The Home Office has finally revealed its thinking in this low-profile month long consultation from the 4th November until 30th November 2023.
The consultation makes proposals that, even according to the Home Office’s own impact statement, will deliver no improvement to safeguarding and importantly for the Government it seems, no discernible increase in referrals to the statutory agencies. The Home Office claims its proposal is “mandatory reporting” when in fact it is nothing of the sort. The claim eases the Government’s ability to sell it to a subject naïve public and assert it has fulfilled one of the key recommendations of the IICSA public inquiry.
Here is an extract from our submission:
As a consequence, it appears that government is prepared to leave abused children to their fate rather than take action that would lead to more crimes of child sexual abuse coming to the attention of the authorities.
This Home Office approach to safeguarding children is strikingly similar to this recent allegation made in the Covid inquiry:
IICSA’s final report first anniversary – the government is looking on and doing little
October 20th, 2023, brings the first anniversary of the publication of IICSA’s final report. The publication date coincided with the resignation of Liz Truss. As a result, it was largely wiped from media reporting on the day.
To mark this first anniversary, we have undertaken a review the Government’s progress on the recommendations in the last twelve months. (more…)
That is the essence of today’s statement by Home Secretary Suella Braverman giving the Government’s response to the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse. The report was seven years in the making. On the day it was published, the then Home Secretary Grant Shapps promised that “the government will respond in full to the inquiry’s report within six months”. The government missed that deadline by just over a month, and Shapps’ predecessor and successor Suella Braverman perhaps didn’t feel all that inclined to honour a promise made by someone who was Home Secretary for six whole days. (more…)
Occam’s razor leads us to reach this conclusion. For example, the questionnaire in the 2016 consultation “Reporting and Acting on Child Abuse and Neglect”, together with its accompanying commentary revealed the government’s mindset. Here is how on the last day of parliament, the Home Office media department used the press to strike fear into anyone working in institutions with responsibility for children.
Nick Ferrari, the LBC breakfast presenter, excitedly told his audience “a school secretary could be jailed for not reporting suspected abuse.” (more…)
In the USA two pressure groups are seeking to get their respective State Governments, Pennsylvania and New York City, to scrap their poorly designed versions of mandatory reporting of ‘child abuse’.
We sympathise, with the significant exception of Mandatory Reporting of known and suspected child sexual abuse, on reasonable grounds. Mandatory reporting for CSA has not been revoked in any jurisdiction in the world, indeed many jurisdictions have strengthened and extended the law to more professionals, Switzerland being just one; Western Australia is another even more recent example. Data and empirical evidence demonstrate MR of child sexual abuse by prescribed professionals is a vital component of functioning safeguarding for institutional settings (known in the UK as ‘Regulated Activities’). These key personnel also have a vitally important ‘sentinel’ role of safeguarding children who may be abused in the family or elsewhere.
Here are two articles featuring the campaigns of both US jurisdictions. (more…)