On 25 March 2017, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (the ‘Inquiry’) published its Interim Report. The Report addressed emerging themes in the Inquiry’s investigations and recommendations to prevent Child Sex Abuse and protect victims and survivors.
The Inquiry is conducting 13 different investigations into Child Sex Abuse in England and Wales including Child Sex Abuse within the Anglican Church, Child Sex Abuse on the internet and Child Sex Abuse within Local Authority institutions.
Farleys is currently representing a Core Participant to the Inquiry into Nottinghamshire Councils. To read about recent developments in the Nottinghamshire Inquiry click here
In October 2015, the Inquiry announced 4 themes as part of the Inquiry’s internal review, conducted by Professor Alexis Jay.
There is a reluctance to discuss Child Sex Abuse openly. When it is discussed, societal thinking about Child Sex Abuse deflects responsibility away from the perpetrators and institutions by denying that the Child Sex Abuse occurred or the harm that it caused to the victims and survivors.
Professional and Political
Bodies such as the Government and Police fail to put into place the right values when approaching the topic of Child Sex Abuse. E.g. those in senior positions lack an adequate understanding of Child Sex Abuse.
Individuals working in a care capacity in children’s homes do not have to be part of a professional register. A lot of victims and survivors also struggle to access records relating to their childhood.
There is a lack of information on the amount of expenditure on support services for victims and survivors and the effect of the support services.
The Interim Report included 18 recommendations arising from the above emerging themes. The recommendations should be implemented by various public institutions and statutory bodies to improve the way in which we prevent and react to Child Sex Abuse.
The key recommendations are as follows:
Ensuring victims and survivors are able to provide best evidence in civil claims for compensation for Child Sex Abuse by introducing methods traditionally employed in the Criminal Justice System to protect vulnerable witnesses at trial e.g. allowing claimants to give evidence by live link or from behind a screen.
The Department of Health and Social Care develops a policy of training and using chaperones to attend healthcare appointments and treatments with children.
The government ratifies the Lanzarote Convention by June 2018. This would mean making it a legal obligation for the government to put into place preventative measures regarding Child Sex Abuse including screening, recruitment, training and awareness of risks of Child Sex Abuse.
The Department of Education should introduce a register of staff working in care roles in children’s homes. Those registered should be subject to training, continuing professional development and fitness to practice procedures.
The Home Office amends the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 to enable the independent body responsible to alert the Disclosure and Barring Service if a person has had a Fitness to Practice Hearing resulting in the removal of their name from the register.
There should be a collaborative effort between the Department for Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department for Education to establish current levels of public expenditure of support services for victims and survivors and the effectiveness of the services.
It remains to be seen whether the recommendations will be implemented. The Inquiry may provide further or alternative recommendations following the conclusion of all 13 Investigations.
If you would like to speak in confidence with one of Farleys abuse claim specialists, please contact us on 0330 134 6430 or if you would prefer to email you can do so here.