Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
Sport and recreation organisations have a responsibility to ensure safe environments for children and vulnerable adults. Clubs rely on volunteers to operate and need access to clear information about whether these volunteers pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults.
The Alliance takes a lead in this policy area on behalf of the sector, working alongside the Child Protection in Sport Unit, seeking to ensure that safeguarding legislation takes into account the special nature of sport and recreation.
- In February 2011 the Government introduced the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which proposes significant reforms to the vetting and barring framework in England and Wales.
- Throughout the Bill's passage in Parliament the Alliance has worked closely with its members and organisations from across the voluntary sector to ensure the new framework meets the requirements of sport and recreation organisations.
- The Protection of Freedoms Bill is due to receive Royal Assent before May 2012, after which a number of reforms to the vetting and barring system will be rolled out.
- Key changes will include the creation of a new Disclosure and Barring Service (planned for November 2012) and the introduction of portable checks from spring 2013.
- The Alliance lobbied the Government on a number of issues to ensure that the changes provide adequate protection for young participants while remaining workable for sport and recreation organisations.
- Following sustained lobbying by the Alliance, the Government announced that it would work closely with sport and recreation organisations as the new framework is implemented.
- The Alliance continues its dialogue with the Home Office and will keep members updated about what the reforms mean for safeguarding procedures.
For more information contact Simon Butler.
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