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The aim of this study is to explore the practices of centre managers in vetting staff for employment in residential child care. The study also aims to explore the attitudes of these managers towards current vetting requirements. The study examined practices and attitudes of managers of children’s residential centres within the non-statutory sector only but on a national basis.
The methodology utilised in this study is a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted and the data was subsequently analysed in order to develop a questionnaire. On development, sixty-nine anonymous self completion questionnaires were distributed on a national basis, following which the data collected was analysed.
It can be concluded from the review of the literature and an analysis of the findings that vetting staff is a safeguarding measure for children and young people in residential care. Centre managers indicated that it is a necessary and worthwhile process however cautioned that it is not a stand-alone safeguarding measure and should be part of an overall system that aims to protect vulnerable young people. Managers pointed out that the process of vetting does not always give sufficient information on prospective employees and suggested that the inclusion of ‘soft information’ would be of benefit in providing an additional safeguard.
There are some aspects of the vetting process which could be improved upon and these are referred to in the recommendations section of the conclusion of this study.
Hanly, Catherine: An exploration of manager’s practices in and attitudes towards staff vetting in children’s residential centres. Dublin, DIT, September 2009.