Saturday, 5 May 2012

Garda Vetting

I kept putting off Garda Vetting our Children's Church leaders because I had no idea how to go about it and every time I googled it I couldn't make sense of the information....but it's so important and we have a summer camp coming up so for my own (and the parents) peace of mind I eventually got around to it and after many letters and phone calls I finally got it right!

I learned that smaller groups in Ireland cannot be vetted on an individual basis, you need to have about 500 people in your "group" (not too many churches in Ireland can say that...yet!). So in the case of smaller churches you have to go through a volunteer group for your area - see to find out what volunteer group your town belongs to.

I found them extremely helpful, they email you forms for each volunteer to fill out and you just post these back along with some confidentiality agreements. They then liaise with the Gardai and send you back a report on each individual, listing any criminal convictions they have. Then 3 designated people in your church will decide if these previous convictions will affect an individuals ability to work with kids, for example someone who had shoplifted 20years ago does not necessarily need to be excluded from children's work.  The process takes at least 3-4 months but can take longer.

This service costs between 5-10 euro per person but I found them willing to haggle a bit on price, we got them to vet 20 people for 100 euro instead of the 200 they originally asked for.

So there you go, a lot easier than I expected!