American research suggests that deaf children are three to four times more likely to be abused than other children. And research from the University of Manchester suggests that deaf children are invisible on the social care radar.
So you would think that a major review into child protection arrangements in England would have something to say about ensuring that social workers and the general workforce know how to ensure deaf children are safe from harm.
Nope. Nada. Zilch.
Lord Laming published a reveiw of child protection arrangements last week, following the Baby P tragedy last year. NDCS and NSPCC submitted a lengthy response highlighting the vulnerability of deaf children. Sadly, the review makes no recommendations that directly address the needs of deaf children. They just don’t seem to figure as a priority worth highlighting.
A huge missed opportunity, and very disappointing. We intend to write to the Government to ask how, in implementing the Laming review, deaf children will benefit.