TAKING THE P
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2001Dave Proctor, National Caseworker has his gast flabbered at the risks members take.
Just when you think you have heard everything then along comes a new one. Recently during discussions with a Local Authority I found out that Youth Workers were involved in carrying out pregnancy tests. Not just arranging or accompanying but actually carrying them out with over the counter kits. Well to say I was surprised is an understatement, my gast was well and truly flabbered.
Some may say, well what’s wrong with that, but we need to look at this from all aspects:
Firstly, Child Protection: If the young person is under 18 then there is a possibility that it may have to be referred to Social Services, but if they are under 16 then there is no question it would have to be referred to Social Services for investigation.
Secondly, Health and Safety: The materials and container after use would be classed as Clinical Waste, how is it disposed of or sterilised. What does the Youth Worker know about the health of the Young Person in question?
Thirdly, What is the role of the Youth Worker, surely it is not to carry these tests out, but to arrange or accompany if necessary the young person. Or if the reason they are carrying out the test is a lack of facilities, then surely the role is to campaign for better facilities.
This is one task too much and members should be saying no to carrying out the test and yes to better resources for Young People. You cannot be expected to just keep filling in all the gaps in provisions for Young People.