Green Lane Children’s Home, Greenwich
Allegations about a children’s home are not new to Greenwich. In 1987 the police were investigated Green Lane children’s home after allegations involving drugs, alcohol, and unlawful sex. There were no prosecutions. Internal inquiries led to the dismissal of the deputy superintendent, Polly Perkins, for gross misconduct. Lloyd Austin, a senior care worker, was disciplined for ‘harassment’. After Mr Austin had been suspended from Green Lane, but before his disciplinary hearing in February 1988, Peter Bottomley, MP for Eltham (the constituency that covers Green Lane) intervened on his behalf, telling the local branch secretary of Mr Austin’s former union, the Association of Clerical, Technical and Supervisory Staffs, Charles Maslin, to ‘call off his dogs by Monday evening’.
Three members of staff brought allegations of sexual harassment against Mr Austin. One claimed at a disciplinary hearing chaired by Mr Manby, that sexual harassment by Mr Austin culminated in a physical assault upon her 18 months before, in September 1986. Mr Austin was not dismissed but was charged with ‘harassment’, given a final warning, and demoted. (name) Cullen, Greenwich’s director of care services, was re-ported as referring to Mr Austin’s offences as ‘bad habits’. Mr Manby transferred Mr Austin to the Melanie Klein home.
The Independent, 27th May 1991
by DEAN NELSON
THE National Association of Young People in Care (Naypic) is one of Britain’s most unorthodox childcare groups. It is a co-operative run exclusively by people aged under 25 who have been in care themselves.
The organisation was formed in 1979 to give children in care their own independent voice. Its first success was the abolition of local authority clothing books.
Children complained they were humiliated by shop staff because they had to pay for clothes with special vouchers for children in care.
Some childcare workers have questioned the group’s confrontational style – its volunteers have been known to rescue child abuse victims from children’s homes – but few doubt its commitment and success in spotlighting abuse in children’s homes.
It claims success in highlighting several major child abuse cases including the Melanie Klein House scandal in Greenwich, south-east London.
Naypic also claims credit for forcing the Staffordshire “pindown” inquiry into restraint techniques after the local authority declared the home to be safe. Other successes include winning £22,000 compensation for three victims of sexual abuse in the Green Lanes children’s home.
Today the organisation faces a financial struggle to expand its organisation and establish a national structure with regional offices to investigate abuse throughout Britain.
Naypic has recently asked the Department of Health for a £158,000 grant to help the organisation establish regional offices and become more efficient in voicing the concerns of children in care, and exposing abuse in children’s homes. However, it has been offered only £38,000, although that may be doubled next year.
Naypic said the decision was a serious setback to its plans to establish regional offices to investigate abuse in homes throughout Britain.
Mary Moss, the Naypic spokeswoman, said: ”We want to give a voice to young people in care.
“We are at the sharp end of society, but if we don’t listen to these young people we will never know what is going on in our society.”