I am pleased to deliver the Scottish Government response to the Protection of Vulnerable Groups and the Disclosure of Criminal Information consultation report. The views and experiences shared by respondents provided vital insight into ways in which the disclosure regime, including the PVG Scheme, can be improved and simplified. From the outset, this Government intended the review of disclosure to capture the best ideas to strike a new balance between the twin objectives of delivering a fairer, less invasive, disclosure regime whilst also strengthening its ability to protect the most vulnerable in society. I believe that the policy proposals contained in this response successfully rebalance safeguarding and proportionality, delivering a disclosure regime that will be even more responsive to the needs of Scotland's people.
We hope to deliver a range of positive and proportionate reforms to the barring service in Scotland, ensuring the PVG Scheme continues to offer a world-class service in protecting the public from individuals whose past conduct may indicate unsuitability to work or volunteer with children and protected adults.
The Scottish Government is committed to policies that balance public protection with the right to forget past offences so that everyone in Scotland has the possibility of contributing to the wellbeing and development of our nation. These proposals, if enacted, will transform the disclosure position of young people and adults with childhood convictions. We are learning more and more about the impact of trauma and adverse childhood experiences on our life chances and we have to do more, not only to prevent adverse childhood experiences from happening in the first place, but to limit the damage they do to opportunities for individuals, families and communities in the longer term.
It is vital that employers and job applicants alike recognise the economic importance to Scotland of including people with convictions in the workforce so that we address reoffending and promote desistance from crime. To this end, I hope that every employer who seeks to use the disclosure system in Scotland will apply a fair and proportionate approach to considering and recruiting people with convictions, consistent with the Scotland Works for You principles promoted by Disclosure Scotland and its allies in the public, private and charitable sectors.
Going forward, I am committed to the involvement of those with an interest in our proposals and will make sure there are opportunities to engage further with users and practitioners as we prepare to deliver these proposals.
Minister for Children and Young People
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