We need a whole picture, multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment
We welcome today’s report from Ofsted, HMICFRS, Care Quality Commission and HMI Probation, which looks into the response to child sexual abuse in the family environment and presents a clear call for improved multi-agency working.
The report finds inconsistencies in information sharing, not enough involvement from health agencies, and too much focus on the criminal investigation at the expense of support for the child.
Childhood sexual abuse has a devastating impact. It is unacceptable to continue operating in silos which put vulnerable children and families at further risk. We are pleased the report recognises an urgent need to focus on preventing abuse in the first place and identifying those who might harm at the earliest opportunity. We welcome the recommendation for better support and training for those on the frontline – to spot the signs and ensure children and whole families get the support they need as soon as possible.
Only through looking at the whole picture for the whole family, understanding abuse in the context of the family members and how their vulnerabilities interconnect, can we protect vulnerable children and prevent the cycle of harm from continuing.