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IICSA Final Report Released - How Should You Respond?

on Friday, 21 October 2022.

Amid the clamour surrounding Liz Truss' resignation, the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry) was published on Thursday 20 October 2022, six years and £180 million after it started.

Read the full final report (the Report) here.

This is relevant to any organisation which works with children. 

The Report sets out the Inquiry's findings about the horrifying extent to which a host of different State and non-State institutions, failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and makes a number of recommendations for reform as a consequence.

It draws on the Inquiry’s 15 investigations and 19 related investigation reports, the Interim Report of the IICSA and 41 other Inquiry reports and publications.

The final IISCA report contains an accessible 17 page summary (which can be downloaded separately) and a detailed 487 page document, starting with victims and survivors' voices and then covering the Inquiry's conclusions by theme and recommendations for change.

The Inquiry has made 20 overarching recommendations in this report, addressing the need for greater public awareness, more focussed leadership and oversight, the recommendation that it be a criminal offence to fail to report child sexual abuse (so-called mandatory reporting) if undertaking regulated activity with children, and better support and redress for victims. These final recommendations complement the 87 recommendations contained in the previously published investigation reports (including six which have been re-stated).

What Should You Do Now?

We do not know whether the recommendations will be accepted and implemented by the Government and other key stakeholders. Some are likely to prove divisive.

Organisations which work with children can and should review their practices in light of the findings and the 'spirit' of the recommendations. They should reflect on what more can be done now to ensure that children are safe from sexual abuse and harm in our schools, rather than wait for the law to change.

We will be reflecting on the wealth of useful information contained in or linked to the final report in order to consider what more we can all do to keep children safe and support those who have been affected by abuse. We will be arranging webinars and other sessions to share our thoughts.

In the meantime, many of you have asked what you should be doing about document retention in relation to safeguarding. The Inquiry has recommended that records known to relate to child sexual abuse should be retained for 75 years. This will be debated with the ICO and further guidance is expected, and we would advise against the destruction of any records relating to child sexual abuse until a final position has been reached on this.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the Inquiry's findings for your organisation, please contact Tabitha Cave on 07747 075 825, or Natalie Wargent on 07468 698 955, or complete the form below.

Both Tabitha and Natalie will be summarising the Inquiry's findings and considering what, if anything, you should be doing now, in advance of the implementation of the recommendations at a free webinar on 7 November, you can book your place here.

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