Monday, 8 February 2010

BBC Panorama programme on the Independent Safeguarding Authority - 8/2/10

Th most lucid, and most moving, part of this examination of the Government's vetting and barring scheme was the concluding interview. A former rugby player, who was sexually abused by a teacher as a child, argued eloquently that the Government's whole approach was mistaken. There is, he said, a huge under-reporting of child sexual abuse. The only way to respond is to create systems which encourage child sexual abuse victims to report what is happening to them in a safe environment. The vetting and barring scheme would do nothing to address that. The Government, he said, is looking at the issue completely the wrong way round.

In contrast proponents of the Independent Safeguarding Authority who appeared in the programme came over as dogmatic and confused. In my view hundreds of millions are being spent on ill-conceived measures which do not address the issue and are unlikely to make children safer. Giving some intelligent thought to how we can create those "safe environments" would be a far better way forward.