Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New report explores the damaging effects of child protection policies

A new report by Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, and journalist/social commentator Jennie Bristow, argues that the growth of child protection policies, police vetting and CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks is poisoning the relationship between the generations and damaging the voluntary sector.

Titled Licensed to Hug, the report, which will be published by independent think-tank Civitas on 26 June, goes on to suggest that in a climate where many adults feel uneasy about acting on their healthy intuition, they are now wary of interacting with any child other than their own. Consequently, the generations are drifting further apart, as adults suspect each other and children are taught to suspect adults.

Licensed to Hug also argues that vetting culture encourages risk aversion, thereby giving rise to a feeling that it is better to ignore young people, even if they require help, rather than risk accusations of improper conduct.

It also notes that vetting can create a false sense of security as it can only identify those who have previously offended and have been caught – not what people will do after they have been cleared to be near children (since the establishment of CRB checks in 2002 millions of adults have had to get a certificate to say they are safe to be near children, and from October 2008 more than one in four adults in England will be vetted).

Professor Furedi, whose general research focuses on the way that risk and uncertainty is managed by contemporary culture, says: ‘Suspicion of grown-up behaviour towards children has fostered a climate where it has become normal for some parents to only trust adults who possess official clearance.

‘However, although most of those we spoke to or surveyed in the voluntary sector accepted that “unfortunately” a system of national vetting was now a fact of life, a significant minority have been discouraged from working with children because it’s not “worth the effort” – which is, in effect, a double tragedy since, given the evidence, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the national vetting scheme represents an exercise in impression management rather than offering effective protection.’

However, according to the report, perhaps the most damaging outcome of child protection policies associated with vetting is the distancing of inter-generational relationships. Professor Furedi says: ‘Such policies foster a climate where adults are forced to weigh up whether, and how, to interact with a child.

‘One regrettable outcome of this is to estrange children from all adults – the very people who are likely to protect them from paedophiles and other dangers that they may face.’

Licensed to Hug concludes with the argument that a more common-sense approach to adult/child relations would be preferable to a system of vetting and checks, based on the assumption that the vast majority of adults can be relied on to help and support children, and that the healthy interaction between generations enriches children’s lives.

The full report is available from Civitas, 77 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2EZ (Tel: 020 7799 6677/Email:, price £6.00 inc. pp.

Gary Hughes | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>