Northumbria police are trying to locate hundreds of former residents of council homes between the 1960s and 1980s who may have been affected. Allegations about other workers have also emerged during inquiries by police but they are dead or retired and no longer working with children.
One of the men suspended is employed by Newcastle City Council and the other by Northumberland County Council, but they have also worked for other authorities. The investigation began after a1970s resident of a Newcastle council home made allegations of abuse; subsequent inquiries resulted in more complaints being made. The inquiries are believed to span several local authority areas.
Police will be working closely with child-protection agencies, social services and health as part of the inquiry team.
The allegations involve not only sexual but also serious physical abuse and the investigation is likely to be "lengthy but it is not known how wide-ranging it may prove to be", a police spokeswoman said.
Police have set up an incident room number 0161 868680 for anyone who has information.Reuse content