Uncertainty among professionals over where to report abuse concerns

Teachers, doctors and childminders appear unclear about where to refer concerns that children are being exposed to domestic violence, a survey today revealed.

Research by polling firm YouGov found over 60 per cent of those surveyed had experienced concerns that a child may have been exposed to domestic violence, and the vast majority of these were reported.

But referrals were handled very differently across the groups. For instance, while 59 per cent of doctors referred concerns to social services, just 13 per cent of secondary school teachers did so, with 79 per cent of this group referring the concern to other teachers.

The research also found that just over a quarter of those surveyed were aware of the government’s information sharing index, and 79 percent of doctors had no knowledge of the programme.

The IS index, which is being introduced as part of Every Child Matters, will contain basic details of every child in the country and enable children’s professionals to flag up concerns that other practitioners can act upon.


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