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Independent Safeguarding Authority's Annual Report 2011

Independent Safeguarding Authority's Annual Report 2011

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 13 July 2011

Protecting vulnerable people and ensuring fairness in decision making - the Independent Safeguarding Authority's latest annual report is published.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) has today published its annual report which outlines the organisation's key achievements and challenges during the last year.

For the first time, this year's annual report also details the complexities of ISA decision-making by taking the reader through two "life of a case" examples.

ISA Chair, Sir Roger Singleton commented: "In our decision-making we are committed to ensuring that the people referred to us are treated individually and that a decision - whether to place a bar or not - is proportionate to any future risk that is posed.

"The impact of our decisions is potentially significant both to the children or vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse and to the people referred to us for whom a bar can have major and life changing consequences."

Though these are not real-life cases, they represent the type of scenarios a typical referral could entail, as well as the often complex issues that ISA caseworkers face on a daily basis.

By including these examples, the ISA hopes to improve understanding of its role, which is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults by making fair and transparent decisions about who should be barred from working/volunteering with these groups.

ISA Chief Executive Adrian McAllister said: "We felt that it was both helpful and important for the public to be aware of the types of cases which come to us and the difficult decisions that have to be made.

"The scenarios also demonstrate the essential qualities and high level of skills that all caseworkers need in delivering this difficult, but essential work. Not only are our caseworkers trained to the highest possible standard, but they are also backed by the expertise of the ISA Board."

As of 31 March 2011, the number of people on each of the barred lists was: See attachment

The total number of people barred across both lists (as of March 2011) is 37,199. Please note that some people are on both lists.

The figures released today as part of the ISA's annual report outline the scale of work carried out by the organisation, which took over decision-making from government ministers in January 2009.

Between April 2010 and March 2011, the ISA's team of trained case workers handled 5,361 referrals from employers and regulatory bodies, which had taken steps to remove an individual from the work place due to the harm they had caused (or could cause) to vulnerable groups.
Organisations have a legal duty to refer to the ISA if they dismiss or remove a member of staff/volunteer from working with children and/or vulnerable adults (in what is legally defined as regulated activity) because either a child or vulnerable adult was harmed or put at risk of harm.
For more information on the ISA, visit www.isa.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors:
The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) was set up under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, to make independent barring decisions on people who pose a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult in the workplace.

The ISA has the power to place individuals on one or both of its barred lists (ISA Children's Barred List and ISA Vulnerable Adults' Barred List) and also to remove them.

The consequence of a bar is that the person is prohibited from working or volunteering within the children's workforce, the vulnerable adults' workforce or both.

The Coalition Government has published its Vetting and Barring Scheme Review. Recommendations from the review are currently included within the Protection of Freedoms Bill. Until new legislation to implement the changes is introduced (subject to the will of Parliament), the current safeguarding responsibilities remain.

Copies of the ISA's Annual Report 2010/11 are available by visiting http://www.isa.homeoffice.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=3

For further information please contact:

Karen Faughey, ISA Press Officer
Tel: 01325 953539
Mob: 07827 957764
email: karen.faughey@isa.gsi.gov.uk or

Karen Leech, Communications Manager
Tel: 01325 953571
Email karen.leech@isa.gsi.gov.uk

Contacts:

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Karen Faughey
Phone: 01325 953539
Mobile: 07827 957764
karen.faughey@isa.gsi.gov.uk

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