Home > Legal Opinions tagged child protection

  • working together – falling apart?

    Richard Freeth

    A report by the NSPCC has highlighted the current deficiencies in the safeguarding system which means that around 1 in 9 children are receiving appropriate support and that social service departments are only reacting to emergency situations rather than undertaking early preventative work to avoid the escalation of problems. Whilst funding is an ongoing issue, […]

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  • FGM taboo to end?

    Laura Richards

    As news from the last few weeks has shown FGM is not an issue confined to the developing world, it is a real child protection risk in the UK. According to a report in The Times the MoJ has said it will consult on the idea of a new court order to protect those at […]

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  • do allegations figures raise fair child protection concerns?

    Katie Michelon

    A Freedom of Information request made to local authorities in the UK has revealed that nearly 1,000 school staff have been accused of having a sexual relationship with a pupil. Local authorities provided figures to show where staff had been suspended, disciplined or dismissed following an allegation by a pupil. It’s concerning that these numbers […]

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  • private schools feel the Savile effect

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    I have been dealing with claims arising out of institutional child abuse for over 15 years. Most of the claims my team has seen have been by claimants from deprived backgrounds complaining of abuse in children homes. Their claims for loss of earnings (the highest value of most serious claims) are limited, because most come […]

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  • new FGM inquiry highlights key safeguarding issue for schools

    Katie Michelon

    An inquiry launched to examine the lack of prosecutions for female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK is expected to review the legal framework and consider how agencies, including the police , health and education sectors, share information regarding FGM cases. With an estimated 24,000 girls identified as at risk, FGM is an important safeguarding […]

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  • secondary schools are neglecting child protection

    Emma King

    The Children’s Commissioner reports child protection is a “neglected area of practice” for many secondary schools, with staff often feeling unable to adequately deal with child protection issues. ‘Feeling Safe, Keeping Safe’ highlighted that schools with a “bottom to top” approach continually have good track records on child protection. Training all staff, including catering staff and […]

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  • Child neglect needs to be taken more seriously

    Kate Bear

    The NSPCC has warned child neglect is not being taken seriously enough by local authorities. A University of East Anglia report analysed 645 “serious case reviews” and found that of the children who died or were seriously injured, more had been placed on the child protection register for neglect than for physical and sexual abuse […]

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  • ‘Alarming new trend’ of online sex abuse

    Hayley Roberts

    The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre have reported a growth in the sexual abuse of children online. Only 7% of the 1,145 online abuse cases reported to CEOP involved attempts to meet a child; a five percent drop since 2011. Instead the new trend is to contact, groom and abuse solely online. Children can […]

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  • Child Protection-The Front Line

    Laura Richards

    A recent report looking at child protection in primary schools sets out a clear message that although many schools are well versed in child protection, the rapid changes to the rules on child protection have led to uncertainty among professionals. The report and the accompanying practical tips have come at a time when the government […]

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  • Does allowing a child to become morbidly obese constitute abuse?

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    A case where a 19 year old girl was pulled from her house by fire fighters because she weighed more than 50 stone has caused debates surrounding whether obesity should constitute “abuse” for child protection purposes. It has been argued that allowing a child to become morbidly obese is analogous to under-feeding in terms of […]

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  • Government plans to end ‘export trade’ of children

    Kate Bear

    Nearly half of all children in care homes (46%) are in ‘out of borough placements’, placing them at greater risk of running away and also falling prey to sexual exploitation. Government plans published today aim to make out of borough placements more difficult in an attempt to combat the exploitation of children by gangs. In […]

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  • Half of social workers feel ‘powerless’ to stop child neglect

    Kate Bear

    Research by Action for Children shows half of social workers ‘feel powerless’ to stop children being neglected due to high thresholds and inadequate resources. 80% of social workers warned that cuts will make it more difficult to intervene in neglect cases. It is obviously difficult to make meaningful cuts in expenditure without decreasing the quality […]

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  • Child exploitation by gangs – the Government’s response

    Kate Bear

    Later today the Government is expected to publish its Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan. The Government’s aim is to bring together the police, CPS, local safeguarding children boards, agencies, independent bodies and the voluntary sector in order to tackle this problem. Emphasis is to be put on protecting children in care who are four times […]

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  • Social Workers might Owe a Duty of Care to Children Not yet Born

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    A judge has ruled that four siblings receive damages after Buckinghamshire County Council’s Social Workers failed to protect them from very serious sexual abuse by their father. The highest award was £155,487; the lowest £12,000. What makes this case unusual is the large discrepancy between the lowest damages award, and the highest award. More significant […]

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  • More Children in Care Equals Higher Risk of Claims

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement (29 September 2011) that only 60 babies were adopted last year, comes the news that the number of children in care in England has increased to 65,520. Monitoring these placements is not easy, it involves social workers working with multidisciplinary teams and families to try and work out […]

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  • Damages for Lost Opportunity to be Adopted? – Maybe not after all

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    DofE statistics show that around 4000 babies under the age of one were adopted in 1976 but this fell to 150 in 2007 and was down to just 60 in 2010. This is partly cultural, partly because the process takes over a year and partly because good practice requires social workers to try and keep […]

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  • Have your say on local authority children’s services

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Today sees the launch of a consultation on changes to the inspection of local authority children’s services. Ofsted’s announcement flags the “No Notice” element of the scheme and reports that it is proposed inspection will include direct observation of services in action, including interactions with children and families. Inspection will also consider whether the quality […]

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  • Child protection – everybody’s responsibility? – your chance...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    In his report following the death of Victoria Climbie, Lord Laming speculated that medical staff felt uncomfortable investigating evidence of deliberate harm to children. He found that when the possibility of non-accidental injury was raised by one doctor, it was often not picked up by others because of poor handover of responsibility. It was clear […]

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  • Police national database launched

    Dai Durbridge

    The National Policing Improvement Agency has launched a national database which will allow law enforcement agencies to share locally held information nationally. It was recommended by Lord Bichard as part of his 2004 enquiry into the Soham murders by Ian Huntley and its creation represents a further step forward for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. […]

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  • The Climbie problem all over again?

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Over eight years ago I acted on behalf of one of the local authorities involved in the tragic death of Victoria Climbie. A public enquiry followed, and Lord Laming identified 12 key occasions when the relevant services had opportunity to intervene in Victoria’s life. He went on to say that “… There was plenty of […]

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