Child Contact Centres and DBS Checks

Child contact centres provide a safe, neutral environment where the children of separated families can spend time with parents or other family members. 

DBS Checks are designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with children or vulnerable adults. 

Naturally, employees and volunteers at child contact centres will come into contact with children – but does this make them eligible for a DBS Check?

child contact centres

Enhanced DBS Check eligibility


To be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a check of the children’s barred list, an employee or volunteer must be carrying out regulated activity with children as part of their role.

Regulated activity with children is work that a person who has been barred from working with children is not allowed to do. 

Working in some types of establishment – for example, schools, nurseries and children’s homes – constitutes regulated activity. However, child contact centres do not fall into this category, so working in one doesn’t automatically qualify you for an Enhanced Check.

Instead, eligibility for an Enhanced DBS Check must be determined by the person’s role.


Which roles are eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check?


The following activities, if done regularly and unsupervised as part of someone’s role, are classed as regulated activity with children:

  • Teaching, training or instructing children
  • Caring for or supervising children
  • Providing advice or guidance on wellbeing to children
  • Driving a vehicle only for children

Because of this, some roles are always classes as regulated activity with children, including:

  • Social workers
  • Counsellors 
  • Support workers 
  • Youth workers

Anyone doing one of these roles will be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check.


What about people employed to supervise children?


Generally, if children are accompanied by their parents, then the parents are ultimately responsible for supervising them.

However, there may be people employed or volunteering in child contact centres for the purpose of supervising children.

Any employee or volunteer whose role at the contact centre involves supervising children when parents aren’t present will be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check. 


What about other employees or volunteers in child contact centres?


Any employee or volunteer in a child contact centre who doesn’t carry out regulated activity will only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check.

There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check. Anyone can have one, as long as they’re aged 16 or over. 

Carrying out Basic Checks on employees and volunteers who aren’t eligible for an Enhanced Check will help show that your centre is committed to safeguarding. 

We hope this blog has answered your questions about child contact centres and DBS Checks, but if you have any more please don’t hesitate to drop us a line