It is a sad and unavoidable truth in Britain today that a small proportion of adults who are given positions of responsibility towards children harm them.
Many thousands of children in Britain sadly suffer physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect at the hands of the very people who are entrusted with their well being.
Sometimes this is their own parents and in some cases the social services are involved and fostering arrangements and adoption can be possible solutions.
In other cases, teachers, youth workers, sports coaches and a wide range of other adults with access to children have been found guilty of abuse.
One factor that comes up in many cases of reported abuse is that next to nothing was known about the abuser and their past was allowed to remain secretive.
In recent years there have been considerable changes to the way information is shared to safeguard children.
At Alliance Foster Care, the wellbeing of children and carers is our number one priority and we use the Disclosure and Baring Service to carry out background checks on all applicants.
The DBS check lists any prior criminal convictions that a person has had and any other relevant information that a police force or social services may hold on them. It is important that you inform our fostering assessors as soon as possible if you have had a criminal conviction in the past.
Depending on the circumstances of the conviction it might not automatically mean that a fostering application would be turned down.
If you have no prior convictions and you have never had a DBS check before, it is a routine process that everyone in Britain who works with children and vulnerable adults is required to undertake.