Council Authorities in Wales Apologise to Family of Sexually Abused Children

by Gopalan on  May 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM Lifestyle News
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 Council Authorities in Wales Apologise to Family of Sexually Abused Children
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has apologised unreservedly to the family of young children who were sexually abused by a teenager placed with them by social services.

The teenager was attached to the family as part of a placement scheme.

Social services staff knew full well about the young man's previous history of disturbing sexual behaviour with children, but,  apparently for reasons of the teen's "rights and concerns," they kept all that information to themselves.

It was the family that had to eventually pay a heavy price. It took in the boy as a matter of civic duty and engaged him to keep a watch over their children. The  19-year-old 'monitor' ended up raping the couple's toddler and assaulting their daughter. He has since admitted to his appalling crimes, and the Cardiff Crown Court jailed him indefinitely in February. He would serve a minimum of six years in prison.

In the wake of the furore over the sordid episode the Vale Council apologized to the family and said, "There were no excuses and it should never have happened." Three staff members have been suspended.

An inquiry published by the council found the overall practice of its leaving care team was poor and at one stage it failed to carry out a risk assessment even though it had received a written instruction from a senior manager to do so.

The inquiry report makes 12 recommendations for improvement and a detailed action plan.

The council said there would be changes to the structure of its frontline services in children and adult social services and that all the management arrangements for the "leaving care team" had been changed.

It also said an action plan over the issue was to be implemented.

The council's director of social services Philip Evans said: "There are no excuses. This should never have happened.

"The criticisms in the report are fully justified not only by the evidence of failings but particularly because of the harm done.

"Some of our staff did not meet their individual and collective responsibilities for taking action to protect children. This was a tragic event.

"The investigation found that while the young man was looked after by the council as a child, the risks he posed were recognised, shared and managed correctly by social services.

"However, when he left care at 18 his full history was not transferred effectively, and decisions were made without crucial details."

Gwenda Thomas, Wales' deputy social services minister, said in a statement she would be giving the council report "very serious consideration".

"It is clear that mistakes have been made and I have asked the chief inspector of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) to advise me about how the matters raised by this report are taken further," she said.

She said a national review was already under way which would "provide the basis for a national overview report on safeguarding children in Wales" and would be published in the autumn.

The family said it would not comment on the report but is considering legal action.

Source: Medindia

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