Friday 15 May 2015

A wake-up call

This week's Carmarthenshire Herald carries a two page exposé of one of the most shocking cases to involve social services in the county in recent years. It has been covered in some detail on this blog and by Caebrwyn before, but the Herald has managed to explain this highly complex and long-running case clearly and succinctly, and it has taken the time to go beyond the dry official reports and speak to some of those involved.

The result is that for the first time the human cost of the case is clear for all to see.

In summary, a couple living in Carmarthenshire had their severely disabled daughter taken away from them without warning after accusations were made by an agency care worker that she was being sold into prostitution.

This extremely malicious accusation triggered a course of events which turned the family's life into a nightmare, and years later the council is still dragging its feet on implementing a settlement which was agreed out of court.

From reading the reports, it is clear that the parents accepted and understood that the council had to act and respond to the accusations, but what followed was a catalogue of blunders and inexplicable delays in returning the young woman to her home even after the police had concluded that the accusations were without foundation.

Why social services managers acted in the way they did and why they prolonged the agony has never been satisfactorily explained. Neither is it known whether anyone faced disciplinary proceedings or any form of sanction for the harm inflicted.

It is also not clear whether the care workers who triggered this horror story are still employed in that capacity.

There are clearly important lessons to be learned from this, and an investigation is needed. It will come as no surprise to learn that the usual suspects have so far managed to block scrutiny and discussion of the case by councillors.

Some senior councillors, particularly Cllr Jane Tremlett who holds the social services portfolio on the Executive Board, should have been aware of what happened and also that the council has so far taken four years to implement the settlement.

Why has she not intervened? If she was not aware, why not?

Let us hope that the new administration acts swiftly in this case and sends a clear signal that cover-ups, denials and complete indifference to the suffering of real people are no longer acceptable.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely scandalous. Lessons are only learnt through accountability. Public enquiry well overdue. Dirty tactics ring a bell with many.

Delyth Jenkins

Patricia B said...

There's no excuse for prolonging a family's agony once the truth has emerged. I agree that accountability is the only way lessons will be learned.

Anonymous said...

Plaid now has the opportunity to investigate and expose many cases where people's lives have been ruined by the totally arrogant and out of control chief executive.It can't come soon enough.The Herald is doing a sterling job.More of the same please.It is the only way.

Anonymous said...

The herald is like a breath of fresh air blowing through the smog that lingers over jail hill.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Cneifiwr has not mentioned Meryl's Mansions for the People scheme. There's an excellent photo of her handing over the mansion keys to a lucky Glangwili couple on page 6 of this weeks Herald.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@10.04 No I haven't forgotten it. Coming soon.

Anonymous said...

Well said Delyth!

Jennifer Brown (whistleblower)

Anonymous said...

I believe criminal charges should be brought against officers of the Council here!

Anonymous said...

This is as bad as it gets. Why have no heads rolled? Senior Officers of the Council including the former Director of Social Care should be held accountable even though he has now retired.

Anonymous said...

I have been asked many times why I continue to fight for accountability ten years on from when I, and others, witnessed abuse of vulnerable adults, and how the Council failed to adequately deal with the complaint.

The appalling case of the young lady referred to as H is the very reason why I continue to fight. Holding people to account gives out the message that this kind of behaviour and failure will not be tolerated, and this is the only way lessons are learnt. If there is no accountability, there is no deterrent. If jobs were lost because of the failings, then it would give out a strong message, and officers would really think twice about the consequences of their actions.

This payback by officers of the Council rings so many bells. It is appalling and the Councillors must start asking questions about this case.

Delyth Jenkins

Anonymous said...

Can anyone please provide a link to the article within the Carmarthenshire Herald, on the 15th and 22nd May 2015, regarding the young lady referred to as H in the Ombudsman's report.

Also a link to the Ombudsman's report too please.

Thank you