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Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, responding to the multi-agency report on children sexually abused within the family, said:

In 2015,  I published a report warning that the vast majority of children who have been sexually abused at home were not known to the authorities and that a system which waits for children to tell someone cannot be effective.

“It was clear then that many professionals working with children, and the system, were ill-equipped to identify and act on the signs of abuse. Five years later, amid the rising cost of children’s social care and with less spent on early intervention, many children are still being let down badly.

“The Government’s promise to hold a review into the care system must be a means to reset the support for these vulnerable children – to provide the early identification and the help children need, and child-centred therapeutic support for children to help them recover.

“The Lighthouse Project in London, based on the Icelandic Barnahus model, is a beacon of good practice for children who have been sexually abused, and I would like to see it replicated across the country.”

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