Rich families are using “privilege” to disrupt or avoid child abuse investigations, a report has found. Goldsmith’s University found wealthy households were effectively “opting out” of the child protection system. The BBC reports.
The study received an overwhelming response from social workers who were frustrated by the way they were treated, she said.
All respondents found richer families had a “sense of privilege”, subjecting social workers to a level of scrutiny that poorer families did not.
Social workers had uncovered cases of sexual exploitation and emotional abuse, but found children’s services were biased towards poorer families.
Professor Claudia Bernard, who led the study, said neglect cases in affluent areas often went “under the radar”.
Social workers serving 12 local authorities around the UK were interviewed for the study. In one case parents of a young girl disclosing sexual abuse complained to the council about the investigation.
Social workers were then rebuffed by school nurses who said there was no way the child’s “great mum” would ignore such abuse.
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