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Written - Publication of the Vale of Glamorgan`s Case Management Inquiry Report

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Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services

Assembly Members will recall the public concern that followed the conviction of a young man who had been placed with a family by the Vale of Glamorgan’s Adult Placement Scheme. At that time the Authority acknowledged that there had been mistakes and apologised publically to the family concerned. In response to this case the Authority initiated an internal management inquiry to which the NSPCC provided independent scrutiny and advice.

The Vale of Glamorgan has published its Case Management Inquiry Report today.

I would like to express my own sadness and deep concern in relation to the harm that has occurred as a consequence of the failure to protect the children in this family and the distress this has caused to them and their parents. I am sure that Assembly Members will want to join with me in expressing concern to all those directly involved that they have had to endure such trauma in circumstances where they were providing a service to vulnerable people on behalf of their community

I will be giving this report very serious consideration. It is clear that mistakes have been made and I have asked the Chief Inspector of  the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales to advise me about how the matters raised by this report are taken further. I understand that the Authority has reiterated its apology to the family and is putting an action plan in place to tackle the issues that they have identified. Assembly Members will also want to know that the Chief Inspector is writing today to the Director of Social Services in the Vale requiring a response by 29th May. I am determined that lessons are learnt from these tragic events and that all necessary action is taken to help prevent such circumstances happening again.

I know that Assembly Members share my belief that the highest level of standards must be maintained by all statutory agencies with responsibilities to safeguard vulnerable children and adults. Assembly Members will recall the joint ministerial statement that was issued in November last year following the death of baby Peter in Haringey, which set out the work to safeguard children which we have put in place in Wales. This includes the national review of arrangements to safeguard children led by CSSIW that is currently underway. This will provide the basis for a national overview report on safeguarding children in Wales which will be published in the autumn. Assembly Members will also know of the parallel work that focuses on safeguarding adults.

I will also ensure any lessons to be learnt nationally from the Vale of Glamorgan report and from the action being taken by the Chief Inspector are implemented swiftly.