Sacked carer offered new hope

AN ANGRY Ipswich mum who lost her job after old convictions showed up on a Criminal Records Bureau check was today offered new hope.The 54-year-old mother of three, who asked not to be named, lost her job last year after a CRB check showed that she had three convictions for shoplifting.

AN ANGRY Ipswich mum who lost her job after old convictions showed up on a Criminal Records Bureau check was today offered new hope.

The 54-year-old mother of three, who asked not to be named, lost her job last year after a CRB check showed that she had three convictions for shoplifting.

Two happened 23 years ago, and the most recent conviction was in 1990.

But it was enough to see her lose her job as a supervisor at a care home for teenagers and adults with special needs.

Now, however, Suffolk County Council's social services department have said they may be able to find her a job as a carer. She was originally employed by a private company, which took clients referred to it by the county council.

The woman said last year's decision made her feel as if it was not possible to turn over a new leaf.

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She said: "What I did was wrong. I know that and I'm very sorry about it, but that was a very long time ago and I was told that the convictions were spent.

"Then when we had to fill in CRB checks I didn't think there was anything to be worried about but these showed up.

"My employers, who had been very good about everything, told me they had been told by their seniors that I had to go."

She had been a carer looking after elderly people in their own homes for seven years before she decided to change direction and start looking after teenagers with special needs where she rose to the position of supervisor.

She said: "When I was working as a carer in people's homes I was often asked to collect their pensions or take money to the bank.

"There was never any problem there. And when I was working at the home I could have had access to the safe to get money if we needed to go out and get milk or something."

She has not told her family why she had to leave her job suddenly last August.

Since then she has been given work in a shop as a cashier but has not been successful with jobs in the caring profession.

She said: "I did get a job working in a shop taking money for a time. They said the offences all those years ago weren't relevant. But that's not what I want to do."

Last week the Evening Star revealed that nine people had been sacked by Suffolk County Council after CRB checks revealed their criminal pasts.

A spokesman for the county council said this woman would not have been included in those figures because she was not employed directly by them.

Convictions for dishonesty which showed up on CRB checks were taken into account on job applications - but would not be an automatic bar.

He said: "We take the circumstances into account, and a situation like this we would look at the fact that they were relatively minor offences a long time ago.

"It might bar the applicant from some jobs which involved a very high degree of trust - but shouldn't prevent them from working as a carer in somewhere like a council-run home or even doing home-help work.

"Frankly we are always looking for experienced carers and we would be happy to speak to someone like this."

The Star has passed on details of the county council's reply to the woman and given her the phone number of a personnel manager in the social services department.

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