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Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect consultation

Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect consultation

Commenting on the government’s response to the consultation on reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect, Stuart Gallimore, ADCS Vice President, said:

“We think it’s sensible that the government has decided against introducing a mandatory reporting duty, or a duty to act, for professionals following a public consultation. The government has acknowledged that there is no evidence that such reporting systems will provide greater protection for children nor improve their outcomes. Instead they risk overwhelming the systems already in place to protect children. Many professionals already face serious sanctions if they knowingly fail to pass on information about suspected abuse, we believe the most common reason people do not report abuse and neglect is because they simply don’t recognise it for what it is. We need to ensure all professionals, and local communities, are aware of the signs of child abuse in all its forms, the need for vigilance and how best to raise concerns with the appropriate agency.

“The introduction of a similar duty in some Australian states led to a huge jump in contacts, the majority of which were unsubstantiated. If such a new statutory measure was introduced it would need to be fully funded by government as a new burden, we would argue any available resources would be better invested in early help and preventative services aimed at stopping harm from occurring in the first place or preventing concerns from escalating further.”


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