SOCIETY Childcare abuse on the decline

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The Independent Online
ChildLine yesterday called for legislation to ban convicted child sex offenders from trying to work with children.

The proportion of children in care who called the helpline and reported being sexually abused by foster parents, care workers or other children has dropped by almost five times in the past three years. But it said 35 children still complained of being abused by carers in 1995/96 who then found it hard to be taken seriously after complaining.

Twenty out of 1,130 children who called ChildLine from residential homes said they were abused, according to a report yesterday.

ChildLine's Children Living Away from Home study, which comes in the wake of the jailing of a paedophile, Roger Saint, for abusing foster children, also revealed 15 of 484 youngsters in foster care who called said they were abused by their foster fathers.

Research director Mary MacLeod said: ""It is outrageous that children as traumatised as these should be assaulted by people who are entrusted with their care."