Sarah Champion – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Sarah Champion on 2016-05-18.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that when a girl is identified as being at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), frontline professionals are taking the steps outlined in the multi-agency statutory guidance on FGM.

Karen Bradley

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. We will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.

The Government is clear that tackling FGM needs a coordinated response from a range of professionals, including teachers, health professionals, social workers and police which is why on 1 April we published updated multi-agency guidance on FGM which we have put on a statutory footing to support compliance. To support professionals to take the steps outlined in the guidance, including receiving adequate training, we have made available free FGM e-learning for all professionals. To date, the course has been completed by over 30,000 people. Our FGM Unit is providing outreach support to local areas and working to raise awareness of resources available to professionals, including training, best practice examples and information on legislation and policy.

In addition, the Department of Health’s £3 million FGM Prevention Programme is focused on improving the response of NHS to FGM, and through its Innovation programme, the Department for Education is funding the Local Government Association and Barnardo’s to develop a centre of excellence and outreach to support local authorities.