Poor awareness of procedures attacked

Some child protection social workers have such poor awareness of
procedures that they believe they must have parental consent before
interviewing a child even if their alleged abuser is the mother or

Liz Davies, a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University,
said there were people working in the job who had no knowledge of
the basics, which was “frightening”.

Last year, she began teaching a two-week course at the university
jointly with the police because she was so worried about the lack
of knowledge among those in the field.

Some workers from overseas did not know what the Children Act 1989
was, and the majority had not completed the basic two-day
introduction to child protection course.

But Davies said some social services departments were only sending
staff on the second week of the course because of tight budgets and
staff shortages.

Some delegates – and particularly agency staff – were paying the
£400 fee themselves because their employer would not.

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