Mention child protection and most people will tell you that something has gone very wrong with the way our society relates to children nowadays. It’s easy enough to cite any number of horrifying accounts of abuse that have had media commentators and politicians looking for scapegoats and demanding quick-fix solutions.

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone wants action to be taken immediately. But by the time such stories are reported, the damage has already been done. In order to have any chance of breaking the endless cycle of abuse, we need to adopt a balanced approach that acknowledges the roots of the problem and involves all the relevant parties – victims and their families, abusers, professional agencies and the media – in the search for a way forward.

There are no easy answers, because the issues are complex. But the current situation, in which parents see risks for their own children everywhere, while at the same time being frightened to get involved with other children in case they are accused of inappropriate behaviour, is surely unsustainable.

With a distinguished track record in the field of child protection, Phoenix are in a unique position to assess genuine risk and advise the different groups concerned on what action needs to be taken. Only by acting in a measured way, without being swayed by the understandable public outcries that follow particularly traumatic incidents of sexual and/or physical abuse, can we ever hope to achieve Phoenix’s long-term aims of preventing abuse, protecting innocence and rebuilding hope.