high-quality health and social care.
This affects an important part the work we do here at 24-7 Staffing, as a core element of our business is healthcare and placing staff within care homes.
Before any of our healthcare staff are placed in a care home setting, they have to undergo background checks, including a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, which will look into whether that person has a criminal record.
Should any complaints arise against our staff, they will be thoroughly investigated, and we liaise closely with our care home clients about how our staff are getting on.
We cannot stress enough how seriously we take safeguarding and compliance in general. Indeed, we are proud that recently we have – for the eleventh year running – passed our ISO audit check, which investigates our procedures and levels of compliance.
A blog posted on the Save the Children website echoes this importance of compliance and making checks: “Save the Children treats the protection of children as a paramount concern. Unfortunately, there are rare occasions when people attempt to use our organisation to take advantage of the imbalance of power created by a crisis. That’s why we have the strongest possible procedures in place to ensure these people are either prevented from joining through background checks or rooted out through reporting and protection systems.”
In short, there are always bad apples, but the onus is on organisations – and that includes 24-7 Staffing – to have procedures in place to ensure they don’t slip through the net.
If you are interested in a rewarding career in care, please get in touch with the team here at 24-7 Staffing.