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Safeguarding disclosure

A Safeguarding Disclosure request allows members of the public to apply for either the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as Clare’s Law), the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (also known as Sarah’s Law), or both at the same time.

A Safeguarding Disclosure request allows members of the public to apply for either:

  • the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as Clare’s Law);
  • the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (also known as Sarah’s Law);
  • or both at the same time provided the subject of the disclosure application is the same for both schemes.

What is the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme?

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme enables the police to disclose information to parents, guardians and carers about the previous sexual offending history of an individual who has access to or contact with a child or children to help them better safeguard their children’s safety and welfare.

Anyone can make an application through the scheme about an individual and this can include any third party such as a grandparent, neighbour or friend.

What is the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme?

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme enables the police to disclose information to a member of the public about the previous violent offending history of a new, existing or previous partner so they can make informed decisions about protecting themselves from the risk of harm.

The Scheme is split into two parts; The Right to Ask and the Right to Know:

  • Right to Ask allows a member of the public to request information from the police.
  • Right to Know places an obligation on the police to consider making a disclosure when a situation comes to their attention and a risk of domestic violence is perceived.

How long does it take?

If there is an immediate or imminent risk of harm to an individual please call 999 now and this will be dealt with urgently through existing procedures. If there is no immediate risk then the process will normally be completed within 45 days for Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme and 35 days for Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

What information do I need to provide?

You must complete as much detail as you can within the form, especially ensuring that the subject of the application is clearly identified.  We cannot accept speculative applications where no subject is identifiable.

What is the process?

Before any disclosure is made, you will normally be contacted by the police to verify your identity, verify your relationship with the person believed to pose the risk (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme) and verify your relationship to the child or children (Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme).

In relation to the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, any disclosure will only be made to the parent, carer or guardian best placed to protect the child or children. Any third party making the application would not necessarily receive disclosure if they were not best placed to protect the child or children.

In relation to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, disclosure will be made to the person best placed to safeguard the person at risk, which in most cases will be the person at risk themselves. It is unlikely that disclosure will be made to any third party making an application although each application will be considered on an individual basis.

What information is disclosed?

The aim of both schemes is to provide members of the public with information to allow them to make informed decisions about their relationship, their safety and the welfare of their children.

If the individual has convictions for sexual offences against children and disclosure is necessary to protect the child or children, there is a presumption that the information will be disclosed. This may also apply to other information linked to violent offending or other offending behaviour if the individual is deemed as posing a risk of causing harm to the child or children concerned.

If the individual has convictions for domestic violence or violent offending and disclosure is necessary to inform an individual of the risk of harm a person poses, there is a presumption that the information will be disclosed.

What can I do with the information disclosed to me?

Information released in the disclosure is confidential, should not be shared, and will not be released to the general public at any time. The person receiving the disclosure will be expected to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Both the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme and Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme do not replace existing arrangements for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, Subject Access and Freedom of Information requests, Private Law Protocol or Safeguarding Children procedures and Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements but instead add to these procedures already in place.

 

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