Children in Care, 2012

My attention was brought to this speech in the House of Commons by Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, on 13th June 2016:

It is interesting that, after the trial, professionals involved in the care of children were saying that the girls were from chaotic families, as though that explained why they had not been cared for. I accept that the parents of those children must take some responsibility, but the local authorities involved were those children’s guardians, and they failed to guard them. The perpetrators sometimes referred to the girls as prostitutes, and it was interesting that some of the social services staff referred to them in the same way. Those girls did not stand a chance.

Three weeks ago, two health workers who had been heavily involved in the case came to see me at my constituency office to describe their experience. They said that social services managers believed that the girls had been making life choices, which is why they were seen as prostitutes. Some of the social services staff who were dealing with the girls clearly had low expectations of them. The health workers told me that although one of the girls—their client—had presented with multiple sexually transmitted infections, the council would not intervene or escalate her care. They also told me that one 13-year-old girl had asked to go into secure care to escape from the abuse. Social services responded that she was too disruptive, and that it would cost too much. Let us be clear: those health professionals were working with children who were pressing for greater intervention, more action and more intensive care, yet none of that was forthcoming. The abuse continued for years. Vulnerable girls got pregnant by their abusers, and lives continued to be ruined. That is the reality.

Source: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2012-06-13/debates/12061361000002/SafeguardingChildren#contribution-12061361001423

Excerpted here because it relates to my earlier post