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Home Repair Spies

October 7, 2008 permalink

Does your home need repairs? Homeowners in the UK will soon find that the repairmen they hire to do fixups will be spying for the local child protectors.



Plumbers' role to help spot child abuse

Plumbers and electricians in Lincoln could soon be asked to spot signs of child abuse while at work under a tightening of child protection laws.

All 800 Lincoln City Council employees are likely to receive training to help them detect the often hard-to-read signs of abuse that children sustain.

Staff who spot worrying signs of behaviour while out on day-to-day jobs would be asked to report their concerns to the council.

Although many signs are obvious, symptoms such as wearing long sleeves even in very hot weather to cover bruises are harder to detect.

The measures are needed to meet the requirements of new Government legislation.

Office workers and some other staff would only need basic training.

But maintenance employees and sports staff are among those who would need the most in-depth coaching to meet the new rules.

Simon Walters, head of corporate review and development, said: "It's about young people who may be suffering from neglect and abuse – that's our primary goal.

"We need to ensure our staff are trained to recognise child neglect and abuse.

"What this proposal makes very clear is that all public bodies have a duty under the Children's Act to take the responsibility to spot signs of child abuse."

The policy also warns them of the need to avoid putting themselves at risk of legal claims by not being left alone with children.

But the council said "common sense" would be the key in such situations.

For more on this story, see Monday's Lincolnshire Echo.

Source: Lincolnshire Echo