St Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Brentwood
This home was the subject of a Social Services Inspectorate report in 1991 concerning the use of drug treatment by staff to control the behaviour of residents.
Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children in Residential Care; Corby, Doig and Roberts, 2001 p.81.
‘Probe at Youth Centre’, p. 11
A high level probe is underway into allegations of staff misconduct at Britain’s top centre for problem children.
The inquiry was ordered by the Health Department after two MP’s – Sir Bernard Braine (Tory, South East Essex) and Mr Peter Bottomley (Con. West Wolwich [sic] ) – had received complaints by staff at the maximum security St. Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Essex, and from the parents of a teenaged girl who claimed she was put on the pill at 15 and allowed to sleep there with her boyfriend.
The centre, which was opened six years ago in Brentwood, is staffed by a highly experienced team of teachers, youth workers and social therapists. It caters for children in the age group 10 to 18 who’ve been placed there by the courts, or by councils which have them in care.
A staff spokesman blamed the trouble on a minority of colleagues. He accused one of them of “having an affair with a girl” and said it was a “common practise for some staff to look through a peep-hole into her room while they made love.” The man had since deserted his wife and was now living with the girl.
Among other claims under investigation are (a) that boys and girls were allowed to sleep together; (b) a report of a 17 year old boy who was savagely beaten by a teacher; (c) a lesbian relationship between a staff member and a pupil; and (d) that girls were allowed to bring back ‘pick-ups’ after a night out on the town.
The centre’s Deputy Director, Mr Alan Dunton, said he was not in a position to discuss the allegations. “I am proud of our work in dealing with some of the most disturbed children in the country.”