Letter: Why children must wait for their holidays

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The Independent Online
Why children must wait for their holidaysSir: Polly Toynbee states that "The age of innocence is dead, killed by suspicion". This worthy but woolly article criticises the temporary closure of the Children's Country Holidays Fund. The claim is made that this response to the identification of convicted child abusers in its ranks will be a "bitter loss" to children already neglected and abused. Further, it is argued that selection

procedures within the charity are already felt to be as "water-tight as possible".

These procedures are obviously not watertight at all. They have allowed further abuse of already vulnerable children to take place whilst under the protection of this charity. The positive step of closing down operations and focusing on improving its selection methods should be applauded. Such action can only be taken as symptomatic of a responsible organisation.

As far as the voluntary workers who are "distraught" at this disruption to their plans are concerned, they are faced with a choice. Either they risk exposing children who have already experienced distress and disadvantage to more of the same, or they postpone existing arrangements. I am sure that few would find the decision difficult.

Dr Patricia Hind JP

Lecturer in Psychology, City University

Chairman, Family Panel

London SE24