Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s – ‘Duty of Care in Sport’ report is published today.
A key paragraph is on p.20 under in ‘Theme 5’- safeguarding.
It should be recognised that organisations that work with children and vulnerable adults can attract individuals who will seek to exploit and abuse them – there is a need for continual vigilance. The government should therefore consider extending a Duty to Report to all sports organisations. This would mean that if a person knows, or has suspicion of, any abuse taking place, they must report it to the relevant body for action to be taken.
Mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse are essential for kids and society: Professor Ben Mathews
Professor Ben Mathews is a researcher in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He has led some of the largest studies ever undertaken into mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse.
In the UK, 18% of girls and 5% of boys experience contact sexual abuse (one in eight children), and the figures are even higher for all kinds of sexual abuse. The mean age of onset is 9-10. Most children unlucky enough to suffer sexual abuse are unable to tell anyone, because they are terrified of the abuser’s power, have been threatened, feel ashamed, depend on the abuser, or are too young to understand it. (more…)
On Wednesday 1st March Ian Herbert, Chief Sports Writer for the Independent, under the banner ‘Football is not rife with child abusers, so it is time for the Offside Trust to explain what they are for,’ writes a eulogy to the FA’s current child protection framework. Is it right to do so? We examine his claims and the foundations on which they are grounded.
The piece informs us: (more…)
The report was released by West Berkshire Safeguarding Children’s Board at noon today.
A copy of the review is here: Kennet School Serious Case Review
This is the Mandate Now review of this opaque production.
The SCR doesn’t actually describe what failings have occurred and whether as a result the abuse could have been prevented or could have been halted earlier than it was. (more…)
- The NSPCC suggestions for changes to the DBS system will only protect children from abusers who are already known.
- The shortcomings arising from the DBS being relaxed in 2012, which can permit ‘barred’ people to work with children periodically if they are supervised, was debated in the House of Lords during the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Act in November 2011 by two peers with distinguished sporting backgrounds. Why only now has the NSPCC alighted on this issue? Should it not have been raising this point and objecting to the legislation when it was going through Parliament?
- The NSPCC proposal to extend duty of care to 16 and 17 year olds, which already exists in education, is a sound principle. It will though have a limited effect in practice because data [Characteristics Children in Need 2014-15 Table A3 – https://goo.gl/TDiFgq ] indicates the proportion of children suffering abuse or neglect (both sexes) in this age group is 14% while in the younger group, which is already included within the scheme in ‘statutory guidance’ it is 86%. (Statutory guidance is discretionary)
On the same day as the debate in the House of Lords, Mandate Now issued a press release under the headline ‘Confused Football Association safeguarding policy fails children‘ in which we reviewed the current child protection policy operating at the grassroots of football. Disturbingly the policy was endorsed by the Child Protection Sport Unit of the NSPCC despite it mistakenly claiming law exists to report abuse. A summary of the errors in the policy are available here.
Well meaning employees working in Regulated Activities who have responsibility for children in their care are being failed by a dysfunctional child protection framework, the legal foundation of which has always lacked law to report. It is still discretionary for an employee of a Regulated Activity to report suspected or known child abuse. In the event someone decides to report, they have the dilute Public Interest Disclosure Act to provide nominal protection. (more…)