Report on investigation into allegations of child abuse at Witherwack House – conclusion

‘Report on investigation into allegations of child abuse at Witherwack House’

Sunderland City Council had previously stated that the Council would not be able to release this document due to the amount of redaction under  the ‘personal information’ exemption at Section 40 of the Act and on the basis that the level of required redaction of these details would effectively render the document meaningless.

They have now had another look at the document and released a fair bit of useful information which is sufficient for a new post,  but for completeness I have also added it to the blog post a few days ago.

The report concludes that there is foundation to the allegations against 3 members of staff and that they should face disciplinary proceedings be taken against these people on the grounds of gross professional misconduct on all or at least most of the incidents outlined. (This is approximately September 1987)

The Freedom of Information Officer states
“The document is headlined ‘Report on investigation into allegations of child abuse at Witherwack House’ and deals solely with Witherwack; no other homes are cited in the report.

The report is ten pages long and there were two investigating officers. Personal interviews with staff and children were undertaken in September 1987 and persons with specific information were invited to submit statements.

There were investigations into ten separate allegations; statements, reports and submissions of secondary evidence were taken from ten children and thirteen members of staff across the ten allegations.

While reviewing the document I further believe it is possible to provide the investigating officers’ conclusions and recommendations, suitably redacted to comply with Section 40 of the FOIA where appropriate. Please accept my apologies for this not being included in our original response.”

Investigating Officers Conclusions from the Report on investigation into allegations of child abuse at Witherwack House

Although there have been a substantial number of allegations these have been constantly levelled at ########################################. What has been remarkable throughout the investigation has been the consistency of the children and staff and it can only be surmised that if these allegations are not true their (sic) have been a lot of people lying which would raise just as serious issues about ########################################.

While many of the specific incidents are difficult to verify in detail it is our feeling that there is foundation to the claims being made. It is felt that ######################################## built up what could only be described as a culture of verbal and physical violence in their unit. The atmosphere was apparently one which lacked professional adult/child relationships and that staff were functioning at the level of children rather than vice versa. There is considerable feeling among staff remaining against ######################################## and we generally feel we will experience considerable unrest should they return to Witherwack.

Recommendation

That disciplinary proceedings be taken against these people on the grounds of gross professional misconduct on all or at least most of the incidents outlined.

Links and References

[1] FOI request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/child_abuse_documents_held_by_su#outgoing-307026

[2] https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/more-witherack-childrens-home-documents/

cathyfox the truth will out

Advertisements

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathy fox blog, Freedom of Information Request, Reports, Sunderland, Witherwack and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Report on investigation into allegations of child abuse at Witherwack House – conclusion

  1. Dave says:

    Doesnt matter what they reports say i know different after all i started it and lived through it. Here endeth the lesson hankingson,hope,hepple

    • cathyfox says:

      Hi Dave thanks for your comment. I realise the reports are not the whole truth,and some are censored and doctored for various purposes. If you would like to give your story anonymously or otherwise I would be very grateful

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s