Who should I trust to work with my child?
As a parent of a child with additional needs it can be incredibly difficult to decide who you should trust to work with your child. This blog post outlines a few tips for things to check and look out for.
1. Are they professionally regulated?
2. Do they have insurance?
3. Do they hold a current DBS check?
4. What is their GDPR policy?
1. Is the professional registered with their regulating body? Practitioner Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists should ALWAYS be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Many people have some level of qualification in Psychology or in aspects of Speech and Language, this does not make them a qualified and verified psychologist or therapist. You can check the register here https://www.hcpc-uk.org
If you cannot find someone claiming to be a Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist on this register then it means that either they are not (and never have been) one or their registration has lapsed and their work is not being regulated by the HCPC. You should look elsewhere for support from a registered professional. Counsellors should be registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherpy. You can check the register here https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Register
2. Does the professional have insurance? All independently practising professionals should hold indemnity insurance. You are within your rights to ask them to see a copy of this insurance before you agree to engage them for any support.
3. Is the professional DBS checked? In order to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, professionals require a Disclosure and Barring Service check (previously called a CRB check). This is a check of their police records to ensure that there is no reason why they should not work with these groups of individuals. Professionals need to have an up to date check every 3 years to ensure that we keep all children safe. You are within your rights to ask to see a copy of this certificate before your child begins work with any professional.
4. Does the professional have a GDPR policy and are they registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office? From 25 May 2018, the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 requires every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Professionals should have a GDPR policy (or notice as part of their terms and conditions) that tells you how they will ensure your personal information is kept safe. This is usually outlined in any consent forms that you sign before a professionals begins work with you or your child.
This blog post has been written in collaboration with The Orchid Practice www.theorchidpractice.co.uk