Welsh charities set to be offered lower cost record checks

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) has been given £219,000 by the Welsh Assembly Government to process charities' criminal record checks.

The money will enable WCVA to set up a unit which will verify and countersign people recruited by charities to work with children and vulnerable adults.

The move contrasts the situation in England where the Government has as yet refused to fund any voluntary-sector organisations to act as registered bodies for checks on behalf of the Criminal Records Bureau.

The service, which is expected to be running by September, will be free for volunteers but will charge £12 per check for paid staff.

At present, charities have to go to private-sector registered bodies which charge between £17.50 and £70 per check.

Tom Jones, chairman of WCVA, said: "I'm very pleased that the National Assembly has moved so quickly to deal with this extremely pressing issue."

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