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Children abused in Care Homes rated "Good".

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Children in care were punched, locked out naked and had vinegar poured on cuts, according to reports that were filed over three years before the homes were finally shut.

A BBC investigation has revealed that children in Care Homes run by the Hesley Group, in Doncaster, were punched, locked out of the home naked and had vinegar poured on cuts.  More than 100 safeguarding reports of mistreatment had been logged, however the homes retained a "Good" Ofsted rating.  This is despite Ofsted itself being alerted 40 times about incidents at the homes.

Ofsted, who are the official Regulator for schools and all children’s services, including Children’s Homes have apologised, as have the Hesley Group who ran the homes.  The homes have subsequently been closed.

The BBC investigation revealed:

  • Children were locked in bathrooms overnight and left in soiled clothes.   
  • The children were forced to sit in cold baths and were deprived of medication for days
  • The mother of one girl - who is autistic and has severe learning difficulties and epilepsy – reported that her daughter was dragged across the floor of a home
  • South Yorkshire Police are currently investigating some former staff for alleged abuse – however they were alerted to incidents three years before the homes were closed down
  • Vetting for criminal records (DBS checks) were not implemented in some cases for up to 6 months after they began working with vulnerable children.

Dr Mark Kerr, deputy CEO of the Children's Homes Association says that this latest scandal is the worst since the abuse scandal at Winterbourne View which was exposed in 2011.

David Hawkins, a specialist in Child Abuse Law at Biscoes Solicitors says

“This is sadly what can happen when public money is paid to large companies in order to care for vulnerable people.  The danger is that profits in some of these privately run institutions are placed over people.”  David has a great deal of experience in acting for people who have been harmed while in a care home setting, and worked with Participants in the Residential Special Schools strand of IICSA.  If you, or a loved one, have been affected by this please contact us and we can advise you, in complete confidence, as to your legal rights.