A question from an Australian about these affairs.
I'm appalled, but I'm puzzled as well. I want to know: why is child safety a _council_ responsibility in the UK?
In Australia, child safety is a _State_ level responsibility, because they're big enough to support the bureaucracy that goes along with it. (Including training, which was lacking along with common sense.) I know you don't have States, but devolving the responsibility onto the councils sounds like madness. If they don't even have the _budget_ for elementary data protection training, perhaps they shouldn't be handling sensitive matters like child abuse.
I live in Brisbane - Australia's largest council - 1.1 million people as opposed to Croydon Borough's 345 thousand. Brisbane's pretty well run as councils go, handling local roads, sewerage, garbage collection and a hundred other "local" duties pretty well. But trust Brisbane to run "child safety" - oh god, no. States or even the Federal government, but not your local council. It just doesn't feel right.
[I should add that councils in Australia are often smaller than their British equivalent, so it wouldn't make sense here to have the UK model. For example, the Shire of Croydon, _Queensland_ has a population of 273. Not much room for a child abuse prevention bureaucracy there.]