Position Statements

Position Statements

VCF offers a community perspective, informed by our advocacy work with children and families, and more broadly within the community.

Government consults on regulatory framework for schools – a comment piece by VCF 
VCF is astounded at proposed penalties to be handed out by schools, for children who fail to attend for whatever reason, which will lead to fines and prosecutions for many parents, some of whom are already known to local authorities for Section 47 or 17 support per the Children Act.

VCF Response to government-commissioned practice reviews for children
VCF is understandably concerned as to the benefits for children, young people and families for whom existing reforms have not helped to keep children safe. It is against the concern that the Every Child Matters agenda has been profoundly undermined that the question arises as to the effectiveness of the current system, and why subsequent failings have led to a continuing stream of child deaths or serious harm in circumstances that mirror Victoria Climbié.

Government ‘anti-radicalisation’ strategy presents a counter-intuitive approach for social work with children and families
VCF is concerned with the increasing numbers of children being kept on child protection plans, despite concluding Section 47 investigations, particularly where parents, primarily mothers, are opting out of a ‘voluntary’ programme aimed at suspected terrorists, or supporters of terrorism.

VCF calls for more practical approach to FGM in the UK
The Home Affairs Committee has published its latest report on FGM prevention, and yet two years after its FGM inquiry, communities’ call for strategic support has largely been ignored and still we fail to address a fundamental aspect of the plan, to effectively engage with UK-based communities to eradicate FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
At VCF, we believe it is important to address FGM from a children’s rights perspective and within the wider child protection framework in the UK, alongside other harmful practices linked to faith or belief. The subject of FGM is no longer taboo; indeed, there is international consensus, even within relevant communities, that the practice of FGM on a young girl is child abuse.

Branding children as witches
VCF seeks to establish the rationale for one aspect of the Children and Families Bill that continues to be rather concerning; the call for legislation to stop branding children as witches, particularly as the basis for this call remains unclear.

It is not illegal to believe in witches, for many it has its roots in ancient tradition…
In the wake of the Kristy Bamu trial that led to the sentencing of his sister Magalie, and her partner Eric Bikubi for murder, VCF attempts to put this dramatic case of witchcraft into perspective.

Do we really need new laws to protect neglected children?
VCF is concerned by the continuing call for legislation to protect neglected children, amid fears it may deny support for vulnerable children and families. Does the child protection system not go far enough to protect such children, in what is increasingly becoming a complex issue? What appetite is there to prosecute families who may already be struggling to cope?