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Child Abuse and Neglect

Volume 613: debated on Thursday 21 July 2016

The Minister for Children and Families (Edward Timpson) and I have today launched a public consultation which considers whether statutory measures focused on reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect should be introduced in addition to our wide-ranging reforms.

Social workers, teachers, police officers, doctors and countless others across the country work together every day to protect our children, making difficult judgements under challenging circumstances. The Government are undertaking a comprehensive programme of reform to deliver better outcomes for children in the children’s social care system. We are improving the quality of front-line practice so that professionals such as police and social workers can respond effectively to the needs of individual children—and we are legislating through the Children and Social Work Bill to strengthen multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children following a review by Alan Wood CBE. We continue to consider what more can be done to protect children from abuse and neglect and the launch of this consultation exercise fulfils the commitments made during the passage of the last year’s Serious Crime Act and in the “Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation” report published in March 2015.

The consultation will run for the statutory maximum of 12 weeks and ends on 13 October 2016. We are seeking responses from anyone with a view on these important issues, from children and families to practitioners, academics and voluntary sector partners.

Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Library of the House and are available on the Government’s website at: