Letter;Cheshire welcomes inquiry but the publicity could help abusers

The British Association of Social Workers is extremely concerned about the child-care sex scandals you have highlighted. The Prime Minister agreed last week to a public inquiry to look not only at the Cheshire situation but at the national picture. Further steps are urgently needed.

We need much better systems of accessing criminal records to screen out the very few unsuited and even potentially dangerous social work students. In addition, children who have been or are still in care, some of whom may have been sexually abused or physically assaulted, must have access to independent advocacy.

These safeguards and others are required to restore public confidence in the vast majority of staff who do a fine job.

David Brandon

British Association of Social Workers, Cambridge