Poorly timed government response to abuse of disabled children in Doncaster

2 mins read

Thursday 21 December 2023

The government has finally responded to the recommendations of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review following the abuse of children with complex health needs and disabilities at residential homes in Doncaster run by the Hesley Group between 2018 and 2021.

The Child Safeguarding Review found a culture of abuse and harm. Looking at the experiences of 108 children and young adults, it found “systematic and sustained” abuse and neglect over a period of more than three years, with the safety net that should have protected them proving ineffective. The review set out far-reaching recommendations for central and local government and other agencies, proposing wide-ranging changes to policy and practice to improve the safety, support, and outcomes for disabled children with complex health needs in residential care.

The Government response published this week sets out the steps that the Government are taking to address the failings identified by the review and its views on the recommendations made by the review panel.

Meagan Leggett, Interim Director of Family Support at Contact said:

“This is a sad reminder of the avoidable suffering of disabled children, so gut-wrenchingly awful. Inevitably the timing of the response prompts questions about attempting to bury it on the eve of Christmas.

Whilst the government has accepted ‘in principle’ all recommendations it is disappointing there are no timescales for change.  We will want to see what concrete progress being made early in 2024 especially around strengthening of advocacy for children in residential care”

Read the full response on gov.uk