1,000 extra welfare officers proposed to help tackle child abuse

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Child welfare officers take part in a training session under the scenario that they are visiting the house of a girl suspected of having been abused in Kyoto in November.

The government aims to increase the number of child welfare officers by the end of fiscal 2024, as part of a comprehensive plan to tackle child abuse, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Authorities are planning to increase the number of officers at child consultation centers by around 1,060 to help handle a rising number of cases. Incidents of abuse against children of religious group members are also being considered, amid ongoing concerns related to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church.

Many children have suffered psychological abuse as a result of being forced to engage in religious activities. Therefore, the government is planning to add an additional 950 child psychologists by fiscal 2026. Decisions on the proposals will be made at a meeting of relevant ministries and agencies scheduled to be held before the year-end.