How safe are our children? 2015: Together we can do better

NSPCC CEO ends conference on positive note praising collaborative approach to tackling child safety concerns in the UK

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEOOur annual, two-day conference addressing neglect and child abuse in the UK came to a close yesterday. Despite the many challenges raised at the 'How safe are our children?' conference, Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO felt positive about the potential outcomes:

"The point I will end on is one of partnership and a really strong collective sense that together we can do better for children. At many conferences contributors set out their own brilliance and challenge others to disagree with it. Here there has been a much stronger sense of working together.

"That means listening to children and helping them speak out, it requires heightened duties on adults to listen and respond and it means a significant shift from emergency interventions to prevention of abuse before it happens. The conference has shown how we can demand the nation's attention on child safety at a time when a child has not just died.

"We need together to keep that focus and momentum up from here." 

"The NSPCC believes that the government needs to have more of a constant focus on this rather than just in moments of crisis."
Peter Wanless / NSPCC CEO

In his closing speech, Peter Wanless thanked attendees and speakers for their continued hard work and collaborative efforts but did not shy away from the worrying reality that we still face, such as the shocking 80 per cent increase in the number of children at risk of abuse or that 3 child sex offences are committed every hour.

Peter echoed his call for government to pay greater attention to child protection, with an empahsis on early intervention:
"The NSPCC believes that the government needs to have more of a constant focus on this rather than just in moments of crisis. We know from the Early Intervention Foundation that it costs the taxpayer £17bn a year picking up the pieces. We have to ask is there a better way to spend that money and I think most of us in this room believe there is."

To end, he said:
"I hope that over the next year we will continue to shift the debate and be able to focus on prevention as a society rather than responding in moments of crisis."

The 'How safe are our children?' report is available to download now and you can read the key findings on our report page.