Safeguarding: Mandatory child sexual abuse reporting sparks threshold concerns

A new legal requirement to report child sexual abuse has sparked concerns about raised thresholds for intervention if children’s social services struggle to cope with increased safeguarding referrals.
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The Home Office has stated its intention to implement a legal requirement for “anyone in regulated activity relating to children in England, including teachers or healthcare professionals, to report it if they know a child is being sexually abused”.

The new measures are to be introduced as amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament.

The new mandatory reporting rules could see anyone failing to report being barred from working with children and young people.

The proposed new rules also state that anyone who actively protects child sexual abusers – by intentionally blocking others from reporting or covering up a crime – could go to prison for seven years.

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