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An unlicensed particular wants chaperone labored with susceptible youngsters for months regardless of not having all of his safeguarding checks accomplished. A father from Harborough, whose son has bodily and psychological disabilities, found the escort organized by Leicestershire County Council to take his son to highschool didn’t have the required checks permitting him to work with youngsters.
He informed LeicestershireLive he was petrified on the considered unlicensed drivers and care escorts working within the county. He discovered the chaperone who was speculated to be accompanying his son to highschool was unlicensed when the person and a taxi driver turned up for a meet and greet with the household forward of the beginning of the autumn time period.
The daddy requested each the driving force and the escort to indicate identification and he claims the driving force may solely present an out-of-date Wolverhampton licence. He stated the escort informed him he didn’t have ID as a result of his DBS examine – which makes certain somebody is protected to work with youngsters – was nonetheless pending completion regardless that he had been within the place for months.
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The daddy flagged the problem with Leicestershire County Council, which outsources contracts for particular wants transport to taxi companies. A member of the transport group confirmed the escort was unlicensed in an electronic mail seen by LeicestershireLive.
The council is investigating the breach and has organized a brand new care escort with the corporate. The council added that any mother and father who’re involved can ask escorts and drivers to indicate their photograph ID, which can’t be issued with out in-date DBS checks being in place.
“They’re the loves of my life, they’re all the pieces to me,” the daddy stated. “I used to be completely petrified when this occurred and never nearly my youngster, however about different youngsters. You belief the council, don’t you?
“The group at most danger of abuse are disabled youngsters. A whole lot of these youngsters can’t converse, my youngest son solely learnt to talk after he was utilizing council organized providers.
“They wouldn’t have the ability to inform you if one thing occurred to them, they’re extremely susceptible. A few of them can barely transfer. I couldn’t dwell with myself if one thing occurred to those youngsters.”
Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, cupboard member for highways and transport, stated: “Corporations transporting youngsters to highschool are required below the phrases and situations of our contracts to have DBS checks in place. Safeguarding is our primary concern and as quickly as we turned conscious, we instantly took motion to place a brand new escort and driver in place and are investigating the circumstances resulting in the breach.
“Though that is an remoted incident, we’ve written to all contractors reminding them of their obligations.”
The household’s youngest son additionally has studying difficulties and takes a taxi to highschool. When his taxi turned up on the primary day again to highschool, the daddy stated he needed to instruct the driving force on tips on how to safely drive his son.
He stated: “He proceeded to place my eight-year-old within the entrance seat with out a security lock on the door. That wouldn’t have been protected for him.
“So I stated to him ‘I don’t assume that’s protected, he wants to sit down within the again seat with a security lock’. It’s all in his healthcare plan.
“They complied, they had been high-quality with it, so I didn’t have an issue with that. However, if I hadn’t stated that to him, he would have taken the seatbelt out, opened the door and jumped out on a motorway.”
Midway by driving his eldest to highschool, the daddy stated he received an electronic mail from the council seemingly responding to the considerations concerning the unlicensed escort. Nonetheless, the council had gotten the 2 sons confused and admitted within the electronic mail the driving force at that time taking his youngest to highschool was not totally updated on his coaching.
He additionally discovered the escorts, which he believed to be employed by the council, had been employed by the contracted companies. “What I’ve received considerations about is that this – the protection of kids is being sub-contracted out to a taxi agency to learn, perceive and make use of escorts as a way to take care of these youngsters,” he stated.
“They’re not medically certified, they’ve received no historical past of working with disabled youngsters or understanding a danger evaluation. How can they learn and interpret complicated danger assessments and match them with acceptable escorts, how can they be certain that coaching is updated?
“That is taking place throughout Leicestershire. The taxi companies have additionally stated they will’t assure who the escort or driver goes to be for the kid on any given day.
“I mentioned this with the council and stated this isn’t acceptable from a purely sensible viewpoint. A few of these youngsters want common consistency, but additionally from the actual fact the council ought to know at anybody time who’s with that youngster.”