Child Protection System Must Be More Child Friendly
Friday 13 February 2009
At our conference this week, we highlighted the difficulties that children often experience when they talk about abuse, and have called for every abused child to be able to access the help they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.
As well as six abuse recovery services, we also run the ChildLine helpline in Scotland, which recently reported high numbers of young people talking to our trained volunteers about their experiences of abuse.
We want to make certain that Scotland's child protection system is serving the best interests of children by ensuring:
- that children have appropriate confidential time and space to talk about what is happening to them before action is taken out of their hands;
- that the needs and wellbeing of children are taken into account in deciding whether to prosecute an abuser through the court system.
Chief executive Anne Houston said: "We need to get better at making sure we always put the child first when there are concerns about child abuse. Children talk about losing all control of their lives once they have disclosed abuse and often about feeling abandoned once the investigation has ended, regardless of the outcome.
"Many children also languish for months or even years on waiting lists for therapeutic support, which we believe is unacceptable. It is often said that the mark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable members, and children who have been abused by the adults they trust in their lives need and deserve our full protection and support."
CHILDREN 1ST is also calling for more support to enable the families of children who have been abused to come to terms with what has happened and best look after their child.
Last updated: Saturday 11 April 2009