Wally Harbert blows the whistle
CHILD PROTECTION IN A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT by Wally Harbert
In recent years, nearly every police force in the country has examined historic abuse in children’s homes. Fifty private schools have also been investigated. If organisations responsible for looking after children in the 1970’s and 80’s got it so wrong how can we blame the BBC for failures over Jimmy Savile or the Liberal Party over Cyril Smith? And what light does it throw on how it was possible for widespread abuse in Rotherham to be ignored over many years?
I describe here my experiences as a director of social services in the County of Avon between 1973 and 1990. The county was formed in 1973 from local authorities in Bristol, Bath and parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset. The social services department had over 6000 staff (about 4,500 full-time equivalents) in 250 buildings. The Council was…
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