Safeguards for vulnerable children

Marian Stuart and Catherine Baines

A detailed discussion of three significant areas concerning children living away from home.

A companion volume to this report, Progress on safeguards for children living away from home, reviews the action taken on recommendations in Sir William Utting's original report, People Like Us.

This study discusses in detail three areas of significant concern:

  1. Abusers: this section outlines evidence on the extent and nature of sexual abuse of children, what action is being taken to tackle the problem and what treatment and supervision is available for abusers. It highlights the low rate of convictions, the shortfall in treatment and supervision, and the substantial new threat posed by the Internet.
  2. Disabled children: this section focuses on the vulnerability of this group; the criminal justice system (including the continued failure to prosecute those who have abused disabled children); and the incomplete levels of information and statistics collected about disabled children.
  3. Children in prison: this section covers the extent to which children and young people are imprisoned and discusses their conditions and rights in prison.

The report makes a number of recommendations for action at central and local levels, and is relevant to policy makers, service managers and practitioners in the public and private/voluntary sectors with responsibilities for services for children as well as those with specific responsibilities for disabled or imprisoned children. 

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