21 Jun 2016

Peter Grigg, Director of External Affairs at The Children’s Society said:

'The sad and shocking abuse case of Ellie Butler raises many issues about child protection and the necessary steps that must be taken to prevent vulnerable children from experiencing harm.

'The Children’s Society works with some of the most vulnerable children across the country, and we believe that considering a child’s interests and needs is a critical first step in protecting them. No matter their age, children should always be listened to and their experiences, wishes and feelings fully understood before action can be taken in their interests. These assessments should be made with the child individually, without the influence of parents, carers or other adults.

'In addition, a careful assessment should be made of the family situation and whether parents are able to provide sufficient love and support to help their child grow and develop – assessing whether the child’s physical, emotional and developmental needs are being met. Through all of this, the best interest of the child should be paramount and underpin each decision made about that child’s life.

'With complex social work cases, there is always the risk of joint working between different agencies leaving vulnerable children slipping through the gaps in various systems. More needs to be done to ensure the early warning signs of abuse are spotted, information is shared appropriately, and above all, issues are addressed in order to better protect children.'

Media enquiries

For more information or an interview, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

 The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.