The report is yet another example of why we need a change in the law to introduce Mandatory Reporting into legislation, which I have written about many times in this blog, for example here and here
The report recommends:-
- Senior Council officer advice was poor
- Councillors failed to ask the right questions.
- Child Protection plans and policies were never checked or questioned.
- A Council with a majority failed to listen to opposing views and action change where necessary.
- Various individuals within the Council were personally to blame and were correct to leave their jobs.
- The position in Rotherham is likely to have been reflected across several other Councils.
- If there was a proper truly independent person to whom any professional could report suspicions of abuse to then it would stop complaints by professionals from getting lost in hierarchical systems of supervision.
- If political issues and amateur councillor attitudes prevented sexual exploitation from being investigated properly, then the consequence of mandatory reporting would have enabled any individual in the Council to have reported their suspicions to an independent person outside of the Council.
- The same issues apply in the same way to teachers, social workers, nurses, doctors etc, but in this example we are examining the influence of administration and Council hierarchy upon the effective reporting of abuse of children.
If any of the children want to claim compensation then this criticism of the Council will give them rights of claim against an additional Defendant as claims against Social Services and the Police are perhaps not as easy to establish. There is no doubt that any children who went through such horrendous abuse deserve everything they can get.
At QualitySolicitors Abney Garsden, we have for the last 20 years specialised in advising the victims of abuse.