Jennie Bristow and Frank Fucedi are authors who have examined what is happening in Great Britain’s efforts to supervise relations between adults and children. It increasingly is necessary in the United Kingdom for any adult having a relationship with a child to undergo investigation by the Criminal Records Bureau(CRB) to determine if they are fit for interaction with children. This means anyone like a coach, a bus driver, a charity or community worker, must undergo criminal investigation. A parent, who for one reason or another, never went through the process can not do simple tasks such as drive children or accompany a bus trip. One children’s coach emphatically stated, “I only allow CRB’d parents to drive team members to training.”
No one wants sexual predators molesting children, but have we crossed the line of common sense? Criminal record checks tell what has happened in the past and offer no information about the present. Paperwork and being forced to undergo investigations may well turn decent people into skeptics who prefer their privacy to undergoing a bureaucratic process. Are we losing valuable people who have something to offer children? It also raises another question– are we building a sense of mistrust on the part of children that anyone could be a potential molester?
As one who spent fifty years in the field of education, my impression is the overwhelming number of people in the occupation are not into molesting children. I have noticed increasingly that children have less and less contact with older adults which only serves to create barriers between the generations at a time when children need to connect to their past.