Care worker recruitment tightened under charter

A new charter designed to prevent abuse of people with special needs will introduce tougher recruitment practices in residential homes for the mentally disabled.

This content was published on November 25, 2011 - 13:49 and agencies

Drawn up by a working group involving representatives from 12 associations and institutions, the Prevention Charter is a response to revelations in February of large-scale sexual abuse by a care worker in eight homes over a 29-year period.

The man confessed to abusing more than 100 people, the youngest of whom was just one year old at the time.

Under the terms of the ten-point charter, all people applying for positions in residential homes involving contact with people with special needs will have to provide a criminal background report.

New staff will be asked to sign a declaration of commitment to a “zero tolerance” policy and to treat all cases with suspicion.

Staff will also be obliged to attend ongoing training courses about risks and prevention, while residents will be counseled in sexual education and how to protect themselves against possible abuse.

In addition, a process for examining complaints will be established which will also give complainants the opportunity to contact an independent ombudsman. 

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