Well here we are again. Another little boy murdered sadistically by people who are a disgrace to parenthood. It’s left me thinking that, after doing several radio interviews about it, I wonder just how much change there will be from all sides outside the Coventry area where Daniel lived.
The Department for Education has cut down to a quarter the guidelines for teachers and education staff in dealing with child protection cases. It’s good to get rid of red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy but for goodness sake don’t throw everything out.
Couple this with the very small amount of training that schools get on child protection (two or three hours every two or three years) and you’ve got yourself a potential time bomb.
It’s very important that face-to-face training occurs from people who know what they are talking about. Signs and symptoms to recognise – basic behavioural changes to alert you – having the confidence to follow your instincts and share concerns quickly – do away with old suspicions and lack of trust in other agencies.
At the end of the day the only thing that matters is the child and if some peoples feelings have to be trampled on to save a child being harmed then to my mind its no contest!
However building up good relationships when there are no crisis is just good sense and police, education, health and social services who are the four pillars of child protection have got to find better ways of living together (obviously this included working together as well). Possibly joint teams of multi-disciplinary make up which have been tried elsewhere before, could well be the future as long as they are well resourced and supported by the public.
Communities cant help but realise now just how insidious child abuse is and that its not going to be going away in the near future. We are never going to prevent future cases, just like we are never going to prevent murders in the future either but we can control things better and be more aware of early symptoms and signs.
There is always going to be bad people in the world who will hurt children, we’ve just got to get better at stopping them.