Social workers are biased against families with transgender children, a Government report said on Thursday.
It called for new rules to prevent social workers from labelling parents as abusers if they encourage their children in ‘gender variance’.
The inquiry carried out by an independent researcher for the Department for Education said: ‘The evidence suggests transgender people often report having poor experiences within social and care settings.’
It added that ‘childhood gender dysphoria remains poorly understood by social workers, resulting in transgender people experiencing discrimination’.
The report was published by the Department for Education – currently headed by Damian Hinds (pictured)
Examples of bad social work, the report said, ‘include some social workers behaving in a prejudicial manner, labelling parental support of gender variance as abuse, failing to recognise risks associated with unsupportive home environment, and making uniformed judgements around the acceptance of gender variance.’
It called for new rules for social workers to make sure that transgender families are treated with ‘sufficient awareness.’
The findings come at a time of growing controversy both over the claims of the transgender rights lobby and the failure of social workers in a number of major cases to act to prevent sexual abuse of children.
Social work chiefs are under pressure to do more to stop abuse following grooming gang scandals in a number of towns and widespread concerns about the risks of exploitation of children.
Social workers were said to be discriminating against families who had transgender children
The report from the DFE, which is currently led by Education Secretary Damian Hinds, follows a report by a committee of MPs in 2016 which said transgender people suffered discrimination in public services. As a result, Theresa May indicated that the Government would go ahead with the MPs recommendation of new laws to allow people to change their legal sex without medical approval.
However a consultation paper to prepared for new laws has been delayed for months amid signs of public alarm over the demands of transgender activists. Among concerns has been the possibility that some children are being urged by parents into drug treatments that may have long-term effects.
The criticism of transgender lobby demands by TERFS – feminists often of an older generation dubbed ‘transgender exclusionary radical feminists’ by their opponents – have also made an impact on public opinion. Feminists including author Germaine Greer and broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray have cast doubt on whether transgender men should really be considered women.
Yesterday’s report, drawn up for the DFE by researcher Nathan Hudson-Sharp of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said social workers should be provided with new resources ‘including e-learning, toolkits and good practice guides.’