BBC’s ‘Three Girls’ Re-Ignites Debate Over Mandatory Reporting Of Child Abuse

Researching Reform

The BBC’s recent programme portraying the lives of three girls who were sexually abused in Rochdale has highlighted the bravery of child welfare whistleblower Sara Rowbotham and others, but it has also reignited the debate over a legal duty to report child abuse.

An excellent Community Care article about the film, entitled “The Three Girls Drama Is A Reminder That Staying Silent Is Not An Option” urges social workers to ‘do the right thing’ and ensure that children who are abused are protected, but this call to arms also invites the profession to consider how they should go about doing this.

In May 2016 the government published a consultation asking for feedback on the creation of a legal duty to report child abuse. It aimed to gather as much information as possible on the pros and cons of mandatory reporting, which professional bodies and individuals should be included…

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