Vulnerable Teens And Infants Need More Protection

Vulnerable Teens And Infants Need More Protection

Following on from the report that a fundamental review is needed into child protection, a further report released by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel highlights that more needs to be done to protect teenagers and infants from abuse and neglect.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel was established in July 2018, and has an independent panel of experts who review safeguarding incidents surrounding children who have died or suffered serious harm, and see what steps can be made to improve the system.

Since its inception, the Panel has received over 500 serious safeguarding notifications. Sadly, almost half of these (230) involved children who had tragically died.

The annual report produced by the panel covers the spectrum of children, ranging from babies to teenagers, highlighting the harm that can befall them at any one time.

In the context of abuse and neglect, the report showed that teenagers and infants appear more at risk of serious harm. 30% of those at risk are babies under the age of one.

Abusers can come from both inside and outside of the home. In the case of babies, their abusers and ultimately their ‘murderers’ are their parents or parent’s partners. With teenagers, it can seem slightly more complex, as outside influencers such as criminal gangs, can be attributed to their risk of harm.

As most of these children in the cases, the Panel looked at were deemed vulnerable. The Panel is asking government departments to align current and enhanced investment strategies for vulnerable children across health, education, policing and social care. Enabling people who safeguard vulnerable children to work together more closely, and prevent those with the power to make the right decisions.

Karen Manners, on behalf of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, said:

“Our panel reviews the most serious incidents of child abuse and neglect so we can learn how to improve the safeguarding system.

“Our first annual report shows that babies and teenagers are most at risk of serious harm. And, while most safeguarding partners are successfully promoting children’s welfare, it’s hard for them to achieve the highest standards without support.

“Government must ensure investments to help vulnerable children are aligned, so everyone who works with children can provide the coordinated and consistent support every child deserves.”

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