Beverly Hughes admitted today that the government “may not have the full picture” on how effectively children are protected in “some new immigrant communities”.
Speaking at a Community Care conference ‘Working with Faith Communities to Protect Children’ in London, the children’s minister said known cases of abuse connected to witchcraft, possession and other spiritual and religious beliefs, are small in total.
However the government “must fully understand the extent of the problem” and “needs the support of all communities in which abuse may be occurring”, she said.
The minister told delegates that a new initiative by eight London boroughs with significant black and minority ethnic communities will begin in May click here for more
The Department for Education and Skills/Home Office-funded project aims to encourage collaboration between faith groups and statutory agencies and use their influence to stop abuse.
DfES practice guidlines on safeguarding children in new immigrant communities will be published later this year.
Hughes concluded that child abuse is never acceptable and there can be no cultural excuses for it.