Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Child Protection System in Chaos

It is eighteen months now since Sir Michael Bichard made his recommendations for a change in the vetting procedure for potential teachers; his recommendation was that the existing seven lists be replaced with a single database which could be used for the process of vetting and barring people from working with children or other vulnerable people. However, it now seems that the earliest that these recommendations will be implemented is 2008, some three and a half years later...

Given the state of technology today it should not be beyond the wit of man to have created a register which provides much more transparency; a register which can distinguish between a known and convicted paedophiles, others who have been convicted of violent/sexual crimes who might be a threat to children and the vulnerable and someone who has been put on it for indecent exposure when drunk and other such people who pose no threat at all. In fact children and the vulnerable are more at risk in their own homes from members of their own families than they are from strangers, and there are any amount of such cases to support this.

So who makes the final decision? Well, at present this onerous task is in the hands of government, and we all know what a mess things get into in governmental hands! Having said that there needs to be more transparency in the register, I also think that far more transparency is needed in the decision making process; such decisions should not be left to the whims of government ministers; they should be undertaken by an independent panel of experts. At the end of the day we have to work with what we have, no matter how inefficient that system might be; but that does not mean that it cannot be changed and made more efficient and user friendly. It is purely due to government meddling, running back to the Thatcher era, that the system we have for child protection is in the chaotic state that it is; nothing has ever been carefully thought through, it has all be built upon a series of knee jerk reactions which have resulted in continuous tinkering without any analysis to ensure a competent working system.

I have been taking some flack for my comments a couple of days ago calling for Ruth Kelly's resignation; however, I stand firm in this opinion, she could have explained at the outset, admitting who had been responsible for the decision, but no, she decided, in her infinite wisdom, to prevaricate and add even more chaos to that in which the Child Protection System finds itself. Therefore, I reiterate what I have stated previously; as the person who is ultimately responsible and she should resign.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

She did explain who was responsible for the deicsion i.e herself what she did not say who was who actually made it. Reasonable in that she is responsible and therefore accountable

Tuesday, January 17, 2006  

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