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House of Commons Library publishes Child protection: Duties to report concerns Briefing Paper

Sets out current requirements regarding reporting known or suspected child abuse or neglect

The House of Commons Library has published the Briefing Paper Child protection: Duties to report concerns. The Paper details the current requirements on individuals and organisations in regard to the reporting of known or suspected child abuse or neglect. It also provides information on the debate about whether a mandatory duty should be introduced.

Currently there is no general legal requirement for those working with children to report known or suspected abuse or neglect. The statutory guidance states that concerns should be referred to local authority's social care immediately if the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to. There are no absolute legal requirements to comply but it should be taken into account and those who depart from it should have clear reasons for doing so.

In July 2016 a consultation sought views on the introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect and the introduction of a duty to take appropriate action. The results of the consultation were published in March 2018 with the Government deciding against introducing either option due to risks involved.

The PDF of the Paper can be downloaded directly here.