To coincide with the #MRseminar at IICSA on 27/9/18, we are releasing our review of the published summary of consultation responses and Government action following the consultation titled ‘Reporting and Acting on Child Abuse and Neglect.’
The outcome of this mischievous and poorly designed consultation is a triumph of dogma over reality. Mandatory reporting of known and suspected abuse of children by specified regulated activities is an essential component of functioning safeguarding framework. The majority of the rest of the world knows it.
The proposed action to be taken by government has ignored under-reporting of known and suspected abuse by Regulated Activities (such as schools), the very point of Amendment 43 tabled by Baroness Walmsley in the Serious Crimes Bill that secured the consultation, and instead concentrated on improvements to inter-agency services and communication once a referral has been received by the Local Authority. Our review explains why this will deliver little change, but that seems to be the intention.
According to the pre-launch media briefings, dinner ladies and secretaries were going to be jailed for failing to report signs of abuse. It’s nonsense of course, as anyone familiar with Amendment 43 will understand, but it provides an insight to the irrational fear Government has of mandatory reporting of known and suspected child abuse, and here’s why.
As we provided in our submission, data from mandatory reporting jurisdictions reveals that mandatory reporting legislation introduced to Regulated Settings sees the number of referrals to the statutory agencies from mandated reporters’ double. In turn this leads to a near doubling in the number of children being placed into safety who would otherwise be left to their fate.
The Government and those who reject the introduction of MR have to own and face up to the responsibility that they are knowingly leaving children to their uncertain fate who would otherwise be placed into safety with the introduction of mandatory reporting.