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Comment: Criminal Justice Bill - mandatory reporting

John Pearce, ADCS President, said:

“Whilst ADCS remains concerned about the risks of introducing a mandatory reporting duty of child sexual abuse, we recognise this is now government policy. ADCS members would welcome further discussion with the Home Office, Department for Education and Ministry of Justice on implementation of the duty, given the dangers of rushing the design which are summarised in the Association’s response to the latest government consultation on mandatory reporting. A rushed, poorly scoped and under resourced policy could adversely affect the very children it seeks to protect if services become overwhelmed and support is not available for children when they need. Similarly, it may impact on workforce recruitment and retention, which is extremely challenging across a number of key professions, destabilising vital public services that children and young people rely on. While the duty is focused on reporting of abuses, more attention must be given to stopping abuses taking place at all with wider efforts to address entrenched societal attitudes and norms.”


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