Security Screening Should Be Extended to Vulnerable Adults
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 OCTOBER 2013
Child Protection Security Screening Should Be Extended to Vulnerable Adults
Proposed compulsory security screening of people working with children should be extended to those working with vulnerable adults, says one of New Zealand’s leading disability service organisations.
CCS Disability Action is backing Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s Vulnerable Children Bill, which includes the proposed compulsory screening.
But, David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, says vulnerable adults such as the disabled are equally in need of protection.
“As an organisation that works with vulnerable children and adults alike, we know that disabled adults and often the elderly are also at risk from financial and physical abuse and neglect. If we are to see such strong measures to protect children, we should also see them for vulnerable adults.”
However, compulsory security screening would come at a high cost if the proposed introduction of police vetting fees did not include an exemption for charities, says Mr Matthews.
“We fully appreciate that the police have been asked to make the vetting service financially self-sustaining. We are concerned, however, about the possible impact of fees on the public benefits provided by our organisation and others.
“The timing of the introduction of vetting fees is questionable, given the current focus on vulnerable children. A vetting fee would have a negative impact on our, and others, ability to provide services for vulnerable children and vulnerable adults.
“If we are going to have compulsory screening of workers to safeguard children and adults, non-profit organisations should not have to pay for it. However that is the risk right now with proposals now before Parliament to introduce police vetting fees.”