Bright World Guardianships Ltd is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people at all times while they are under our care.
Bright World Guardianships adhere to the principles of the statutory ‘Safer Recruitment’ guidance for schools, and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) ‘Safer Recruitment’ advice.
Bright World Guardianships follow the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students (AEGIS) as part of an on-going accreditation process. This is to ensure our students receive them highest standards of host family and care while under our guardianship.
Bright World Guardianships is aware of additional sources of advice and guidance for the standards required for host family recruitment including Safeguarding in Schools (Andrew Hall, Specialist Safeguarding Consultant), the British Council (Host family guidelines and Codes of Practice), and the Department for Education Boarding Schools National minimum standards (April 2015).
This policy is supported by the Department for Education ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2021). Bright World have a rigorous process for recruiting host families in accordance with the principles of ‘Safer Recruitment’. This is from point of advertisement to post induction, with on-going monitoring and safeguarding reviews.
The Safer Recruitment policy aims to help to deter, reject, or identify people who might abuse children, or are otherwise unsuited to work with them. At every stage of the process, Bright World Guardianships commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is highlighted. The Bright World Guardianships mission statement serves as the Safer Recruitment Policy Statement: Bright World is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.” The statement is included as appropriate in publicity materials, advertisements, recruitment websites, candidate information packs, job specifications and induction training.
Planning and Advertising
1. The selection process is organised in advance so that the Accommodation and Local Coordinator Manager, Host Family Recruitment Manager and Local Coordinator know which responsibilities they have to fulfil.
2. The host family advertisement (which includes our mission statement, specific reference to safeguarding and suitability to work with children) is circulated in accordance with host family targets in areas of need via online advertising agents such as Google PPC campaigns and print publications to identify the suitable host family candidates in appropriate areas.
Application Form and Application Pack
4. The host family responds to the advertisement by completing an online enquiry form to www.brightworld.co.uk and http://portal.brightworld.co.uk/forms/HFEnquiry. Applicants must be over 25 years of age and be suitable to work with children.
5. On receipt of the enquiry form the host family applicant is sent log in details to the online application form which obtains relevant details for the role. The form requires the applicant to confirm that they are not disqualified from working with children, or subject to any sanctions imposed by a regulatory body and has no convictions, cautions or bind overs, or has attached details of their record in a sealed envelope marked ‘Confidential’ and sent to Head Office for review.
6. Instructions on the form include explanatory notes about completing the form, links to the job description and person specification, Bright World Guardianships Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and a statement of the terms and conditions relating to the post.
7. The Application Form outlines the requirement for the applicants (including members of the host family aged 16 and over and other temporary resident) to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. The applicant will be required to provide evidence (i.e. original documents) of their identification to the Local Coordinator during the initial inspection for verification.
8. Enhanced DBS checks are required for all members of the host family aged 16 and over and other temporary resident. Enhanced DBS checks are not required for non-Bright World students being hosted by the family i.e. under 18 and at a boarding school or language school. Enhanced DBS checks will be required for a student who is over 18 and staying with the host family or other lodgers.
The Job Description and Person Specification
9. Once a post becomes vacant or a new post is created, the Director of Safeguarding will review the job description to ensure compliance with the Safer Recruitment guidance and confirmation that the main duties and responsibilities are outlined. This will include the responsibility for safeguarding the students that the host family is responsible for. The documents will be added to the bank of job descriptions and person specifications saved on Dropbox – Staffing organisation – Safer Recruitment folder arranged by role.
10. The Person Specification is supplementary information to the job description and lists essential and desirable criteria (for example qualifications, experience, competences and qualities) for the post. This document will be reviewed by the Director of Safeguarding to ensure compliance with the Safer Recruitment guidance.
Scrutinising and short listing
11. When the application form is submitted, the Host Family Recruitment Manager and Host Family Recruitment Assistant scrutinise the form to ensure they are fully and properly completed, are in the right host family area for the students and are suitable for the initial inspection and interview stage.
12. All candidates are assessed equally against the criteria contained in the person specification without exception or variation and without unlawful discrimination.
13. For the host and hostess in the host family references are requested (prior to interview). This is to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. As a minimum, one personal and one professional reference must be obtained for each host and hostess, or one professional reference for each host and hostess with one joint personal reference. The host family must provide written permission to confirm these references can be sought.
14. When the application form is submitted the applicant must nominate referees who they have known in a professional and personal capacity, with the personal referee having known the applicant for a minimum of two years. When the details are submitted online, a reference is automatically sent directly to these referees with a unique login which allows them to fill in and submit a reference form.
15. Referees are asked to comment on work, professional competence and personal qualities. Referees are asked to comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children, to outline any concerns about the applicant with children or any disciplinary details.
16. References which are submitted online are reviewed to ensure we have obtained independent professional and character references that answer specific questions. This helps to assess an applicant’s suitability to work with children and following up any concerns.
