Tuesday 7 May 2013

Operation Care

Panorama documentary into the seedy world of Residential Childcare in the UK

HOME TRUTHS – In the 1970s and 1980s, an epidemic of abuse swept through Britain’s children’s homes. More than 100 care workers have already been convicted; more than 1,000 await trial. But no one has yet explained how such a grotesque scandal could have come about. Christian Wolmar has spent two years trying to do so. Here are some of his conclusions
Independent on Sunday, 8th October 2000
by Christian Wolmar
The scandal that unfolded in British children’s homes in the 1980s and 1990s is, on the face of it, inexplicable. A modern western nation with a tradition of caring for the weak – the birthplace of the welfare state – houses thousands of children in residential homes where they end up battered and sexually abused.
It is, according to a government minister in the Lords, “the greatest scandal of the 20th century”. Unfortunately, the minister’s view has not found much echo in society at large. The story has been largely ignored by the press. It has, too, been the subject of little academic research, despite the obvious need for a greater understanding. Successive governments have commissioned reports into particular incidents, but most of these have been at a local level. Yet the importance of understanding the wider history of these scandals cannot be overstated, for without such understanding, it is impossible to frame a policy to tackle the problem.
The scandals cover the breadth of the UK, from Aberdeen to North Wales, East Belfast to Plymouth; and while cases occur from the early 1960s into the 1990s, they predominate in the 1970s and 1980s.
See Spotlight on Abuse for the rest of this piece

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