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Safer recruitment? protecting children, improving practice in residential child care

Kay, Helen and Kendrick, Andrew and Stevens, Irene and Davidson, Jennifer (2007) Safer recruitment? protecting children, improving practice in residential child care. Child Abuse Review, 16 (4). pp. 223-226. ISSN 0952-9136

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Abstract

In the wake of a number of high-profile cases of the abuse of children and young people in residential child care, there have been repeated calls for the improvement of recruitment and selection of residential child care staff. This paper describes the findings from a survey, undertaken in 2005, of operational and human resource managers who have responsibility for the recruitment and selection of residential child care staff in the voluntary and statutory sectors in Scotland. This research was commissioned by the Scottish Executive to identify which elements of safer recruitment procedures had been implemented following the countrywide launch of a Toolkit for Safer Recruitment Practice in 2001. Research findings show that although local authorities were more likely than voluntary organisations to have gone some way toward implementing safer recruitment procedures, the recruitment process lacked rigour and commitment to safer procedures in some organisations. The article discusses the current barriers to the introduction of safer recruitment methods and proposes some possible solutions for the future.