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Hi guys

 

I am in the jobs market at the moment following redundancy in March. I have been working with children and teenagers in various roles - currently doing some temporary work at a special educational needs school working with the youngest children (3 - 6), and also voluntary evening youth work. In a previous career (before my career change) I worked closely with project and people management and partnership working, in a professional role.

 

I have seen a job advertised, title "Organiser". The advert reads:

 

XXX is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under 5 years of age. Volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to families under stress in their own homes helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

We are now looking for an Organiser to work with our Senior Organiser to develop the scheme across [area] and for recruiting, training, supervising and supporting a team of volunteers. The Organiser will also need to liaise closely with statutory and voluntary organisations.

• Parenting experience and an understanding of the needs of families is an essential requirement for this post.

• Experience of working with families or volunteers would be an advantage.

 

I have enquired about this job and been told that as I am not a parent, I would not meet the essential criteria.

 

I am not able to have children due to a chronic medical condition and its treatment. My condition (confirmed by Occupational Health) would be considered to be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act as it has long term significant effects on my ability to carry out certain day to day tasks (indeed, without the treatment I receive, I would be bedridden at certain times).

 

Therefore, would a refusal to be considered for this post due to my childless state be considered to be disability discrimination, as I do not see anything above in the job role which would make it absolutely essential for one to be an actual parent.

 

Many thanks for opinions.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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I hope others will comment, but this sounds a bit PC to me. What a shame for you, and the children you might help.

 

I suppose there could be an discrimination aspect to it, if you're childless for physical reasons. I was typing that when I re-read your post. Also, in my world, 'parenting experience' isn't exactly the same as actually being a parent, is it?

 

Who told you that you don't fit the criteria and do you have it in writing please?

 

HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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It was an administrator who emailed me. I had asked whether the requirement was to actually be a parent yourself, or if substantial work with children/families would be considered, and explained my circumstances. The response, basically, was:

 

"The criteria of parenting experience relates to the role of 24 hour care of children over a period of time, so unfortunately working with children and families does not fit into this category"

 

I still do not see anything in the job advert (there is no JD attached) which suggests that this is really necessary :confused:

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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Hello again. Call me bloody-minded, but I wouldn't give up on this yet. I hope other caggers will comment, and speak of the devil, I see BRB is hovering and will give you a straight opinion. :)

 

Im a bit peed off with these public bodies and their own version of English and how life should work myself.

 

HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I'm not able to foster as I am in rented accommodation and don't have a spare room anyway - I suppose that could be their argument though.

 

Have babysat, but not for any period of time - just evenings etc.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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Rented accommodation would not stop you fostering - and if you did contact the council they might even be able to help you find somewhere more suitable, as many councils are so desperate for foster carers. Anyway, that is rather off topic.

 

Have you ever done a nanny type job? Taken the Brownies away overnight?

Arranged a sleep over for a youth club?

 

Their requirement to have experience of looking after a child 24 hours might be reasonable, in the same way that some people might argue that someone with disabilities is likely to understand the daily pressures faced by the disabled in a more "real" way. However, the requirement to be a parent is not reasonable - any 24 hour experience you have should suffice, as presumably they would happily take on a woman with a new baby who has only had "parenting" experience for a few weeks, and only of one age range.

 

I think you should therefore apply, and show how your experience does fulfil the requirement that you have "parenting" experience - any time when you have had full sole responsibility for any child should count towards that requirement.

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