Child protection
Has adult paranoia gone too far?
Saturday 27 October, 3.30pm until 5.00pm, Cafe Café Conversations

Most people recognise that child protection measures can go too far - some teachers are now fearful of putting a plaster on a child’s knee, and volunteers are resigning rather than undergo criminal records checks and child protection courses.

Can vetting and other safety procedures be reconciled with the spontaneous interactions with adults that children need to flourish, or do we need a fundamental rethink about our priorities? Is the problem bad regulations, paranoid adults, or the cultural climate? Is it too naïve to rely on trust? What impact do child protection measures have on people’s sense of themselves, and relationships to other adults and children? Looking to the future, what is the best way for a community to act to ensure children’s welfare?


Josie Appleton
director, civil liberties group, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: Rise of the Busybody State
Camilla Cavendish
leader writer and columnist, The Times
Dr Eileen Munro
reader in social policy, LSE; expert in child protection
Esther Rantzen CBE
president of ChildLine; NSPCC trustee
Shaun Kelly
safeguarding manager, NCH, the children's charity

 Produced by

Josie Appleton director, civil liberties group, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: Rise of the Busybody State
 Recommended readings

Making a list, checking it twice
The greatest danger posed by vetting 'is that we undermine the very ties that make communities safe and welcoming for children'
Tim Gill, Guardian, 20 December 2006

CRB annual report shows no action on illegal checks
NACRO voices its objection to the farcical implications of prohibiting those with any sort of previous conviction from working with children or vulnerable adults
staff writer, NACRO, 24 July 2007

School vetting controls tightened
News report outlining the vetting bill (from Spring last year)
staff writer, BBC News, 28 February 2006

A law to let volunteers who work with children will harm the very people it is designed to protect
Although one could hardly oppose the idea of protecting children from abuse, the vetting of adults is not only ineffectual, it will damage children's lives
Marcel Berlins, Guardian, 24 October 2006

Recycling, The Veil and Vetting
Watch Claire Fox News on vetting: While headlines concentrate on an increase in the increasing number of people registered on the sex offenders register, what is less discussed is the new bill which will mean a massive increase of vetting of adults who work with children.
Claire Fox News, 18 Doughty Street TV, 26 October 2006

The case against vetting
A report that shows how vetting is not only impractical, but also serves to legally enshrine mutual distrust between adults
Various, Manifesto Club, 15 October 2006

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