1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Child protection - can we do more?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Admiral Huddy, 12 Jan 2006.

  1. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,606

    Location: Chelmsford

    In the wake of some terrible reports of child abuse offences recently I was wondering if more could be done for child protection in our society. In particularly, in our schools and in the childcare sector.

    I was thinking that in order to identify those who are abusers, sex offenders or paedophiles etc; they must have already committed such an atrocity in the first place for it to be recorded. Only then can the child be protected from that particular individual but this means for someone, it’s too late. After all, a paedophile is only a known paedophile once the person gets caught? Same way as a terrorist is only a terrorist after he has committed the offence in the first place. Potentially, it means that every one in society is a potential offender unless otherwise proven.

    The process of registering for child care, or nursery carer only takes a CBI check which only checks for previous criminal records, which as I said, if you haven’t been convicted of such acts then there is no way you can determine if an individual is a threat to a child. Even then, a CBI check is a one off check upon registration. Once obtained, who knows what happens thereafter. It’s sad to say that when you you’re you child to school, nursery or childminder you have no knowledge of ensuring your Childs safety or any potential risks.

    The process of fostering and adoption however, is a much more complicated and involved than the childcare registration. The registration for fostering, for example, includes a series of long and in depth interviews conducted by social workers. Courses and training are mandatory and on-going. References are mandatory too. The process is necessary to build a portfolio of your life history and background including your parents, family, work colleagues etc. they even contact your ex spouse if you have one!! Interviews and CBI checks are conducted on everyone in the house and those that may, on occasions, stay overnight. The portfolio is passed to a panel and the whole process can take up to 6 months +.

    Not water tight, but it’s a damn sight more in depth then just a quick CBI check!!

    I think that everyone working with children from the head master to a school cleaner should have to go through similar exercise but it seems that there are still people working with children that maybe shouldn’t be.

    As I said in another thread, it’s not that the situation has got worse, it’s just we tend to hear about more because of increased media coverage nowadays. This however, means we are more educated and aware of what goes really goes on and have better knowledge to deal with it. Armed with this knowledge we can help reduce the number of child abuse cases and at the same time provide better help and support for the victims as well.
     
  2. Visage

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 13 Jan 2005

    Posts: 10,708

    Its the same people who complain about the nanny state that want kids wrapped up in cotton wool.

    Is paedophilia on the increase? Specifically, actual cases of child abuse? I can well believe that more people are caught looking at indecent pictures thanks to the internet, but is there any evidence that actual cases of molestation have increased?

    Or is it a McCarthy-esque witchunt?
     
  3. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2002

    Posts: 4,552

    Location: Bristol


    The problem with that check is that it is designed to assertain (sp?) if people are fit to have children, it takes in many, many factors and are trying to decide if those people are going to make suitable parents, in every area of parenting. Someone working with kids i.e a teacher does not need to be a suitable parent, it's too wide ranging to be viable.
     
  4. KingOfAquitaine

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 312

    I don't think much more can be done as, to make an obvious point, there are a damn lot of children and positions that require working with children. Is it practical to take 6months checking a background for a job even slightly involving children?. And as above the situations are very different, foster care or adoption the state is making sure theose who apply can take care of a childs every need, while child care is more about (to put it maybe slightly simplistically) making sure they don't kill themselves for a afternoon or day.

    Especially as most child abuse takes place within biological families or step families which the governemnt has no control over. Simply being a step-child puts an under 5 in the biggest risk group for abuse and murder
     
  5. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 48,107

    Location: On the hoods

    The amount of paperwork and beauracracy for doing CBI checks is already absurd, how on earth would they handle the amount required to get everyone through the sort of system you are proposing?

    Also, where do you draw the line? Should we also put all retail service employees through this, as they may serve children? Come to that, should we prevent everyone from associating with children until they've been checked? Should everyone be psych profiled so that you can't live next door to young children in case you abuse them?

    </slippery slope>

    I doubt the situation is getting any worse. Perhaps we're catching more people so we read about more of them, but surely that can only be seen as a good thing. Or perhaps it's just media sensationalism to sell newspapers.
     
  6. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,606

    Location: Chelmsford

    I didn't say the situation is getting worse, I merely said it seems worse because of extended media coverage nowadays.

    I’m not saying that the checks should be placed for everyone coming into contact with children. That would be silly. But certainly those that work with children and/or are responsible for their welfare which is a big difference.

    If this level of analysis had been done on a certain caretaker in Soham a few years back, then there maybe two young ladies still alive today. Therefore wouldn’t the extra “amount of paperwork and beauracracy” be worth while?
     
  7. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 48,107

    Location: On the hoods

    That depends where you pull the funding and workforce from.
     
  8. PlacidCasual

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 6,973

    Excellent argument lets overburden the public sector with yet more bureaucracy for very little added benefit.

    Knee jerk politics sucks.

    For instance someone once made the case to me that more people were likely to be killed installing Advanced Train Protection than would likely be saved by it in 30 years of service. I'm bored with unthinking and expensive legislation to meet a media fuelled priority.
     
  9. seaviewuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,312

    Location: Brighton

    You can do all the checks you want until the cows come home, pedophilia has been around since the advent of man and will continue until his demise.

