Home was paid £250,000 a year to care for teenager... but failed to protect her (From St Helens Star)
Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Far reaching failures in our care system
WITH the furore over alleged corruption in our banking system, a far-reaching failure in our care system has quietly slipped under the radar.
A report by Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner was published last week, in which she concludes that the system that “looks after” children in care is not fit for purpose.
She observes that she had never before witnessed the violence and sadism she found when writing the report. The shameful case of the Rochdale teenager – the only “looked after” person in the home – preyed upon and sexually abused by men whose depravity knows no bounds is only the tip of the iceberg.
The fact that the privately run home was paid £250,000 a year to care for the girl, and failed abysmally is one thing.
The astounding fact is that Ofsted had given the home a clean bill of health. The waste of public money pales into significance when compared to the effect that this lack of care has had on one young girl’s life. In many cases police are not aware of care homes in their area, so cannot monitor them – that is so ridiculous that it defies belief!
Politicians can no longer kick this one under the table. In every local authority we need council tax payers to demand to know how their vulnerable young people are being cared for when they are removed from the family home.
Care homes need to be inspected regularly without notice by specially trained people, perhaps police officers, who can soon weed out cover ups and malpractice, and highly paid senior council officers need to be held accountable for failures in the system and dismissed.
I have asked St. Helens Council a series of questions on the matter under the Freedom of Information Act, and intend to pursue the matter at every level if I find shortcomings in our local provision.
Charles Dickens exposed the abuse of children in care in Victorian England in his novel “Nicholas Nickleby”. It appears that the system still tolerates or fails to prevent this abuse.
Children have only one chance in life to be children – we owe it to them to protect them as best we can.
Mike Perry, Prescot Road, St Helens