Child Protection – who is responsible?

3 Aug

I came across this blogpost by Zarathustra – Trained as a nurse, currently working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  This post was about a misunderstanding between many tweeple and this reporter – @mwilliamsthomas. The issue was his tweet, that said –

The story about the 12yr girl being raped in London in early hours of Sunday morning is horrific. But what was she doing out at that time?

Mark William Thomas

> wasn’t questioning why the girl was out at that time,
> nor was he justifying the act having happened at that time because she was out
>  he was throwing light on the fact that – this girl was someone’s responsibility. And for some reason, they slipped up that night. Whether it was the parents, the social services or the police – she was 12, and someone should have been looking out for her.

the twitter war went on further and there was a point made by some person

that neglect and sexual assault are separate issues.

Are they?

DISCLAIMER: I am ruthlessly copy pasting from this post, because this make a lot of sense in my project. This is NOT my content, it belongs to –

So, when there’s a concern that a child may or may not be adequately cared for, who’s business is it? The police? Social services?

The answer to that question is very clear both in law and in policy. Child protection is everybody’s business. Schools, hospitals, police,  churches, Scouts and Guides, military cadet forces….everybody who works with children has a responsibility to look out for signs of abuse or neglect, to ask questions and, if necessary, to make a child protection referral to social services.

And yes, I know all that “everybody’s business” rhetoric may sound like a Big Brother, nosey-parker Panopticon state. But the brutal truth is that if we don’t all look out for vulnerable children, then there’s other, far nastier people who will.

So, to summarise:

  • Parents and carers have a responsibility to protect their children.

  • Everybody who works with children has a responsibility to be vigilant for abuse or neglect, and to report it where necessary.

  • Twelve year old girls have a responsibility to…well, they don’t have a responsibility to anyone. They’re twelve. Adults have a responsibility to them.


As i am collecting data from my survey to parents, irrespective of the answers – i am naturally being drawn to adults/parents/care givers as my audience for designing material for protection against CSA.  


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The Strattr Blog

Where Digital Marketing And Behavioural Science Meet.


Bits of this and that, being a mother, experiments in the kitchen and my latest obsession... taking photographs!


Musings on human thought and behaviour.

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