Care Home Employees DBS Checks Guide
People who work in care homes are constantly in contact with vulnerable adults as they are taking care of elderly and infirm residents.
Wherever vulnerable adults are being cared for, there needs to be safeguarding policies and background checks in place. For this reason, both new and existing employees at care homes are obliged to apply for a DBS check.
If you are applying to work at a care home or you manage one, then you may find this guide to DBS checks for care home employees helpful.
How to decide which level of DBS check is appropriate
Any employee that works at a care home in a role that involves a regulated activity, will need to get an Enhanced DBS Check. This is due to the fact that staff members who work with vulnerable adults are carrying out care duties in direct, frequent contact with vulnerable adults.
The government defines a vulnerable adult as somebody over the age of 18 who needs help and support to look after themselves, or they are unable to protect themselves or their own interests, due to old age or disability, either mental or physical.
For something to be classified as a regulated activity, it needs to be carried out at least once during a weekly period, or more than two times over a 30-day timeframe.
If the employee at the care home provides one-to-one, hand-on care and works directly with vulnerable adults, then they will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check, along with a check of the adult’s barred list.
Any healthcare professional that comes into the care home to provide services will also need to get an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list too.
The adult’s barred list is a register of people that is kept up to date by the Disclosure and Barring Service that contains the details of individuals that are not allowed to work with vulnerable adults, under any circumstances due to the nature of their crimes.
In order to qualify for an adult’s barred list check and Enhanced DBS Check, the care home employee needs to be doing one of the following activities:
- Providing personal care such as washing, cleaning, helping with toilet use, eating, and drinking.
- Transporting vulnerable adults around, who are incapacitated due to illness, disability, or age.
- Engaging in social work activities with vulnerable adults.
- Helping vulnerable adults with their day-to-day lives, such as paying bills, assisting with shopping, etc.
If the role does not involve any of the above regulated activities, then a check of the adults barred list may not be necessary.
For example, roles such as cleaners, kitchen staff, receptionists, admin staff, and maintenance workers may not need an Enhanced DBS Check.
Adult First Checks Explained
Managers and owners of care home services for vulnerable adults are able to access the DBS Adult First Check service. An Adult First Check helps people to start working in the role before they have received the full result of their Enhanced DBS Check.
An Adult First Check is very fast, with results returned within 72 hours of submitting the application. The Adult First Check involves a search of the adult’s barred list and if the individual’s details do not appear there, a result of ‘no match’ is returned and the applicant can start work right away.
If the result is inconclusive, the DBS will state that the result of the full disclosure must come through prior to deciding whether the person is safe to take on the role. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their details are on the barred list, it just means that more investigation is needed.
Employers should not be tempted to ignore the request to wait for a full disclosure, as if the person is present on the barred list, the employer can face prosecution.
In order to get an Adult’s First Check, there is an extra charge on top of the fee for the Enhanced DBS Check.
The Adult First Check service is only open to applications that have requested a barred list check when the DBS application was submitted.
Conclusion – DBS Checks for care home workers
More often than not, care home workers require an Enhanced DBS Check with adult’s barred list check.
If the employer wants to get the person started early in the role, they can apply for an Adult First Check that searches through the adult’s barred list and only takes 72 hours to get the result.
To find out more about DBS checks and Adult First Checks, get in touch with one of our expert assistants today..