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To ask why the police took no action?

(71 Posts)
Lilygran Wed 15-May-13 11:40:39

I can't understand this at all. When someone makes an 'historic' complaint about some TV personality, the police turn up at his house at dawn, arrest him and search his house. When a young girl is found in the company of several men in dubious circumstances, nothing happens. Even though she is distressed, half-naked and drunk or drugged. What is going on?

Marelli Thu 16-May-13 20:52:18

petra, flowers

Butty Thu 16-May-13 20:12:18

petra flowers

petra Thu 16-May-13 19:26:22

Thanks for that, nightowl. I do so hope your right.

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 18:55:19

petra flowers

I think there is some small hope that the role of family and friends is again being recognised. Support is patchy but there are some moves in the right direction.

petra Thu 16-May-13 16:13:36

Mixed emotions as to weather its right/wrong for children to go into care.
I was 14 1/2 when my brother was born and he was 2 weeks old when my mother went into a mental home.
My sister was 11. My father was a violent drunk. With the help of some family and lots of neighbours and the lovely 'welfare lady' I got through it.

Eloethan Thu 16-May-13 15:56:50

It's estimated that around a quarter of adoptions break down. If adoptions were rushed through faster than they are now, surely the failure rate would be even higher?

Nelliemoser Thu 16-May-13 15:47:14

nightowl is spot on with her analysis of the current situation in children's services.
Good child care is now grossly underfunded and decisions are taken on the basis of the cheapest rather than the best option. Residential care for damaged and often very challenging children needs very skilled care workers. It's not a job for the faint hearted.

The local authority I worked for for 23 yrs cut their experienced front line staff, who were able to make proper enquiries about new referrals, weed out what just needed advice and refer on the rest to other teams.
These initial functions are now passed on to call center staff. It is now like trying to get medical advice from from your GPs receptionist and never being able to speak to an experienced triage nurse.
This particular local authority is in one of the richer rural areas of the country.

sel very few local authorities fund care homes now and children with the sort of difficulties these girls have experienced are probably the last who could be adoptable because of their behaviour.
I have read details of a "serious case review" where a very poor and hasty assessment process on an adoption led to several years of further abuse. It is not a subject to be rushed through. A no win situation.

There is a bigger and very contentious issue that seems to go about childcare in 30yr cycles about whether or not children in what appear to be very dysfunctional families should be left in those homes for years whilst a succession of ever hopeful social workers try to sort the problems out. Or whether children should be removed at an earlier stage before they are too damaged.
The problem with this is that peoples behaviour is inherently un-predictable and whether or not particular parents can improve their situation is in a crystal ball.
Most options on this issue seem to have been tried before. Then some bright young academic, desperate to make their mark comes along, reinvents the previous policies and revisits the old mistakes that they do not remember from the first time around.
Such is life! confused

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 15:32:26

You're welcome Sel.

I wouldn't like to suggest that everything has got worse in the last 30+ years. Fostering services have improved dramatically (even though - or perhaps because - they are now dominated by the private sector) and many looked after children have far better prospects than they used to. But I'm afraid fostering is not right for all children and we jettisoned in house residential provision far too readily in my opinion.

Eloethan Thu 16-May-13 15:28:39

I believe that neither a parent nor a care home are allowed to physically restrain a young person to prevent them from going out.

Some years ago I was interested in applying for a local job as a care worker in a private children's home (as nightowl says, there are few local authority homes now). The pay was far less than I was earning in the City and the hours much longer, but having obtained some qualifications in psychology and counselling and experience in mediation, I wanted to do a more worthwhile job.

I went along for an informal visit to the children's "home". It turned out to be a terraced house on a very busy main road in east London. There was no garden and the interior of the house was dark and depressing, with small bedrooms crammed with bunk beds. I felt it to be a totally unsuitable environment for vulnerable children. After much deliberating, I felt that I wouldn't have the fortitude to work effectively in such a terrible environment and, perhaps to my discredit, I did not apply for the position.

I don't think this house was uniquely awful - when a profit is needed, costs have to be minimised, and accommodation is a large part of the costs involved. I'm surprised if anyone can work effectively in such an environment, especially when they are dealing with young people who are disturbed and who can have very challenging behaviour. It's easy to criticise social workers but I'm sure very few people would want to take on such responsibilities and also face the great public animosity that is often directed at them.

I do, though, agree with sunseeker that it is incumbent on care workers to report to the police any suspicions they may have about young people being abused by older men - and for the police to deal with matters properly. As I think whenim suggested, maybe the community itself should get more involved in what is happening around them and be prepared to report any suspicions they may have.

Sel Thu 16-May-13 15:06:12

What a very sad state of affairs and I am thankful that I have never had first hand experience as you have nightowl The toll on those who do care for these children must be enormous.

It's helpful to hear 'from the horse's mouth' - thank you.

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 14:56:39

The homes are registered Sel and funded by the taxpayer by way of the huge amounts paid by local authorities for each child placed. There are rules and accountability. I am certainly not defending this state of affairs. It breaks my heart to see what has happened to the care system I have been involved with for more than thirty years.

Adoption is a completely different matter. These homes are not an alternative to adoption but a last resort for the children who have been most damaged by their early life experiences. Some of the children in there will have experienced adoption breakdowns. Adoption still needs to have rigorous checks and assessment although the process could be improved. Don't believe all you read suggesting that there are hundreds of prospective adopters being rejected by politically correct social workers. It's just nonsense.

