Have your say: mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse
A government consultation on mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse is due to close next week. The consultation, which could make it a criminal offence for early years workers to fail to report cases, follows recommendations from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
The proposal to create ‘mandated reporters’ would cover those working in early years and childcare as a regulated activity. It would impose a duty to report any disclosure of child sexual abuse, witnessing of incidents and any observation of recognised indicators of abuse.
Following engagement with members and designated safeguarding leads from member nurseries, NDNA is responding on behalf of the sector.
The consultation focuses on several different areas related to the proposals.
- Whether the categories of mandated reporters are suitable and workable.
- Where the duty to report should lie between organisations and individuals
- Whether the duty should be limited to just sexual abuse and not other forms
- The impact of the proposals on reporting
- Defining reporting and disclosure of abuse
- Possible sanctions for failing to report
- What other reforms may be needed to support implementation of the duty
- Other concerns and suggestions.
To support providers in submitting their own views, keeping you informed and giving you a stronger voice, NDNA members can read notes on the consultation webinar here.
If you are completing your own response you may want to think about:
- The possible additional protections this could give to children
- How the existing reporting system is working
- The existing sanctions and regulatory actions for failure to report
- The guidance that providers and staff working in the sector may need
- The possible impact on existing staff and future recruitment and training.
The consultation also covers proposals to make it a criminal offence if a person covered by the duty does not report it. The consultation deadline is 23:45 on Monday 14 August and can be completed here.