In the news today we hear that parents of children attending sports events, who give lifts to other children will be considered volunteers, and will therefore have to be CRB checked.
Last time I looked there was so much more to recruiting and managing volunteers than a CRB check.
- Who will be doing the values-based interviews that help to ascertain an individual’s suitability in the event of them never having had a complaint or allegation made against them? (All too likely given the reluctance of most victims to speak out)
- Who will brief and debrief these parents?
- Who will ensure that they attend Child protection training?
- Who will thank them, introduce them to other volunteers, pay their expenses and ensure that the volunteering that they do continues to fulfill their motivations?
What no one? This has not even been considered? Well then, maybe they are parents helping their children (and their children’s friends) out and not volunteers at all. I do think that we need to be careful when allowing others to help out with our children or any other vulnerable family members that we are caring for, but there are many ways to assess the risks and many measures we can put in place. And parents are the best people to decide what is best for their own child surely?
I do think that if we call an activity volunteering, then we as a community of professionals (even if unpaid or unlabelled) have a responsibility to talk about how it is managed, and to set a standard of what we consider to be good and poor management standards.
Where we have not been enabled to implement those standards do we want to distance ourselves from that activity? What do others think?