Have you had a police check? Because if you haven't you're pretty sure to need one sooner or later. I had to have one for teaching adults in an evening class. Big strong adults. There were twelve of them and one of me. But never mind. If police checks protect children, they're worth it, aren't they?
Well, maybe not. I have a friend who's a single mother. She's a brilliant mother and adores her five-year-old son. A year ago, she discovered that her estranged partner - her sons's father - had been systematically sexually abusing their child for a year, threatening him with his mother's death if he were to tell anyone. Eventually, the child spoke out. His account was detailed and graphic, and included details that no 4-year-old could possibly know, and although he convinced his mother, his GP, his teachers and his extended family, my friend was told that his evidence didn't count because he was so young.
A year on, after striving tirelessly and heroically for justice, my friend has managed to ensure that this man is on a sex register, and will never be allowed near her son again. But that is all. He is already involved in a club for young sportsmen and has formed a relationship with a woman with two small children. Meanwhile, her little boy is still trying to come to terms with his appalling ordeal, and she is still angry, frustrated and appalled that she should have entrusted her child to someone who would perpetrate such terrible acts against him.
Scary? You bet it is. Police checks? Forget them. They're not worth the paper they're written on.