SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: The girl, 15, handed to her abusers on a plate to be raped by a sex gang after care home staff let her run away 19 times
This article is by a director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-wing think tank, and the examples she uses are a few years old and not all relevant to the Rochdale grooming case. The headline is misleading — care homes can't keep girls in solitary confinement or under lock and key. And yet it's worth reading as there's some actual journalism here. Her excoriation of private care providers has merit, and she draws attention to the problem of recruitment:
Deeply troubled young people need carers of the highest calibre. But staff in the home of the 15-year-old Rochdale victim had not, according to Ofsted, received ‘specific training in areas such as drug awareness and sexual exploitation’.
The homes also suffer from a high turnover — 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the staff in the homes I visited departed every year.
The average stay of a staff member is nine months — hardly providing the stability children such as Emma or the Rochdale victim craved.
Luckily we have a government dedicated to improving the prestige and working conditions of social workers, and enouraging councils to employ social workers in-house. Oh, no we haven't.
Readers propose some expert solutions:
People will not like what I'm about to say, but I can't see any other way of handling this. This small group of children will keep running away and causing problems. They will cost the country more and more and never contribute anything except lawlessness. The only answer is to stop wrapping them in cotton wool. Sit back and wait for them to break the law, charge them and then sentence them to detention. This way at least they can be kept under lock and key for the protection of both themselves and society
- Barry - average tax and NI i paid last year 33%, United Kingdom, 12/5/2012 11:56 Rating 99
The Mailite positive attitude shines through.
Stop all this pussyfooting around with youngsters put into care. Start to give the carers some authority to deal with the troublesome children, put locks on all doors and if necessary lock them in their room. All this PC rubbish is the cause of all our children's problems, the human rights act has not helped either. Bring back corporal punishment and most problems will disappear. Make the police do their duty correctly by prosecuting the under sixteens for having sex, its illegal. If a girl gets pregnant then she should be made to stay at home under her parents and social workers control,not given council housing as happens at present. R.S. Toddington
- Rene Samways, Toddington, England, 12/5/2012 11:42 Rating 144
Rene is not an expert on self-harm.
Again, another reason why social workers should step in sooner & put babies up for adoption, rather than leave them to a life of care homes and abuse.
- Sue, Cardiff, 12/5/2012 11:21 Rating 6
I think this is the conclusion the Mail wants us to draw: give the damaged kids to PLU. With a little love and discipline, we can turn their lives around, like in the movies. That overlooks the fact that these children would already be in foster families, at the very least, if it were possible.
And social workers take the children of loving, innocent parents as they suspect there 'may be emotional abuse take place in the future' and place them into these care homes. Evil exists in the UK and its sanctioned by the State and funded with your taxes.
- Ben, London, 12/5/2012 10:47 Rating 5
There's alway one. (Actually, there are loads.)