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The disappearance of children from Care and the CSA inquiry

I did an interview on BBC world at one yesterday about the general discussion about the abuse of children in the care system. There are many stories about Elm Guest House. However, I have been concentrating on more recent issues. There remain survivors of what has happened in the past. These people have been ignored for many years, but more recently they have been listened to. To me it is very important not only to deal with what happened in the past, but also to look at what is happening today.

A point that has not been looked properly at is the disappearance of children from Care. We had the recent reports from Ireland about the deaths of children being concealed. I believe that this also happened at Haut de la Garenne. To me it seems quite straightforward that if we are sufficiently concerned about money that we should count the money and audit it, we should also count the children and audit what happens to them.

Even today children are disappearing from care for various reasons. Some are trafficked. I find it odd that the government won't modify the SSDA903 return codes in order both to count the numbers of children and the reasons they leave care (normally today reported as - for other reasons), but also to then audit that.

I don't think the problems today are as severe as they were in the 1980s. There are estimates that 1 in 7 of children in care in the 70s and 80s were abused whilst in care. Books such as Forgotten Children look at this in more detail. It does remain, however, that a recent study revealed a continuing high level of abuse in care We also have child sexual exploitation which includes mainly children in care.

The care system is scrutinised through the family courts which remain substantially themselves unaccountable. The government propose putting an erstwhile president of the Family Division who have in part presided over this debacle in charge of the enquiry. In essence she is being asked to mark her and her judicial colleagues' own homework. I personally don't think that is a good idea.

What is worst is that many of the children placed in care need not have been in care. Those in Rochdale who were put in care because of the satanic abuse scandal were then abused purely as a result of state action.

Obviously we need a child protection system. However, really it should be one that does a better job than this.


Jerry said…
I would have to say that the care system is NOT scrutinised by the family courts, in most instances it is simply allowed to do as it pleases, recent COA judgments about a Judge we both know well shows that the courts, mainly the Lower, simply continue on regardless, every now and again a Judgment will be published that makes us gasp and are in shock at the travesties, sadly once the dust has settled it is normal service resuming, take Re. B for example,

I will stress that we are about to be hit with another baby Peter Connolley type case, the Judgement was swiftly removed from bailii last week due to the now pending criminal trial and the seriousness of the contents, it will obviously be a few months or even a year before that case will be in the headlines, my guess is it will be by the end of the year.

Mostyn J said it was the worse case he had come across in 30 years.

I am all for a full inquiry into the abuse suffered by children whether historical or recent, John you know only a few months ago I informed you of a case where a child "Had" been abused in Foster Care, in fact I have lost count the amount of times these serious issues have been brought to the courts attention only to find the parents or those making the concerns known are simply dismissed, or made out to be a trouble causer, so yes, your completely spot on with the need for the Judiciary to be in the pool of the investigations and not be the ones heading the inquiry, likewise goes for the NSPCC, Barnardo's and others I have dealt with over the numerous years,

We have both dealt with some pretty shocking instances of child abuse while children are in the care system and other, it is not always of a sexual nature either, abuse is abuse no matter the guise, it will never end unless those who allow it, conceal it, do nothing about it are brought to book
Mr. Hemming.

You wrote;

"A point that has not been looked properly at is the disappearance of children from Care. We had the recent reports from Ireland about the deaths of children being concealed. I believe that this also happened at Haut de la Garenne."

You, and your readers might be interested in the official Operation Rectangle (Jersey Child Abuse Investigation) Summary Report where it lists the vast amount of juvenile remains unearthed at Haut de la Garenne in Jersey.

This official Police Report was removed from the police's website soon after former Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper retired from the force and the investigation went on to be sabotaged.

The evidence can be viewed HERE.

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