Vulnerable people are being failed by the system

June 2021
Luke Benson (4 minutes)

Don’t assume the system works for vulnerable people. It doesn’t.

In Australia, when someone commits a crime, they lose their right to work with children and other vulnerable people. That person is identified as a threat to society and, as a consequence, removed from any high-risk environment.

This sounds like a good thing. An example of the system working.

If only that were the case.

The links between police databases and the real world are often broken. Potentially dangerous people fall between the cracks and can continue to be employed in the care of vulnerable people, well after their registration has been revoked.

How does the abuse of vulnerable people occur?

Abusers in these situations are often living double lives, carefully hiding themselves and their shameful behaviours by exploiting systemic weaknesses that allow them to do maximum harm, undetected. They are not your everyday criminal.

If an employer does not take steps to sure-up the linkage and be certain that staff accreditations continue to be valid, their business and the people in their care are at major risk. Though the likelihood of an incident affecting is small, the impact is devastating.

It’s easy to assume that the Government is watching out for vulnerable people, but most of us don’t realise that this isn’t up to them. It’s up to us. It’s up to you.

We built Oho because these links are not being made fast enough. This reason – protecting the safety of vulnerable people – is precisely why we do what we do.

Our research shows that while CEOs and Directors assume all the checks and are in place to screen their workforce, there are often gaping holes in the process.

A recent NSW Audit found that over 3,000 organisations are incorrectly checking their accreditations, placing hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people at risk.

This is both unthinkable and unacceptable. It scares me that society doesn’t seem to comprehend this risk.

‘Oh, but we have that on a spreadsheet’ is not good enough.

And it won’t be good enough for the courts when employers are held accountable for serious lapses in their responsibilities.

 

Is your organisation doing what it can to protect vulnerable people?

How will you maintain the links? What will you do if, or when, one of your employee’s accreditation is revoked?

Do something. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Use this checklist if you’re unsure of your organisation’s obligations and how to meet them.

Or, better yet, join Oho.

How Oho protects your organisation and vulnerable people

With a range of pricing options, Oho is affordable, easy-to-use and likely to be more effective than any in-house process you are following.

That’s why over 8,000 people from organisations just like yours are already using the platform.

Oho constantly checks the status of your staff and volunteers’ accreditations, so that you can focus on what matters: your customers and the vulnerable people in your care.

Create an account now. It’s free to try and simple to get started.

Because any incident of abuse, within any organisation, is one too many.

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