Child Protection in a Hostile Environment by Wally Harbert

cathy fox blog on child abuse

Wally Harbert blows the whistle

wally harbert

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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6 responses to “Child Protection in a Hostile Environment by Wally Harbert

  1. artmanjosephgrech

    Great well done

  2. dpack

    well done indeed .
    understanding context is important
    thankyou

  3. Sabre

    Fascinating, context as well as complexity.
    Hackney, Wally Herbert was Director there between ’70 and ’73, has more than its fair share of scandals although probably not on Mr Herbert watch.

  4. chrisb

    I suspect the model of paedophiles using Labour Party and union membership to force councillors to protect them from council managers, who challenged their activities, has been replicated in many other localities. Mark Trotter and Hackney spring to mind. The question to ask is how many paedophiles were required to control a ward in a local council. Could one or two do it by prompting the knee-jerk reaction of trade union officials to any member being threatened with a job loss? Or was there a critical mass of paedophiles in certain wards that meant they could control who stood for election as councillor?

  5. I doubt whether there is a mathematical formula to detect the impact of paedophiles on a Council’s policies.

    The national discourse on recent revelations about the extent of paedophilia is still at the shock-horror stage. We need to move on to reflect on what it all means and to analyse what needs to be done. I hope to produce a few ideas for consideration in the next two or three weeks.