I noticed this article in Spiked about men being put off volunteering to be coaches because of the intrusive nature of the child protection measures.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill, which passed through the Houses of Parliament in London at the end of last year, requires that all those who work with children must submit to a background check first. As one Home Office official responsible for CRB checks recently assured me, it is only those who have something to hide who are put off.
Now this bugs me it is only those who have something to hide who are put off.
Bullshit! you don’t have to have anything to hide to be concerned about police types going through your background. Most especially in this political climate.
A survey found
that 17 per cent of men wouldn’t volunteer to work with children because they would face a criminal records check. Moreover, 13 per cent wouldn’t volunteer because they fear that they could be perceived as a paedophile.
It is unfortunate that men who are truly interested in being coaches and mentors many of whom would be excellent role models for children, are being tarred with the paedophile tag.
Could it be part of the right wing push to create walls between the roles of men and women? And taking care of children being women’s work surely only “strange” men would be interested.
‘We work hard to ensure volunteers are checked by the police, trained and monitored, which we hope encourages men to come forward and helps assuage the public’s concern.’
ooh sounds like fun!
As a parent I recognize the need for safeguards. We all want our children to be safe.
Here in the schools to accompany your child on a field trip or do any sort of work in the school you must pass a police check, you also need one to volunteer as a coach. Men or women I might add.
Statistically, however, children are at far greater risk from family members than outsiders.
I must admit in the beginning I fully supported the qualms of the men involved and at the end I just felt confused.
This is not an issue which disproportionately affects men, and we do need to have protections in place for children. Still, people who are willing to volunteer their time to teach skills and provide knowledge shouldn’t be treated as criminals from the outset.
As with many things there are no easy answers, but I hope that the guys who love sports and want to pass on skills will continue to offer their time and talents.