Child sex offender disclosure scheme

This scheme allows those who care for young people to find out if a person has a record for child sexual offences.

The child sex offender disclosure scheme allows parents, carers and guardians to formally ask the police to tell them if someone has a record for child sexual offences.

In the areas where the pilot is being run, family members, friends, neighbours or anyone worried about the safety of a child can request that information.

The aim of this pilot is to keep children safer.

Background on the scheme

The majority of child sex offenders are known to their victims. They are often a member of the family, a friend of the victim, or a friend of the victim’s family.

Only 20 per cent of child sex offences are carried out by strangers.

Started in 2008, the child sex offender disclosure scheme was developed in consultation with Sara Payne, the former victims champion, along with the police, and children’s charities.

The pilot is independently evaluated, and the evaluation report (new window) is available for download.

Where the scheme is available

The scheme will be rolled out in all 43 police forces in England and Wales by 4 April 2011.

Parents protect website

As part of the drive to protect children from harm a new website has been set up (new window) by the Lucy Faithful Foundation.

It is designed to raise awareness about child sexual abuse, to answer questions and to give parents and carers the information they need to help.

Guidance for police


Communications guidance

We've put together a communications guidance pack, based on the communications lessons learned by the four pilot areas, to help participating forces to increase awareness and understanding of the child sex offender disclosure scheme. 

Alongside this, we have produced a range of communications materials which forces and partners can use to raise awareness and understanding of the disclosure scheme with the public:   

  • A7 roll fold keeping children safe leaflet 
  • A3/A4 single sided disclosure poster 
  • A5 disclosure process booklet 
  • A5 general booklet – keeping children safe

The guidance, posters and booklets can be downloaded from our publications area, and are also available in Welsh.

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