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Mandatory reporting of abuse backed by Labour

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”.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tim Haines says:

    A truly awful idea that can only result in even more groundless accusations than there are at the moment, more intrusive investigations into innocent families and more children wrongfully taken into care on the strength of “suspected” abuse that never happened. A great way of drumming up business for the “Child Protection” industry, though!

  2. Dr Grumpy says:

    But what is the point if no one can recognise emotional abuse or parent alienation syndrome? Psychological harm is far more difficult to treat if it continues into teenage years.

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