Children’s homes report ‘gutted’ according to abuse expert
Alison Millar from Leigh Day’s Human Rights team and an expert in abuse in residential care, reacts to the publication of the Jillings report into abuse in North Wales children’s homes
A leading abuse expert has called for the publication of the full report into abuse in children’s homes in North Wales during the 1970s and 1980s after claiming the current version just released to the public had been ‘gutted’ by redactions.
The Jillings Report, written 17 years ago, focuses on allegations of abuse within the North Wales council care system but was shelved by the former Clwyd County Council because of fears of compensation claims.
A heavily edited version of the report has now been published online in the wake of fresh investigations into the abuse and it concludes that the abuse was “extensive” and took place over a “substantial number of years”.
Alison Millar, from the human rights team at Leigh Day and a legal expert in abuse in residential care claims that the report created an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ situation as so much of the report is hidden from public view.
Ms Millar said: “The refusal to publish this report in full is tragically short-sighted.
We are in an Alice in Wonderland situation whereby an independent panel is commissioned to investigate what went wrong and why.
The report remains unpublished for over 15 years and then, when it is finally published, the report is effectively gutted so that important sections dealing with the very issue of what the panel found did go wrong are specifically excluded.
“The whole truth must come out, for the sake of all those affected and so that this can never happen again.”
Allegations about the abuse, centring on the Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wrexham, emerged in the early 1990s, leading to the conviction of seven former care workers after an investigation by North Wales Police in 1991.
Mr Jillings, a former director of social services for Derbyshire, was appointed to lead a full investigation into the affair when the scope of the allegations became more widespread.
The conclusion of the newly published Jillings Report begins with a quote from George Bernard Shaw which reads: “It is an old saying that he who tells too much truth is sure to be hanged.”
It continues: “Our investigations have led us to conclude that the abuse of children and young people in Clywd residential units has been extensive and has taken place over a substantial number of years.”
Other inquiries have been launched since the Jillings Report, including Operation Pallial, launched last November, which is looking into 140 allegations relating to 18 care homes between 1963 and 1992.
Original article can be found here: http://www.leighday.co.uk
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