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Slater And Gordon Respond to Government Mandatory Reporting Consultation

By Associate, Personal Injury

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have responded to the government’s consultation on mandatory reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect.

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Our specialist team of abuse lawyers have campaigned for the introduction of mandatory reporting of abuse cases since 2013 in the wake of Jimmy Savile’s horrific crimes.

We currently represent many survivors of abuse, many of whom were abused at institutions such as schools, hospitals and religious organisations.

The government consultation was launched in July, 2016, outlining options for reform of the child protection system in England in relation to reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect. The consultation includes consideration of the introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect or an alternative duty to act.

We are in strong agreement that the introduction of mandatory reporting would directly improve outcomes for children.

In February 2014, we surveyed 1,500 people asking them if they supported a change in the law to introduce mandatory reporting. In total 96 per cent of those questioned supported the change. Since then we have actively campaigned for the introduction of mandatory reporting. 

Our response to the government consultation is submitted in light of cases we have worked on, in which a legal obligation of mandatory reporting would have led to earlier detection that would have spared many of our clients the traumatic abuse that they endured.

It is our belief that, though this may initially lead to an early increase in reporting, the benefits to victims of abuse will outweigh any potential disadvantages.

We are in strong agreement that the introduction of mandatory reporting would directly improve outcomes for children. This duty to act would bring about a cultural change in the way that many organisations operate by welcoming clearer guidelines as to where duties lie and ensuring whistleblowing concerns are removed.  It will also ensure that any suspicions are reported and investigated properly. 

Our response to the consultation can be downloaded here.

 

Jessica Standley is an Associate at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London, specialising in child abuse claims.

To speak with an expert child abuse lawyer, you can call us for a free and completely confidential consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 916 9046. Alternatively, contact us online and let you know where and when you would like us to call you.