    Just because some one comes up squeaky clean on numerous checks doesn't mean that he/she will forever never be a danger to children. It may minimise the possibility but will never eliminate it.
     
  10. Visage

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 13 Jan 2005

    Posts: 10,708

    Individual cases tend to make very bad laws. You could equally say 'If the government didnt employ school caretakers there would be two young ladies still alive today'. That doesnt mean that they should all be sacked, does it?
     
  11. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,014

    Location: Vvardenfell

    The adults most likely to abuse a child are ones it lives with. How are you planning on stopping that? It's just those cases don't make the papers, so everyone assumes that it is outsiders who are the problem. And that's just reported cases. I would imagine abuse by non-family is much more likely to be reported than abuse by family so the picture is even more skewed.


    M
     
  12. Spud21

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2002

    Posts: 4,552

    Location: Bristol


    You can't say something like that, how dare you let something like the cold hard facts get in the way of the media hysteria, trying to terrify everyone of everyone else. :D
     
  13. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,137

    we do care.

    i care

    they should not be allowed to work anywhere near children ever again.

    they should be sentenced to life, life as in real life sentence in prison.

    obviously the definite proven abusers.
     
  14. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,606

    Location: Chelmsford

    ahh no :confused: that's not what i'm saying. but the as part of the interview process maybe some additional checks into the persons background may help to decide if the not only is the person suitable for the job, but wether they are suitable to work with or close to children. All i'm merely saying is that a CBI check isn't enough.
     
  15. PlacidCasual

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 6,973

    Well according to the Minister who made the decision (not Ruth Kelly) he read the guys brief and took testimony from previous schools he had worked at, presumably prior to the caution, and decided he did not pose a risk. Also those on the sex offenders register are at present not automatically on List99 which bars you from working in education. You can receive a caution and be listed and not be on List99 as seems to have happened in this case, a conviction however does bar you.
    Personally I think the ministers in question have acted in good faith, particularly Ruth Kelly who stood up for someone else’s decision and not pass the buck. If the public would like a different procedure for these cases as seems to be the case then no doubt the Government will debate and implement it.
     
  16. MikeTimbers

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,405

    Location: New Eltham, London

    The Child Commissioners now want all smacking banned. How is this to be policed? Will every child be questioned as it arrives at school? Will every child have daily medicals? What forms of emotional abuse will parents turn to when prevented from the "short, sharp, shock"? What is the long-term effect on a generation of children who have never learnt the boundaries or who have alternatively been mentally scarred by verbal cruelty?

    Already we are in a ludicrous situation where one can smack but not leave a bruise. Now if one cannot smack a bottom with an open hand, what can a parent do when a child is hysterical and potentially endangering itself? Reason with it?

    Why can the law not recognise its own limits? Would it be assault to slap the face of an hysterical adult? What about the Heimlich manoevre? Of course, I'm stretching the point but I hate the way that people like these focus on a principle without any regard for practicalities or real life.
     
  17. PlacidCasual

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 6,973

    I guess there are a lot of "damaged" people out there who got beaten as kids and now regard any physical punishment as beyond the pale because they weren't in the vast majority whose parents only smacked them responsibly. A few angry voices are generally listened too louder than a lot of reasonable voices. Also the argument is quite seductive, it hurts therefore it must be bad ergo ban it and the badness goes away.
     
  18. Seft

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Sep 2003

    Posts: 4,105

    Location: Radlett

    Why?

    Convicted paedophiles have one of the lowest reoffending rates of any criminals.

    [​IMG]

    'Men convicted of sex offences involving children are not, in fact, all that likely to commit further crimes. Of those released in 2002, 17% were in trouble again within two years. That may sound appalling, but compared with other ex-cons, sex offenders were paragons of virtue. The re-conviction rate for all criminals was 60% (see chart). Most incorrigible were men who stole from vehicles, 85% of whom had been re-convicted within the same period.

    It is also likely that most of the child sex offenders who got into trouble after their release were collared for a different (and less appalling) crime. A study by America's Department of Justice found that, while 39% of child molesters were arrested again within three years of release, just 3% were suspected of another sex crime against a child.'

    http://www.economist.com/World/europe/displayStory.cfm?story_id=5418301

    If we have prisons because they reform people, and we have a clear case of the penal system 'working', why should we turn our back on it?
     
  19. The_Dark_Side

    Capodecina

    Joined: 21 Oct 2003

    Posts: 13,608

    Location: Back with a Vengeance.

    this is the same thing as with many other offences.
    it's not an increase in the offence..merely we're getting better at catching people offending.
     
  20. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,014

    Location: Vvardenfell


    Currently prisons do very little to reform people, and there are very few treatment programs for any sex offenders, despite the fact that they are effective. I rather suspect that the low recidivism rate is due to two major factors:

    1) Most child abuse appears to a crime of opportunity, with the offender and victim already knowing each other. Once released the relationship has changed drastically and it's unlikely that the offender would even think of abusing the same person. Unless there are other children in the same circumstances, the inclination has probably gone.

    2) Related to the above: child sex offenders are far more rigorously controlled than pretty much any other offender, including murderers. It is pretty difficult for them to get into a situation where abuse is possible, even if they wanted to.


    M