Patchy progress towards protecting children

Protection from abuse for children living away from home has
improved over the past ten years. But help for children who have
been sexually abused has not improved, and sexual abusers are no
more likely to be brought to justice now than then, says a new
research study.

The review of progress since the publication of the Utting
report People Like Us, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation,
found that though legislation and guidance have been strengthened,
there is a gap between policy and practice.

The report warns against relying too heavily on police checks
when recruiting people to work with children, and endorses the
Bichard (Soham) Inquiry’s call for better use of so called
soft information about potential abusers.

There has been no improvement in conviction rates for those who
sexually abuse children, says the report, and this is undermining
efforts to prevent potential abusers from working with

Some groups of children, including disabled children, children
in mental health settings and children in custody, are still very
vulnerable, warns the report.

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