Calls for more children to be taken into care following review of failing system that doesn't 'recognise the signs of neglect and abuse'

 

The child protection system is failing to meet the needs of older children and must be reviewed urgently, an all-party committee of MPs has warned.

Fourteen to eighteen-year-olds are being put at risk because social workers and other professionals fail to recognise the signs of neglect and abuse in teenagers, the report by the Education Select Committee concluded.

The report calls for urgent changes to ensure that all children are treated as children until the age of 18 and that their interests are put first.

Graham Stuart MP, chair of the committee, said, “Our report is the culmination of a year-long inquiry. The recent revelations concerning the BBC and other institutions underline how important it is to get child protection right. 

“Care for older children is not good enough. They are let down too often, frequently ignored or not listened to, can be pushed out of care too young and insufficiently prepared and supported. This has to change.”

The Committee found evidence that children are left too long in harmful situations. It called for better training for all front-line professionals in child development and the long-term consequences of neglect to encourage them to intervene earlier.

It also recommended that more must be done to raise awareness among children of the nature of abuse and to encourage young people to report abuse themselves.

They warned that child protection services could be damaged by local authority cuts and called on the Government to monitor the impact of the economic situation on child-safeguarding.

Graham Stuart said, “Whatever your view on the cuts it is essential that the children in our society most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation are not the ones to pay the price. These children must be first and foremost in the minds of councillors and ministers so that the welcome improvements we have seen over recent years are maintained and built upon.”

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society said: “This is a very welcome and important report, which highlights that far too often children are treated as the problem and denied the protection they desperately need and deserve. 

 ”It is crucial children’s needs come first at all times — regardless of how old they are, where they come from or what circumstances they face.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Recruitment Genius: Fertility Nurse

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join the ho...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash