I am sorry to see that the Liberal Democrats are rumoured to be about to support mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in England.
Although worrying, I am not so much apprehensive about the impact on the number of cases reported, if the law is changed. That is said to be the primary concern of the NSPCC and the Lucy Faithful Foundation, organisations that should be listened to.
I am more concerned about the impact on practitioners when, as seems inevitable, someone is convicted of failing to report. There is a real danger that people who make honest mistakes will end up in court. And that will stoke up the fires of the blame culture still further, resulting in fewer and fewer people being prepared to talk openly about what happens when things go wrong.
That’s a recipe for making services less safe.