You are right about the abuse in Wales happening before this model. It did however involve many of the same problems such as children being removed from their families and communities and thus isolated from protective factors that might have prevented or at least uncovered the abuse at an earlier stage. It was partly as a result of these scandals that the care system moved towards a more local model of providing care. Sadly we forget the lessons of earlier generations at our peril.

Sel Thu 16-May-13 14:34:35

It also begs the question: why is it so hard for people to adopt children? It takes so long, so I believe to be sure . When the situation you describe is the alternative, it's really quite puzzling.

I do appreciate that all these areas are incredibly complex but at the heart is the lay persons' horror at what is happening to children.

Sel Thu 16-May-13 14:30:08

nightowl but I presume the homes are still funded by the taxpayer? Surely there should be some accountability? Some rules laid down by those who do care? If I chose to do so, could I just open up my house and take in children without any accountability to anyone?

Surely too the abuse that happened in the home in Wales was pre this privatisation model?

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 14:19:12

In fact what I should have said is these are not 'local authority care homes' but private homes run for profit. There are very few care homes run directly by local authorities any more.

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 14:17:38

I knew I remembered a similar thread from last year, that time about the similar case in Rochdale. For those who are interested in how local authority care homes function now, this is what I posted at the time:

"I agree that those in authority and positions of power have let these girls and their families down - and there needs to be an enquiry into the state of provision for looked after children as a matter of urgency. However I cannot agree that individual social workers should be sacked - we have seen individuals like Lisa Arthurworry sacked, deregistered and publicly pilloried as a result of her involvement in the Victoria Climbie case. A single social worker to trying to protect any of the girls in Rochdale would be akin to one person trying to stop a runaway train.

About twelve years ago in the authority where I work, there was a recognition that young girls in residential care were being targeted and groomed as prostitutes by adult men. These girls were all local and there was no race element. An excellent Assistant Director of Social Services pioneered an initiative, in close collaboration with the Police and other agencies, that was very successful and received government recognition.

Fast forward to a very different world. There are no local authority children's homes. The gods of privatisation and profit have taken over the care of the most vulnerable. Social care is run on a business model of targets, performance and cost saving. These may not be bad things in themselves but where are the values of care and compassion that brought most of us into social work in the first place? Looked after children (a misleading term if ever there was one) are placed in small private homes miles away from their home town, with staff who are ill trained and ill equipped to meet their needs. The children are unregulated and unloved. They spend much of their time missing and are easy prey for gangs like those in Rochdale, Rotherham or Oxford. The local authority managers like the one I referred to earlier have all gone - either retired or been driven out by the change in culture. They have been replaced by business managers, often with no background in social work and therefore no understanding of the values of the profession. There is no place for social workers who care in this environment, and no safety net for children. I fear we can never put the genie back in this particular bottle".

Sel Thu 16-May-13 14:08:16

sunseeker I was listening to a radio phone-in yesterday and people who had been in childrens' homes were calling in. No one spoke highly of the care they had received sadly. It seemed as if they had complete freedom to come and go. I guess the principle of 'in loco parentis' no longer applies as these children were allowed freedoms no reasonable parent would allow. It's quite bizarre, the very children who most need protection and care from society are effectively denied it, probably through misplaced leniency.

I can't imagine letting my daughters roam the streets at night - well, they could if they wanted to now, as adults, but teenagers, no.

sunseeker Thu 16-May-13 13:28:35

What I can't understand is when these girls told police, social workers and care home workers they were being abused no-one seems to have taken any action. I understand that children can't be "locked" up in their rooms at night but if the child tells the care home worker they are being abused are they not under some obligation to not only report that to the police but to do something to protect the child - even if it means moving them to a different home.

Is it normal for children to be able to walk out of their care home at any time of the day or night? In any household the doors are locked at night, is this not allowed in a childrens care home?

I have no experience of the care home system so these are genuine questions not an attack on the care home workers.

j08 Thu 16-May-13 12:45:54

I have no faith whatsoever in present day social workers. The evidence is out there.

The ones who dealt with me as a child were completely different. I remember them fondly.

Simpler times I guess.

whenim64 Thu 16-May-13 12:39:12

Complimentary as always Jingle! Out for lunch now, back later

noodles Thu 16-May-13 12:23:29

Thank you for that insight whenim64

Butty Thu 16-May-13 12:22:52

It's not the majority of social workers who make a balls-up. It's the government directives that hamstring them in doing their job effectively.

j08 Thu 16-May-13 11:57:59

I think some of the posts on here reflect why social workers have made such a balls up of protecting children. Political correctness at all costs?

whenim64 Thu 16-May-13 11:50:53

Let's be clear - defend NON-OFFENDING Muslim men, not the perpetrators!

ninny Thu 16-May-13 11:43:30

noodles agree with all that you have posted. Why are some posters on here so quick and keen to defend Muslim men? Its these poor girls that need our sympathy. As for excuses given for failing these girls. I disagree someone should have blown the whistle, but I suppose they were frightened of being called racist!

petra Thu 16-May-13 11:36:37

In the Daily Mail today.
Written by Dr Taj, a Muslim leader.
As so often in fearful, politically correct Britain, there is a craven unwillingness to face up to the reality that their actions are tied up with religion and race.