Child database may lead to false claims

The government’s proposal to create a database containing basic
information about all children could lead to many parents being
faced with false allegations of child abuse, a leading data
protection solicitor has warned.

Speaking to Community Care, Stewart Room, head of data
protection at the law firm Rowe Cohen, said that the proposed
system to trigger off child protection inquiries was too sensitive.

The system involves professionals who have a concern about a child
putting a flag on their file, allowing concerns to be highlighted
without actually describing what they are. If a child has more than
one flag, professionals will contact each other to discuss their

“The trigger mechanism is so sensitive that two flags will cause
some type of investigation,” said Room.

He added that the database, which will cover all children, would be
“too big” and predicted there would be “massive inaccuracies” in
the information it contained.

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