The Labour Party has backed the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse.
In July the government launched an consultation into the possibility of making such reporting a legal requirement for professionals who work directly with children, such as doctors, police officers and social workers. The consultation also proposed an alternative legal ‘duty to act’ on such suspicions.
Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson and Shadow Children’s Minister Emma Lewell-Buck have now called for the introduction of both duties. In a statement issued to Children & Young People Now, they said:
“One identifies the need and the other drives an active response. We need both. We cannot wait until children are abused to act. The first action is to report but it cannot be the last.”
However Labour has also stressed the need for those who would be included in the requirement to receive proper training in order to minimise the risk of “ill-prepared anxious reporting” which they say could “damage families and undermine public confidence in professionals”.