Children’s Services – in Crisis?

Despite IICSA opening its doors in July 2015 and including in its focus the work of local authorities children’s services the length and breadth of the country continue to be plagued with problems, probes, enquiries, intervention, financial crises, adverse press interest and funding difficulties. Continue reading

Update of the current IICSA investigations

 

Investigation Current position
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale On 12 April 2018 the IICSA published its report. The Panel provided an Executive Summary and drew a number of  the conclusions. The Inquiry made no recommendations because they will be considering evidence that is relevant to the protection of children in the care of local authorities in the outstanding local authority as well as in some of the thematic investigation. They consider they will then be better placed to make overarching recommendations. Despite this, the Inquiry expect the public bodies involved in this investigation to reflect on their report and make changes to their practice as necessary to protect children in the future. See our earlier blog for details of the report’s conclusions: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/04/12/iicsas-second-report-cambridge-house-knowl-view-and-rochdale/.
Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks The Inquiry is not accepting applications for Core Participant (CP) status or requesting evidence currently.

The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

Accountability and Reparations A preliminary hearing took place on 8 May 2018 to provide an update on the latest developments.

Since the last preliminary hearing IICSA has granted CP status to four victim/survivors from St Aidan’s, another victim/survivor for Forde Park and another victim/survivor for Stanhope Castle.  In total there are now 41 CP victims and survivors across the case study institutions.  26 finalised statements have now been received.  It has been reiterated that the investigation will not examine or resolve disputed factual issues relating to the underlying abuse.

IICSA’s proposals for the focus of the w case studies are:

  • North Wales Children’s Homes –  civil litigation
  • Forde Park –  the overall management of the Forde Park civil litigation, and the litigation process itself, in particular how the claims were settled and how that settlement was perceived by the victims and survivors
  • St Leonard’s – as per Forde Park
  • St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s –  the process of civil litigation, in particular limitation, and how this impacted on the experiences of victims and survivors
  • Stanhope Castle –  knowledge of and access to civil litigation and criminal compensation (from the CICA).

A further and final preliminary hearing has been listed for 25 September 2018 to deal with any outstanding matters ahead of the public hearings which run from 26 November to 13 December 2018.

Children in Custodial Institutions Public hearings were held in July 2018 for 2 weeks. The investigation examined the prevalence and culture of child sexual abuse in custody as well as the institutional responses to those allegations. The current safeguarding and child protection policies were also  examined. During the hearings a selection of allegations of recent sexual abuse were analysed in relation to Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institutions at Feltham and Werrington; Medway and Rainsbrook Secure Training Centres; Vinney Green Secure Unit; and Aycliffe Secure Centre.

A report on this phase of the investigation is expected in early 2019.

The Internet A week of public hearings was held from 22-26 January 2018.

Applications will be requested for more CPs in due course. As the investigation is currently narrowly focused to consider the response of law enforcement agencies no internet specific organisation is a CP.

Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC In April 2017 the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the scope of this investigation. IICSA does not wish to prejudice the investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Leicestershire Police.

No further updates.

Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils A second preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018.

The public hearings start on 1 October 2018.

There are currently 90 CPs including 83 individuals who allege that they were sexually abused whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church The first public hearing in relation to the Chichester Diocese case study was held in  March 2018. There were twenty themes and issues being considered.

A hearing in connection with the Peter Ball case study was held last week.

A further public hearing relating the wider Anglican Church will proceed in 2019.

Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools Currently no CPs designated but applications are likely to be called for in September 2018. In its interim report IICSA identified it does not intend to name specific school led case studies but rather to consider themes across schools including governance, reporting and whistleblowing, recruitment and termination of employment, inspection and monitoring, and culture
Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster Three weeks of public hearings will take place from 4 March 2019.
Protection of Children Outside the UK The Panel’s report, it’s first on all of its investigations, into the Child Migration Case Study was published on 1 March 2108.  See our previous blog for details of the recommendations made: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/03/27/iicsas-first-report/.

The second case study in this investigation is examining whether the civil framework is adequate for preventing, and notifying foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. A public hearing on this case study will take place in February 2019.

Children in the Care of Lambeth Council Preliminary hearings were held in this investigation in March and July 2016.

IICSA are reviewing vast quantities of information before a public hearing is scheduled. It has recently sought submissions from CPs on proposals for the investigation to focus on three case studies on the following homes: Angell Road, Southvale Assessment Centre and Shirley Oaks

Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church Further public hearings relating to the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study will take place from 12-16 November 2018.

Public hearings relating to the Ealing Abbey case study will commence on 4 February 2019.

Initial hearings which focused on the Benedictine Order, in particular at Ampleforth and Downside were held in November 2017. The report in connection with those hearings will be published on 9 August 2018.


MIRIAMAuthored by Miriam Rahamim, BLM

Education & Health sectors – abuse allegations

The National College of Training and Leadership (the Teacher Regulation Agency) has had its statistics in relation to teacher bans analysed and sexually motivated inappropriate conduct was found to be the reason in a third of them. Continue reading

Football – an update

It has been reported in the press that the Football Association’s independent Inquiry into historical allegations of sexual abuse has found no evidence of organised institutional abuse or a cover-up.  The Inquiry, headed by Clive Sheldon QC, was launched in December 2016, following numerous high profile allegations of sexual abuse, and the final report is expected to be delivered to the Football Association in September 2018.  It is understood that the Inquiry team has to date interviewed 35 survivors of abuse and another 70 people who were involved in the sport at the relevant time.  It is also understood that the Inquiry team has had access to around 13,000 documents. The final report is still expected to be critical and to find failings by both individuals and football clubs themselves.  The Inquiry team is now writing to a number of institutions and individuals to give them advance warning of the contents of the final report so that they may have the opportunity to respond prior to the report being finalised. Continue reading

Court of Appeal overturns ‘same roof’ rule in claims to the CICA

The Court of Appeal have unanimously declared the ‘same roof’ rule incompatible with article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”) and opened the way to compensation claims from victims of abuse perpetrated by family members living together before October 1979. Continue reading

Media reporting and abuse investigation

The decision to award Sir Cliff Richard a significant sum for a breach of his right to privacy comes at a moment when issues of false allegations and the way sexual assault cases are to be investigated and prosecuted is to the fore in any event.  Continue reading

Harassment and sexual misconduct scandals at law firms

The #MeToo movement gained significant international attention following allegations of sexual assault and harassment by some of Hollywood’s stars. Following these revelations more prominence has been given to investigating and addressing harassment and sexual assault allegations especially within the workplace. As with many professions and industries allegations relating to the legal profession are coming to light. Continue reading