We’ve recently had a message from a new carer who is waiting for her DBS enhanced disclosure (Disclosure and Barring Service) check to come through. Between coming to training and now she has received a fine and wanted to check that it wouldn’t affect her work as a carer.
This is exactly the process that all carers and potential carers should follow. It is so important that carers are honest and open, especially when it comes to both unspent and spent convictions.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows consideration of spent convictions to be ignored when applying for most jobs. If the rehabilitation time has passed then the conviction is classed as spent and the offender no longer needs to declare it.
However, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply when someone is applying to work with vulnerable adults or children. Because of the nature of care work, all convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings need to be declared. We won’t automatically turn you down for work, but we will need to carry out a risk assessment before offering you a place on a training course.
We will ask you a range of questions to establish what risk(s) if any, there are to a client. We are only looking for the facts. The answers that you give will then be looked at by our DBS management team and a decision made on the next steps.
One of the most important things during this process is that you are always honest with us, just like the carer we started this article with. Throughout the application process there are plenty of opportunities for you to tell us about any illegal activity, but we ask that you tell us at your earliest chance. Hiding them from us is not helpful and when we complete your DBS check they will come to light.
The same honesty is expected of our current carers. We ask them to confirm that nothing has changed in their status during the year when they come to update training. The best course of action is to let us know as soon as something happens, not to wait until you come in for update training.
The most important thing to reiterate is that we really value your honesty and if you have any doubts as to whether something should be declared, then declare it anyway and we can discuss this with you at the time – it’s better to declare everything even if you think that it doesn’t apply, than to fail to declare something that you really should have notified us about.