5 Sep 2014

In response to the announcement of a new chair for independent inquiry into child abuse, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'Today’s announcement that Fiona Woolf is going to head the inquiry into child abuse and that Professor Alexis Jay will be involved are important steps forward. In the light of Rotherham, the inquiry is more urgent than ever and its start must not be delayed further.

'It is vital that this independent inquiry tackles the systematic failures that have left some of the most vulnerable children in this country open to abuse. It must also make sure that all offenders and those who covered up their crimes are held to account. The inquiry’s momentum must be maintained, but at the same time it must be thorough and comprehensive. 

'This is a critical opportunity to eliminate the obstacles that have denied these children justice in the past and to stop this horrific crime from happening again. To make this a reality, changes must be made to make sure all services on the frontline detect and disrupt abuse early.  

'Agencies must work together more effectively to protect all children and make sure they are safe from the perpetrators of these brutal crimes. Victims past and present must be central to the development of solutions — they need to be heard and their voices must take centre stage throughout the inquiry process and well beyond.'

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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.

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