17. Bright World Guardianships does not accept references which are provided by the applicant, or open references and testimonials i.e. “To whom it may concern”. This reduces the risk of making an appointment decision on a forged reference.
18. Where (due to operational need) a reference is secured over the telephone in the first instance a record must be made of the telephone reference in IBOS. Following this initial record, the reference must be obtained in writing as soon as practicable to provide a record of the information obtained from the referee.
19. Any offer of employment will always be conditional on the receipt of satisfactory references.
20. References should always be obtained in writing and telephone contact made to verify the reference where possible.
Interviews and initial visits
21. For applicants who are short listed, the Host Family Recruitment Manager or Administrator will ask the Local Coordinator to arrange the initial visit. The invitation for the initial visit and interview should stress that the successful candidate will need to be checked thoroughly in terms of identification and the completion of an enhanced DBS
check. This will require the candidate to provide to the Local Coordinator documentary evidence of their identity (for example current driving licence, passport, full birth
certificate, plus documents for example utility bill or financial statement that shows the candidate’s full name and address). Where a candidate has changed their name, full documentation must be provided detailing the previous name and current name.
22. The host family applicant is advised and given instructions on how to prepare for the identification and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check during the visit.
23. During the initial visit, the Local Coordinator interviews the applicants face to face to confirm suitability for the role and suitability to work with children.
24. The Local Coordinator inspects the house, garden and car which will be used to transport students and secures photographs of the property (including individual rooms).
25. The Local Coordinator is encouraged to discuss his/her previous employment history and experience,and to note any indications that the host or hostess that may not have the health and/or physical capacity for the role, together with the applicant’s right to work in the UK where appropriate. The LC must check and verify the documents used to verify an applicant’s identity, right to work in the U.K. and/or qualifications (where appropriate), as per the instructions on UCheck.
Scope of the interview
26. The Local Coordinator should assess and evaluate the applicant’s suitability for the being a Bright World host family, their motivation for working with children and young people, and their ability to support the company agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. There is scope on the visit form to record this detail which should be submitted to Head Office for assessment.
27. The Local Coordinator is encouraged to ask the applicants aged 16 or over in the host family if they wish to declare anything in light of the requirement for an Enhanced DBS disclosure.
28. Where references have not been returned to Head Office (via the online system) before an interview, the prospective host family can be asked at interview if there is anything they wish to declare or discuss in light of the questions that have been or will be put to his or her referees.
Conditional Offer of Appointment and DBS Checks
29. The successful applicants will be conditionally accepted pending references, proof of identification,proof of right to work in the UK (if appropriate), an enhanced DBS check, verification of qualifications where they are a requirement of the post and the completion of any probationary period.
Post Appointment: Induction
30. Newly appointed host family are provided with a Host Family Charter and Host Family Handbook which contains guidance and advice for the role of host family. The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is also made available to the host family including Level 1 Child Protection Training.
31. Host family have on-going support from Head Office staff and their Local Coordinator regardless of their experience of the host family role.
Post Appointment: On-going training and monitoring
33. Bright World Guardianships host families receive monthly bulletins containing updates and safeguarding news. This is to ensure that guidance is regularly circulated and host families have continual access to Level 1 Safeguarding Training and regular NSPCC Safeguarding and Child Protection updates.
34.The host family Initial Visits, Revisits and Spot Check process provides Bright World with the infrastructure to continually monitor the quality of host family for our students. The ‘Host Family Initial Visits, Revisits and Spot Check policy and procedure’ details the checks undertaken to ensure the highest standards are afforded to our students.
35. Bright World Guardianships Care Plan Policy and Procedure provides a framework by which regular safeguarding feedback is sought from students in relation to the host family. Guardianship Care Managers review all Care Plans and should report any safeguarding concerns and incidents to the Director of Safeguarding, who will review and manage them in accordance with safeguarding policies and procedures.
‘Managing Incidents’ Policy and Procedure.
Post Appointment DBS checks
Where there is a permanent resident in the house who is over 16 we need to complete an enhanced DBS check. We are legally unable to carry out a DBS check for temporary residents, so in these instances, we inform our students’ parents in advance that there is a temporary resident for whom we have been unable to carry out a DBS check. Host families are informed that temporary residents must never be left alone with our students.
Where there is an overseas student staying with a UK host family via a private arrangement or through another Guardianship Organisation, an enhanced DBS check will not be required. Head Office will assess whether or not there is an opportunity to complete the DBS screening check for 16-17 year olds depending on the availability of the parents to complete the process. For other overseas students staying in the house short term, it is not feasible for us to DBS check them.
These cases should be decided on a case by case basis by the Managing Directors with agreement from other key stakeholders where appropriate.
Published: June 2016
Reviewied: January 2021