Members of the Lords debated the prevention of abuse of children and vulnerable adults, on 26 June.
- whether a mandatory reporting system should be put in place, to make failure to report abuse an offence
- education of vulnerable adults to make them aware of their rights, what abuse and neglect are, and what to do if this is happening to them
- the importance of teaching children to protect their personal integrity and how to keep safe, including when online
- better education of the police, the judiciary and those involved in abuse cases, e.g. legal counsel and jurors
- the need to get rid of the ‘no smoke without fire’ culture, and the importance of listening to victims and properly dealing with allegations.
Peers considered the need for a proper register for care workers and a system for evaluating the quality of individual care homes, and the advantages and disadvantages of a national inquiry into the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.
Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat), government spokesperson for the Department for Education and for Women and Equalities, responded on behalf of the government and agreed that abuse must be countered through culture change, legislation, regulation and training. She stated that measures such as appointing a chief social worker for children and families, Ofsted’s single inspection framework and the new children’s social care innovation programme are already in place, along with new legislation such as the Care Act 2014, and confirmed the government are considering mandatory reporting as a possible future approach.