They claim the benefit of the doubt is all too often given to neglectful parents who fail to improve after the initial investigation.
The worrying claims have been outlined in the House of Commons Education Select Committee report, which states that too many children are left in circumstances of ‘long-term, chronic neglect’.
The report found a noticeable bias towards leaving children with parents wherever possible, even if those parents demonstrate problems with drugs and alcohol.
Instead of intervening directly, support agencies tend to ‘monitor’ parents over many years.
MPs say the child protection service is ‘mid-way’ through a major reform which aims to take children out of violent or destructive home environments.
The report also warns that financial pressures on local authorities should not be allowed to influence the outcome for children at risk of neglect or abuse.
Committee chairman Graham Stuart said: “Whatever your view on the cuts, it is essential that the children in our society most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation are not the ones to pay the price.”
Investments will be made in early intervention to prevent harm to children further down the line. However, David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, has emphasised the challenges support services face in taking children away from their families.
Children’s charity NSPCC has said it ‘welcomes’ the changes and agrees that the child protection all too often fails vulnerable children – especially teenagers, who may look like they can take care of themselves, but can be just as vulnerable as younger children.
If you would like to find out more about child abuse in the home, please visit our Abuse page.
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