Debate over child protection register

Delegates and social care leaders clashed over the government’s plans to scrap the child protection register at the conference.

In a “Test the Nation” session at the event, in which delegates were asked to vote on questions about the sector, 80 per cent said they opposed plans to abolish the register.

However, Andrew Webb, co-chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services children and families committee, and Elaine McHale, corporate director for family services at Wakefield Council, said they supported the move.

Webb cited research showing the register could be counter-produc tive, with professionals deciding that children who were not on the register were safe and that those who were on it were being dealt with by somebody else.

Webb added that in many councils the register no longer existed, with flags being put on children’s electronic records instead.

McHale described the register as a “security blanket for professionals to think that the child is in some way protected by a list that doesn’t exist”.

Almost half of delegates also voted that children who were not on the register did not receive adequate services. Webb said councils should be concerned by the result: “We have got to change the culture that you have got to have a child protection label to get a resource.”


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