Regulations have been passed to put in place a safe, fast and free vetting system for those who open their homes to displaced Ukrainians.
Under the scheme, volunteer hosts will be able to apply for expedited disclosure checks. These enhanced checks will offer the same level of scrutiny as the initial checks carried out for those working with children and vulnerable adults.
Sponsors will be contacted as part of the matching service and guided through the disclosure check application process.
Children’s Minister Clare Haughey MSP said:
“The generosity of people who want to open their homes for Ukrainians fleeing the illegal invasion of their country is heart-warming.
“We want Scotland to be a welcoming and safe haven and so ensuring the wellbeing and safety of those arriving from Ukraine, who are overwhelmingly women and children, is critical. That is why we have taken action to put in place appropriate checks for sponsors and to make sure the checks are free for those who are offering a place to stay.
“Under this scheme, Disclosure Scotland will prioritise checks for volunteer hosts when they are matched so the homes are ready for any new arrivals as quickly as possible.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“While people are opening their homes with the best intentions, it is still important to ensure the host situation is a safe and sustainable one.
“Children and adults arriving from Ukraine are fleeing from a warzone and at their most vulnerable. This makes it extra important that the relevant checks are carried out as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
The regulations will come into effect on 24 March. It will mean that potential hosts who are matched with Ukrainians - whether they have offered to host adults only or families with children - will be subject to enhanced disclosure checks. Anyone aged over 16 in the same household as the sponsor will also be required to undergo the same checks.
Potential hosts should wait to be contacted about disclosure checks.
The regulations will not apply to unaccompanied children and protected adults arriving from Ukraine. Separate arrangements for their care are being urgently considered.