Mark Conrad 05 March 2018

Mandatory reporting calls rejected by Government

Mandatory reporting calls rejected by Government image

Ministers today rejected calls for the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse – claiming an effective case for a new law has not been made.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins issued the Government’s long-awaited response to a 2016 consultation, which sought views on the possible introduction of either a mandatory reporting duty or a duty to act.

But after a lengthy period of reflection, ministers have decided that there is not a strong enough case to support either proposal.

Ms Atkins said: ‘Given the consultation outcome and after careful consideration, we have concluded that the case for the introduction of a mandatory reporting duty or a duty to act has not been made, and would not, against the landscape of our current arrangements, deliver better protection for children.

'Therefore, neither of these proposals will be taken forward at this time.’

However, Ms Atkins added that ‘practitioners should make an immediate referral to local authority children’s social care if they believe that a child has suffered harm or is likely to do so, as set out in statutory guidance already’.

The Government came under pressure during the consultation from public sector organisations concerned that a legal duty to report suspected abuse would either be too costly to administer or could overwhelm already-strained local authority children’s services departments.

Vice president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, Stuart Gallimore, 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.' 

Chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, Cllr Richard Watts, said: ‘We are pleased that the Government has listened to the concerns of the LGA, local councils and our partners across the public sector.

‘We do not believe that mmandatory reporting would have addressed the current challenges in protecting children in the UK.

‘Evidence shows that referrals to the police and children’s social care are already higher than in comparable jurisdictions in other countries with mandatory reporting systems, and rates continue to increase significantly year-on-year.’

Supporting the most vulnerable in Herts image

Supporting the most vulnerable in Herts

Hertfordshire CC is investing £9.6m to support its most vulnerable residents in overcoming the repercussions of the pandemic. Scott Crudgington explains why the council is determined to remain ‘a county of opportunity’ for all.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

People Technology / HRIS Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £42174 per annum
The Opportunity The People Technology / HRIS Analyst will be responsible for supporting the ongoing management of people-based technology including England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Energy Engineer

Surrey County Council
£45,734 - £51,725 per annum
Do you have experience in working with delivering carbon reduction measures into a range of building projects? Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Wellbeing and Independence Practitioner - Safeguarding

Essex County Council
£27203 - £31370 per annum
Please note, this role is a Fixed Term Contract until the end of March 2022. With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service
c. £150,000
Are you ready for an exciting and rewarding opportunity Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Housing Development Manager

City of York Council
£36,476 to £41,830 per annum
Do you want to play a key part in the delivery of “the UK’s most ambitious council-led housing programme in a generation”? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue