Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Mandatory Reporting NOW

I have just read Lawyer, Peter Garsden's article in the current edition of Nursery World entitled:

The Time for a Child Abuse Helpline is Now (8-21st August 2016, page 12)


This article is pertinent, extremely important and timely. 

Much more could be done right now to stop children being abused.

Peter says: "Why should we sit back and wait for  the law to change when steps could be taken right now to help identify people who abuse those most precious to us?"

Currently there is no law in England for nursery practitioners to report suspected or actual abuse but there is in Ireland and many other countries around the world, namely Australia and many States in the USA who already operate a dedicated child abuse helpline.

See Mandate Now  http://mandatenow.org.uk/

Twitter: @mandatenow

Many of us dedicated campaigners have been rattling on about this for decades, I even tried to include it in my article in Nursery World on "Grooming of Children" a while back but was advised by the journalist that nursery practitioners et al had a "duty of care" to report abuse as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is statutory guidance. I have to point out that yes, it is statutory but currently there is no law or legal obligation for any practitioner to report abuse of any kind that would trigger a criminal prosecution (thankfully, just as my dear colleague, Perter Garsden points out very clearly in his article.)


On 21st July 2016 the Government launched a consultation into Mandatory Reporting, find the consultation here:


Please go to the consultation and complete with your honest views and thoughts in respect of keeping all future children entirely safe (to the best of our abilities) from all forms of abuse.

Peter also advises in his article that: "Unfortunately, there is also no reason to think that paedophile rings operating in institutional settings are merely a thing of the past. Career paedophiles are organised and persistent and their actions do not happen in isolation."

Paedophiles cross every walk of life; they are not the man in the dirty mac behind the shed. They are usually charming and likeable, often known to the victim and close to the family and extended family. That is how they get away with their crimes and this is how they "groom" the victim and all those around the victim.

Familial abuse is prevalent and leads to children being taken away from families and put into institutions where they are often abused all over again. Paedophilia and paedophile rings are organised crime and lead to trafficking of children and exploitation.

Read my blog posts on: Grooming, Coercion, Gaslighting and Consent


Books that will educate you:

Exploited by Emma Jackson
Violated by Sarah Wilson of Rotherham Serious Case Review
Girl for Sale by Lara McDonnell
You Can’t have My Daughter by Elizabeth McDonnell
I Never Gave my Consent by Holly Archer

Watch my talk here: https://vimeo.com/176197138

N.B. Peter Garsden is a partner at Simpson Miller Solicitors and 
President of The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers



  1. I can tell this is a highly emotionally charged and complex area among Survivors. The devil is, as ever, in the detail. Unfortunately as far as I can tell, the consultation is limited because it only concerns mandatory reporting of abuse by colleagues of children directly under their care. It does not require mandatory reporting of suspected abuse in, say, the child's family. Another issue is unpacking the very mixed impact of the mandatory reporting in other countries; also discussion is required around what I'd call the "continuum of genuine concern". Not sure how we'll reach a conclusion on that one. "Finally" (!) an unintended consequence could be that staff simply continue to look the other way and minimise any concerns they have for fear of getting tied up in legal knots. I guess there would also need to be protection in the form of severe punishment for "frivolous" claims too ....

  2. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Mandatory Reporting (if there was a law passed) would hopefully be for all regulated activities to have a legal obligation to report known or suspected abuse or the individual and/or organisation could face criminal charges. I hope you have read all the links and also looked at Mandate Now's website which will give you the full information and answers to your questions in detail. To answer your "final" tought, staff could still "look the other way BUT if it was found that a child had been abused down the line and individuals or the organisation had known or suspected they could still face criminal charges. An example, for instance is in the Daniel Pelka Serious Case Review, where staff knew he was eating from the bins and was always hungry? Mandatory Reporting is also asking for Whistle Blowers to be protected in order that it is safe for them to come forward. Staff are often threatened to "keep their mouths shut" by senior management. Senior management/owners often are afraid of their reputation being damaged by a child abuse case. Currently, Whistle Blowers are not protected in law. I know, as I have blown the whistle twice and lost my job twice.