610, 2016

Mandate Now Submission to Consultation: Reporting and Acting on Child Abuse and Neglect

October 6th, 2016|

The Mandate Now submission is here

Within our submission we have reviewed the two Government proposals. Neither provide a framework on which reliable child protection can be delivered by those employed in Regulated Activities. Government is promoting positions close to the status quo that prompted the Home Secretary, now Prime Minister, to initiate the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Lessons are not being learned.  

The consultation closed at noon on 13th October 2016.

Updated 17.3.17

1601, 2020

‘The Church has some form of Mandatory Reporting’ (Peter Hancock – Lead Bishop for Safeguarding) | “Oh no it hasn’t!”

January 16th, 2020|

It’s panto season – is it ever not with Church of England Safeguarding ?

On the 14th July last year, Bishop Peter Hancock featured on BBC r4 Sunday programme which reported on IICSA’s final hearing into child abuse within the Anglican Church.

During the programme, which highlighted that Archbishops Welby and Sentamu both called for the introduction of statutory mandatory reporting Peter Hancock, the lead Bishop for safeguarding, in an ‘off-air’ exchange with the BBC journalist, said this:

2812, 2019

It’s inconceivable IICSA will not recommend well-designed Mandatory Reporting. But must we wait until 2021?

December 28th, 2019|

A summary of IICSA MR Seminars 1 + 2 with some background.

In Spring 2018 many of us wondered if IICSA’s long promised mandatory reporting (‘MR’) seminar would ever happen. Well-designed MR is a key component of functioning safeguarding, particularly for Regulated Activities. It introduces responsibility and accountability to these strategically important institutional roles where only nominal responsibility and accountability exists presently. It’s in these settings that children spend most time after time with family. Importantly, and always overlooked, MR law also protects staff who are mandated to report known or suspected abuse. This rarely recognised element is as important as the obligation to report.

2208, 2019

Remaning silent about child abuse can’t be an option – Times Scotland 21.9.19

August 22nd, 2019|

The full article as it appeared in the Times is here.

Here is the pre-edited draft sent to The Times which contains important additional facts and supporting data :

‘It’s all different now’ is the default refrain from those who today are responsible for safeguarding in institutional settings such as education, sport, healthcare and faith. The amount of time spent by children in these operationally complex places is second only to time spent with their families. But the assertion begs the question, how is it all different now when today there is still no statutory obligation on ‘professionals’ working in positions of trust to report known or suspected abuse of a child to the authorities for independent assessment? It seems governments are prepared to rely merely only on an ‘expectation’ that ‘professionals’ will refer such concerns. But this arrangement is demonstrably unreliable. Data shows that when mandatory reporting is introduced to these settings, almost double the number of children are placed into safety who would otherwise be left to an unknown fate.

The majority of jurisdictions on all four continents have some form of mandatory reporting law. For example 72% Asia, 77% Africa, 86% Europe and 90% of the Americas (Daro.D World Perspectives on Child Abuse 7th ed. International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect 2006. p26). What is the purpose of a statutory requirement to report suspicions that a child is being abused?

  • To make professionals report suspicions in instances in which they would not normally do so.
  • To protect those who do report suspicions made in good faith which are not then validated in law.
  • To gain redress for injuries sustained after a professional had been made aware of suspicions or problems, but after they have chosen not to take the matter further.

You’ll notice how relevant these points are to the child abuse perpetrated at Celtic Boys Club and Chelsea FC.  What possibility is there of holding anyone to account for failing to report concerns when shamefully there’s no law to prosecute those who remain silent? When law is introduced, the cultural approach to safeguarding changes quickly.

Following the extension of mandatory reporting to teachers in New South Wales, a research article by David Lamond was published in 1989 by Child Abuse and Neglect. It was titled ‘The Impact of Mandatory Reporting Legislation on Reporting Behaviour in New South Wales,’ and it revealed that on the introduction of law, alongside a rise in the percentage of referrals from teachers (11.1% of total to 15.8%), there was a decrease in referrals from the public (52% to 47%) suggesting the existence of a correlation between the two. However when teachers suspected abuse they accurately detected the type of abuse 54% of the time and detected the child was subject to some form of abuse 67% of the time.  Members of the public had much lower substantiation rates 36-38% confirmed as type of abuse and 47-50% as some form of abuse. It indicates mandatory reporting by ‘professionals’ produces more referrals of greater accuracy. A good outcome for children and the agencies whose role it is to investigate.

More recent data from multiple jurisdictions reveals that well-designed mandatory reporting supports staff and benefits children in their care. It’s considered a vital component of functioning safeguarding. So what possesses Government to persist with ‘discretionary reporting’ in these complex settings for which there is a dearth of supporting evidence?

408, 2019

Top 10 Myths About Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church (Psychology Today) 1/8/19 and a reply from Tim Lennon the President of SNAP

August 4th, 2019|

A ‘ping’ notified us of an article in Psychology Today (1/8/19) titled “Top 10 Myths About Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church.”  1) It doesn’t happen?  Not quite, but the article by Thomas G Plant Ph.D., ABPP  suggests it’s de minimis.

We decided to email Tim Lennon the President of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”) to seek his opinion  and invited him to respond, particularly as Dr Plant is an American academic  :

Reply to Church Apologist :


1007, 2019

IICSA Anglican Hearing 3/7/19 – Observation about the work being undertaken by the Social Care Institute of Excellence for the Church of England

July 10th, 2019|

On day three of Anglican Hearing at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Dr Sheila Fish gave evidence on the work the Social Care Institute of Excellence is doing for the Church of England.

On the important matter of ‘audits’ that SCIE have been commissioned to undertake in the 42 dioceses of the Church, we alighted on the following comments made by Dr Fish :

The approach we take with audits is flavoured with the Learning Together methodology. So that Learning Together method is SCIE’s model for initially conducting incident reviews …….

Dr Fish continued :  (more…)

1006, 2019

The Disclosure and Barring Service isn’t working reliably. How are unmade ‘mandatory’ referrals to the DBS discovered?

June 10th, 2019|

The Disclosure and Barring Service  (“DBS”) is often mistakenly oversold as a functioning barrier that reliably stops perpetrators working with children and vulnerable adults. It is almost certain the DBS does not see itself in this way. When it is made to work effectively it needs to be part of a functioning safeguarding framework that has to include Mandatory Reporting of known or suspected abuse by Regulated Activities in England and Wales. Scotland would also benefit from MR – Northern Ireland has had a form of mandatory reporting since 2005.

The DBS was formed in 2012 by merging the functions of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The DBS started operating on 1 December 2012 from offices in Liverpool and Royal Wootton Bassett. Its equivalent agencies are Disclosure Scotland in Scotland and Access Northern Ireland.  (more…)