As a result of the Daniel Pelka tragedy, a campaign for a “good Samaritan” law is being run by members of the public. They want legislation that would make it illegal for teachers or other professionals not to report that they suspect a child is being mistreated.
Mandatory reporting is not without its problems and I
believe it is very unwise to press for major policy changes before the Serious
Case Review into Daniel’s death has reported.
We have seen in the past how ‘knee-jerk’ responses to child
protection disasters have resulted in policies and procedures which often have
unforeseen dysfunctional consequences.
I would like to appeal to all those concerned in developing child
protection policy to try to avoid quick fixes and to reflect very carefully on
the lessons to be learned from Daniel’s death.