Offences against Children: Rotherham

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will launch an inquiry into the removal of children from survivors of sexual exploitation in Rotherham; and if so, when.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government has no plans to launch an inquiry into the removal of children from survivors of sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

The attached report ‘Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation’, published in March 2015, and the attached follow-up report ‘Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation: Progress Report’, published in February 2017, set out a national response to the failures seen in Rotherham and elsewhere, where children were let down by the very people who were responsible for protecting them. We have prioritised child sexual abuse as a national threat to empower police forces to maximise their skills and expertise in order to tackle these crimes.

We are committed to ensuring that victims receive quality support when and where they need it. In each of the last three years, the government has provided £7 million in funding for non-statutory organisations supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The government wants every child to be in a stable, loving home that is right for them. One of the key principles of the legislation which underpins the UK’s child protection system is that children are best looked after within their families. However, as a last resort after other steps to support the child to remain safely at home have failed, local authorities may apply to the independent courts for a decision about removing a child from their family. In making their decision about each individual case, the courts must be satisfied that the threshold for significant harm has been met and that taking the child from his or her family’s care will be in the child’s best interests.

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