Letter: Children in care

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The Independent Online
Sir: Sir William Utting's report highlights the continuing need for greater vigilance in relation to bad practice and child abuse. He emphasises also the importance of properly supervised residential care as being the best form of provision for many vulnerable children. For too long the pendulum has swung away from residential care and too many good homes and therapeutic communities have been closed. Recent inquiries and prosecutions have quite properly highlighted the various abuses in residential settings. Such abuses, however, have had the rather sad effect of tarnishing the image of the entire sector. The wonderful care and professional commitment provided by staff in many residential homes for children has been overshadowed by bad practice.

The previous Utting report on residential care and a number of other significant national reports have highlighted the lack of provision for the needs of residential workers. These have long been neglected. We urge the Government and local authorities to act with considered haste, and respond positively to the current Utting report - for the sake of our most vulnerable children, and for the staff whose training, supervision and encouragement is crucial to their care.

SIMON RODWAY

LADY MOSER

DEREK MARSHALL

The Caldecott Foundation

Ashford, Kent

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