26 Aug 2014

In response to Rotherham Borough Council’s report on child abuse, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'Today’s report on Rotherham yet again highlights children’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation. Too often, children’s calls for help continue to be ignored and, as a result, they are forced to live with the damaging consequences of abuse for the rest of their lives.

'This report yet again underlines the systemic failings that leave children at risk. We know from our work with hundreds of child victims of abuse and exploitation that far too many are still being let down by the very professionals who are supposed to be protecting them. Children need to be listened to and taken seriously. It is inexcusable that yet again, vulnerable children have been failed.

'Keeping children safe from this horrific abuse is no single body or person’s responsibility — we are all responsible. Warning signs need to be taken seriously at the earliest possible stage. There needs to be adequate training for all staff working with children in schools and in the community. It is particularly critical that agencies work together more effectively to protect all children and make sure they are safe from the perpetrators of these brutal crimes.

'Adequate resources must be put in place to protect all children regardless of the challenges caused by strained budgets – you cannot put a price on children’s safety.

'Action needs to be taken urgently to make sure the UK has the most robust child protection system in place to support the victims of child abuse and stop this crime from happening in the first place.'



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Notes to editors

  • For the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013) see: http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/downloads/file/1407/independent_inquiry_cse_in_rotherham
  • 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.