Protection of Vulnerable Children

Protection of Vulnerable Children

 A New Compliance Issue   New requirements under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 add significantly to the burdens placed on community organisations. Writing this article has been difficult, and if a lawyer finds it challenging to explain legislation it is probably fair to say that many (most?) community organisations will struggle to understand and comply with their obligations. For the purposes of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, a “child” is defined as a person under the age of 18 who is not married or in a civil union, while “vulnerable children” are defined as “children of the kind or kinds (that may be or, as the case requires, have been and are currently) identified as vulnerable in the setting of Government priorities under section 7” of the Act. No-one want children at risk, but minimising that risk creates an administrative nightmare for not-for-profits.  According to a Departmental publication “Children’s worker safety checking under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014” available at the Children’s Action Plan website. The Government’s Children’s Action Plan includes a commitment to implement legislation for the vetting and screening of the children’s workforce – these “children’s worker safety checks” became law in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (the VCA), and came into force for new workers in core children’s workforce roles on 1 July 2015. The VCA requires safety checking of all paid employees and contractors, employed or engaged by government-funded organisations, who work with children. The requirements for safety checking also apply to people undertaking unpaid children’s work as part of an educational or vocational training course. Businesses, unfunded non-government organisations, and voluntary organisations are not...
Retirement from Partnership

Retirement from Partnership

The partners of Bannister & von Dadelszen, Mark von Dadelszen, Jodi-Elizabeth Lett and Simon Wilton, announce that Peter Headifen retired from our firm on 30 November.  The firm’s partners, staff and clients will miss his wisdom, good humour, and commitment to his clients, but wish him and his wife well in his retirement. Peter was for many years a senior Hawke’s Bay family lawyer, and we are pleased to announce that the firm’s longstanding commitment to family law will continue, with experienced family lawyer Martin Wall having joined us, at the beginning of November, to lead the Family...