Children’s social services have no capacity to use child protection measures to support young people at risk of gang involvement, Kids Company director Camila Batmanghelidjh told Community Care LIVE yesterday.
Batmanghelidjh, whose organisation works with highly vulnerable young people, made the comments in relation to calls from Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair for a “child protection approach” to support siblings of young people involved in gangs.
Speaking at the annual Question Time at CC LIVE, she said: “Social services are in no position to address it as a child protection issue. The scale is so huge. Child protection can’t cope with what it’s got at the moment.”
She said the problem of children getting involved in violence had worsened in recent years as a result of the damage many had endured due to neglect and abuse.
She added: “When I first started it was very difficult for a young person to get hold of a firearm. Now they can get hold of one for £50.”
Her comments were criticised by Peter Beresford, chair of service user group Shaping Our Lives, who warned against a moral panic around children.
But Batmanghelidjh countered that she was not blaming children, but adults for their lack of care.
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