Carol Allen shares the importance of DBS checks in protecting our church family
‘”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”‘ Jeremiah 29:11
Near the beginning of this year, I took over from Joy Bendell as the DBS officer for St Saviour’s. For those of you who don’t know, DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service, previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau. Those of us who work with vulnerable adults and/or children are required to have one of these completed and for the purposes of the Church of England, as do all members of the PCC as overseers of the organisations within the church. My role in this is to organise the completion of these checks for all lay members of the church and to keep the records of when they are due, up to date. The clergy are covered by the diocesan DBS officer.
‘Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.’ Teresa of Avila
In the Jeremiah passage God has great plans for all of us, adults and children alike. He wants us to prosper, to go into the world with confidence. Sadly, this is not the case for all. We have all heard reports and seen on our television cases where both children and vulnerable adults have not seen God’s hands, eyes, feet and body in people. Anything but. They have not gone into the world with hope and confidence in the future or experienced love, care and compassion in their daily lives.
The DBS check covers criminal records, unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. The enhanced, which we have, gives the authorities the ability to check whether there is anything specific for the roles applied for. This is one tool we have to keep our most vulnerable members as safe as possible, so that God’s plan for them is prospered and not harmed and they can face the world with confidence and resilience.
Carol Allen, DBS officer