News that the Government has finally fulfilled its promise and launched a consultation into mandatory reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect is clearly a welcome move.
By Peter Garsden
This is already the law in most civilised countries around the world, including Ireland, but not yet in England and Wales. But why should we sit back and wait for the law to change when steps could be taken right now to help identify people who abuse those most precious to us?
Although a legal obligation for early years’ practitioners and support staff in nurseries to report any suspicions of child abuse, where a failure to do so triggers a possible criminal prosecution may seem harsh, it could help ensure that these crimes are no longer allowed to be swept under the carpet. Early years’ workers should by no means take it personally; what the law aims to achieve has immense significance, and far from seeks to criminalise professionals.