19 Nov 2014

Responding to Ofsted report The sexual exploitation of children: It couldn't happen here, could it?, Lily Caprani, Director of Strategy and Policy at The Children’s Society, said:

'Ofsted’s findings are alarming. There is no excuse that, in the wake of Rotherham, the authorities are still failing to take the action needed to keep children safe.

'It is unacceptable that anybody involved in protecting children’s welfare — councils, local safeguarding children’s boards, police, social services or other professionals — is still failing to do everything possible to protect vulnerable children from abuse.

'It is critical that everyone involved in child protection works together effectively to make sure children are safe from the perpetrators of these brutal crimes. As the report shows, the government needs to collect data nationally to expose the true scale of abuse and the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions. It is also vital that councils improve how they identify children at risk, including recognising the link between a child going missing and being abused. 

'Tackling child abuse must be a top priority at every level. Ofsted must make sure it is tough enough in how it directs local councils to do their job in protecting children. Children must to be listened to, given the support they need to recover and be directly involved in how to fight this horrific crime.'

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.