Letter: Speaking out about child abuse in homes

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The Independent Online
Sir: Congratulations to the Independent on your campaign to raise the profile of abuse in children's homes, culminating in the Government's acceptance of the need for a full-scale national inquiry. Clearly there is great public concern about the vulnerability of children in care and much needs to be done to restore confidence in this vital area.

The Government could make a positive start by giving its support to the Public Interest Disclosure Bill, which has its Third Reading on 12 July. Staff who work in care homes will often be the first to suspect that a child is being abused but won't speak out about their worries, whether through fear of losing their jobs or because of a culture of silence created by a dominant and autocratic individual.

It is this sort of culture that must be changed if the public is to have confidence that children in care will not be abused.

I am confident that the provisions in the Bill will be a part of the recommendations of the national inquiry. The Government has the opportunity and indeed the duty to act now to stop further abuse taking place.

DON TOUHIG MP

(Islwyn, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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