ADCS response to the JTAI thematic report on child sexual abuse...

Rachel Dickinson, ADCS President, said:

“Tackling child abuse in all its forms is a priority for all local authorities but as the report states, sexual abuse in the family environment is “a very complex area”. A multiagency response is needed to both uncover and address this abuse and close working with schools, probation, health partners and the police is key. Children do not always feel able to tell someone they are being abused so we need to be aware of the signs and symptoms and how to respond effectively.

“The report notes that this topic remains taboo in families, in communities and amongst frontline professionals working with children and families. We all have a role to play in identifying, preventing and tackling child sexual abuse. The report highlights good practice in the areas that were inspected, however, it’s clear that much more needs to be done by all safeguarding partners to ensure we identify, protect and support children being abused within the family. Any potential national strategy should give specific consideration to boys, disabled children and children from certain ethnic backgrounds who can face additional barriers to disclosure.

“Our ultimate goal must be to prevent child abuse from taking place in the first place. It’s clear from the report that more data and research is needed to better understand the scale and prevalence of child sexual abuse within the family environment as is research on potential perpetrators. Better information sharing between agencies including with health, probation and school nursing staff, who often hold key information and insights, can only be a good thing for children and families. Awareness of child sexual exploitation has developed immeasurably over the past several years, in part because it has been talked about so much. There are future opportunities for a specific focus on child sexual abuse in the family environment through the training of social workers and increasing awareness amongst pupils via Relationships and Sex Education in schools. Beyond all this, we need to urgently tackle the social, cultural and moral issues at the root of this abuse so that all children can lead safe and happy childhoods.”

ENDS


Tags assigned to this article:
SAFEGUARDING 157 CHILD PROTECTION 24 CSE 20

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