Guidance issued on forced marriages

Social workers should consider that issues associated with forced
marriage could lie behind truancy, self-harm and depression in some
cases, states new practice guidelines.

The Association of Directors of Social Services and four government
departments have drawn up the guidelines to help social workers
deal more effectively with victims of forced marriages.

The practice guidance states that 250 cases of forced marriage are
reported to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office every year, with
many more cases coming to the attention of police, social services,
health and education and others going unreported.

If an allegation of forced marriage or intended forced marriage is
made, a social worker should see the young person immediately in a
secure and private place, the guidance recommends.

Social workers should also consider the need for immediate
protection and placement away from the family.

ADSS president Andrew Cozens said: “Young people forced into
marriage become estranged from family and community and can be
trapped in a cycle of abuse. Social workers need to understand the

– Guidance from

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