A welfare campaigner says organisations employing people who come into contact with children need to improve background checks to avoid any risk of child abuse.
Anthea Simcock from Child-Matters in Waikato says everyone needs to ask themselves just how safe are the adults that are entrusted with children.
She has written a guide book called Safe Not Sorry.
Mrs Simcock says while no system is foolproof, doing in-depth background and referee checks is essential.
She says if people with an unsavoury background know an organisation is being very thorough in checking, then they are less likely to apply for work there, and it becomes a protective barrier.
Mrs Simcock says the costs of not screening applicants can be enormous.