It’s exactly 2,343 days since I first went to Herefordshire Council to point out that leaving a child who has made a credible allegation of rape in class with the alleged perpetrator is wrong and deeply harmful.
It is not only wrong, but in most cases, it is also highly likely to be a breach of the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.
Sadly, Herefordshire Children’s Services doesn’t excel in much, least of all in listening to members of the public who raise concerns about safeguarding risks. It is no surprise to those of us who have campaigned to prevent further safeguarding failure that in the recent Ofsted inspection report Herefordshire Children’s Services was rated as inadequate in all areas. The first sentence of the inspection report states this: “Children and young people in Herefordshire are not protected from harm.” No shit, Sherlock. It’s what many of us have been saying for years.
I am frankly bored of trying to talk to officers who don’t want to listen. So instead, I’m going to keep a blog and record as it unfolds just how hard it is to be heard in Herefordshire when you raise the alarm about risks to children. I’m going to document the pitiful answers we get from officers and the scandalously inadequate responses we get to public questions. I will document how the formal complaints system is broken, how officers resort to silence when the evidence of failure presented to them is unequivocal, the inaction, the broken promises, the lies, and the pain this causes to children and their families.