Research and analysis

The multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment

This report summarises findings from our joint targeted area inspections of ‘the multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment’.

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Our joint targeted area inspections of ‘the multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment’took place between September 2018 and May 2019.

The findings in this report consider the extent to which children’s social care, health professionals, youth offending services, the police and probation officers effectively work together to safeguard children who are subject to, or at risk of, sexual abuse in the family environment.

Sexual abuse in the family environment may be perpetrated by a family member (including extended family) or by a person close to, or known to, the family, such as a neighbour, family friend, partner of a parent or another trusted adult. Children under the age of 18 may also sexually abuse others within the family environment.

The report calls on professionals to give sexual abuse a higher priority in local areas, through improved training and awareness-raising of the problem. More needs to be done to prevent the sexual abuse of children in the family environment and when it does happen, agencies must work better to protect and support victims and families.

Published 4 February 2020