Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

The Protection of Children  and Vulnerable Adults (POCVA)

Part of Private Members’ Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:15 am on 13th October 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP 4:15 am, 13th October 2008

I also support the motion, and I declare an interest as a volunteer officer in the Boys’ Brigade. I, in common with others in the Chamber, am subject to vetting checks. Potentially, people in voluntary services will not be able to provide support to their communities or facilitate the progress and learning of children.

Furthermore, I am a member of Horizon Sure Start, which employs people in the children’s sector. That organisation may experience delays. My son, who is seeking part-time employment, has experienced difficulties with the legislation, whereby the employer told him that he could not start employment until the completion of the process. That process has taken several months.

Lessons must be learnt from the Soham inquiry, and legislation must be produced and delivered. At the minute, delivery is failing. The legislation is correct in theory, but systems must be established, and the resources must be available to ensure delivery. As other Members said, a wide range of services is affected, including critical areas such as children’s services, nursing homes, residential homes, the teaching profession and the PSNI. The Northern Ireland Office and AccessNI are endangering children and vulnerable people. As a result of the delays, there is a risk of understaffing and failing to help children and vulnerable adults. That is an indictment of the Northern Ireland Office and AccessNI, and the situation must be rectified immediately.