The BBC is reporting warnings that too many children in England are still “slipping though the net” and remain at risk of sexual abuse…
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner report found there had been “considerable” progress in some areas of tackling child exploitation.
But “at the front line much work is still needed,” said Deputy Commissioner Sue Berelowitz, who headed the inquiry.
A Home Office spokesman said it was “determined that appalling cases be exposed” but said “more must be done”.
The latest report follows an OCC inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, which was launched in October 2011 and published six reports, making 37 recommendations.
The OCC’s follow-up report – called “If it’s not better, it’s not the end” – raised concerns about the level of progress in some areas, along with the continued “under-identification” of victims.
It said it was “worrying” that the inquiry’s recommendation to make sex education a statutory part of the curriculum had not been adopted by the government.
The report also found “vastly different” reported rates of child sexual exploitation in different parts of England.
In nine local authorities – all with similar demographics and deprivation levels – the rates of known exploitation varied between one victim and 65 victims per 10,000 children.
Fewer than half of local Safeguarding Children Bards said agencies in their area had identified any victims at all…
Strategic objectives had not always filtered down to “frontline practice”, while information sharing between different agencies “remains a problem”, it added.
“There remain a number of recommendations which have not been implemented at all or where progress is unsatisfactory meaning children and young people remain at risk,” the report says.
The report comes after abuse scandals in areas including Rotherham, where it was reported that 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013…
In view of recent revelations, this conclusions seems to be somewhat stating the obvious, but what do you make of the specific issues identified – especially the apparent widespread differences in identification of victims?
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