Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Another social work failure

I shouldn’t complain too much about social workers or the government. After all, it is their idiotic mistakes and inefficiencies that become newsworthy enough to provide me with fodder for my daily rants. So, whose turn is it today? The Vale of Glamorgan council.

Under its Adult Placement Service, these social workers allowed a pedophile to enter the home of a foster couple with two young children. The young man went on to abuse the children. He has admitted to the offence and has been given an indeterminate sentence.

This case illustrates the council’s failure in two departments. One, the family, the other, the criminal. Firstly, the council, for whatever reason, failed to inform the family of the young man’s background. He had a history of sexual assault on other youngsters in the past. There was some debate whether they withheld information in order to protect the man’s human rights. But what about the rights of the family? They had two children at potential risk. The council acted very criminally negligent. As for the young man, who is still a teenager himself, they failed to get him the help he needed before this case occurred. He was known to have had a sexual assault history. Instead of placing him in some juvenile detention area or getting some medical/psychological treatment, they place him in a situation where he would be tempted to commit the same crimes again. Now he is serving a prison sentence. Will he receive the help he needs or has the government decided to wash their hands of him and declare that he is untreatable?

I don’t know if pedophiles can be “˜treated’ or “˜cured’, but it’s apparent that something should have been offered rather than allowing him to continue in the same mode. The council is now instigating an investigation. As if that was the end of the matter. If I had been a member of this family, I would be so outraged that I would view their attempts at help, after-the-fact, as rather injurious and insulting.

They say we learn from our mistakes. Let’s see how this council and others like it will respond. I hope they all begin by reviewing their human rights laws and disclosure rules.

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