John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, April 20, 2008
  Shock rise in violence against UK's children
The link is to an Observer story. Quoting from two parts:

The numbers, contained in National Health Service data, suggest that the incidence of intentional harm against children may be rising. Five years ago some 16,600 were counted as having suffered deliberate harm, but the figure rose to 21,859 last year.

Alison Kemp, reader in child health at Cardiff University, said: 'The numbers are high, and it is very hard to know whether they are really rising or not, because of differences in the way data is collected. But it seems to me that the rates of injury are certainly not going down.

In other words we really don't know what the situation is save that for all of the activity in "Child Protection" the outcome is really bad.

An important additional part is:
Kemp said it was increasingly difficult to report child protection concerns because of worries that doctors could be accused of misdiagnosing abuse: 'You can imagine that this is one of the most difficult things to approach a parent with,' she said. 'No one wants to have that confrontation unless they are reasonably sure that something bad has been going on. But our ultimate responsibility is to children, so we have to find ways of making it easier to identify cases of deliberate harm.'

We have an aggressive system of child protection that assumes that the parents are guilty and then stacks the decks against them. In other countries the system is more sympathetic assuming that parents do have their children's bests interests at heart.

I wonder if people might see the real problem as lying in the current ineffectual solution.
 
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