Letter: Homes that care for children

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The Independent Online
Sir: Those of us who are concerned about the welfare and well- being of children in care will be deeply disappointed by the alarmist reporting in your article "Anger as Children's Homes Privatised" (30 June).

Since 1843 the Shaftesbury Homes and Arethusa, one of Britain's oldest children's charities, has been totally committed to providing a sound upbringing for disadvantaged children.

While striving to improve professional standards through the residential childcare field, it believes in the positive aspects of children's homes for certain young people, and, as such, aims to give them all the opportunities to become happy and responsible citizens despite their very deprived and often damaged beginnings.

For over two years the Society has been managing one of Wandsworth's children's homes with great success and the Social Services Inspectorate has reported that "in many ways it has greatly enhanced the lives of the young people living there".

To quote the Children's Society's view that "young people's welfare will be left at the mercy of profit motives" is unfair, irresponsible and bewildering from an organisation which works in the same field. Running children's homes is difficult and demanding work and a good deal of charitable funding must be applied to it if it is to be successful.

Yours faithfully,


n. c. baird-murray

Shaftesbury Homes & Arethusa

London, SW4

5 July