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Statement following publication of IICSA report

County Hall

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published a report following its investigation into organisations’ responses to allegations relating to former Leicester MP Greville Janner. This was one of 15 investigations undertaken by the Inquiry.

We are one of a number of organisations required to take part in this investigation. From the outset, we pledged our full support and since 2016, we’ve provided wide-ranging information to ensure that we have met IICSA’s expectations at every stage of the process and will study the report carefully.

The Council at the time simply did not do enough to keep the children in its care safe and for that, I am sorry.

The publication underlines that there were failures in the past. We fully accept the findings in the report and have supported the inquiry from the outset.

It has taken immense courage for people to speak out about historic events and I’d like to praise them for their bravery.

Across the board, our approach to safeguarding has transformed. The formal systems in place today, as well as the specialist support provided to our young people and the joint work with the police to help secure convictions, are unrecognisable from those of the past, and IICSA has acknowledged these changes.

Keeping children safe is one of our most important responsibilities and although no changes are recommended to be implemented immediately, we will study the report carefully. We remain committed to hearing and acting on the voice of children and continually improving the support we give to the children in our care.

Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council

Social work today is totally different to the period of time examined by IICSA. Systems, processes, procedures, training and management oversight is in place to ensure that all vulnerable children, but particularly those in our care are safeguarded, cared for and their voices are heard loud and clear

Key changes include:

  • Putting the child’s voice at the heart of everything we do - enabling children in care to not only achieve their full potential, but if there are concerns, to make allegations of abuse without fear of the repercussions and with the confidence that they will be heard and action taken
  • Setting up a Children’s Rights Service - providing advocacy and support for our children and families through the child protection process. Leicestershire was the first council to do so.
  • Our fostering service recruits and retains foster carers in line with national regulations. All foster carers have support and a development plan
  • Our ‘independent visitor’ scheme provides support for children in care who are not in regular contact with their families. Rigorous recruitment’ procedures are in place, as well as oversight, safeguarding training, regular supervision and monitoring of all participants
  • Working closely with the police and other partners to tackle sexual exploitation, trafficking and missing children – our well-developed approached has been recognised by Ofsted in 2016 and 2019 and supported early and proactive responses to child criminal exploitation, particularly in respect of young people involved in drug trafficking, county lines and modern-day slavery

 

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