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Tuesday, February 17, 1998 Published at 06:50 GMT


New child abuse prevention plans

A crackdown on child prostitution is among likely recommendations

The Health minister Paul Boateng is expected to announce proposals including special paedophile investigation teams and more wide-ranging checks on foster parents at a conference on Tuesday.

Other suggestions will include new regional child death review teams to support existing local units, a crackdown on child prostitution and closer checks on families thought to be at risk of abuse.

Research shows if early intervention is made in high-risk families it could prevent abuse developing.

The new proposals follow embarassing revelations about the scale of sexual abuse in care and an alarming increase in child prostitution convictions.

The number of children convicted of child prositution offences more than doubled from 1995 to 1996.

The draft proposals will supplement and update those introduced after the 1989 Children Act and, once approved, will make up the new Working Together guidelines used by child care professionals.

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