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Offences against Children

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL1374, tabled on 24 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide an update on the progress made towards improving children’s social workers’ ability to identify and respond to child sexual abuse as part of the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy, published on 22 January.

Answered on

8 July 2021

The department is working closely with the Home Office and other government departments on delivering the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy. This will include looking at opportunities to improve children’s social workers’ ability to identify and respond effectively to child sexual abuse. To drive delivery of the strategy, the Home Office have introduced robust cross-government governance structures to hold the multi-agency systems responsible for child protection to account and to remain responsive to this evolving threat and the needs of victims and survivors.

We are investing in the social work workforce, and in leadership at all levels, to ensure social workers have the capability and capacity to support and protect the most vulnerable children and families in society. We have introduced clear post-qualifying standards which set out the knowledge and skills expected of children and family social workers, including the ability to identify and respond to child sexual abuse, and the National Assessment and Accreditation System to provide a mechanism to assess and accredit against these standards. In addition, we are supporting local authorities to develop evidence of what works, through the completion of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme and the establishment of the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.