Historic child abuse report: Keeping young people says is our priority, says Nottinghamshire council childcare chief

Colin Pettigrew
Colin Pettigrew

Here is the full statement from Colin Pettigrew - corporate director for children’s services at Nottinghamshire County Council

“The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has today (July 31st) published its findings from the investigation into Nottinghamshire councils.

“From the outset we welcomed this national inquiry into child sexual abuse along with the scrutiny this would bring to us in Nottinghamshire and we have cooperated fully throughout.

“This council has previously apologised both publicly and privately to individuals for the significant failures in the past to protect children in its care. We know that apologies cannot change the past or take away the abuse people have suffered. These terrible events took place, in some cases, many years ago and we know that the effects remain. We are committed to working with partners to ensure that appropriate support is available to all victims and survivors.

“There is no doubt this report will make difficult reading. The key findings highlight that:

The Councils failed in their statutory duty to protect children in their care from sexual abuse.

When allegations of sexual abuse were made, there was too much willingness to disbelieve the child. There was no effective or rigorous assessment of individual allegations.

Neither councils learned from their mistakes despite five decades of evidence of failure to protect children in care from the 1960s

Despite improvements, there continue to be weaknesses in foster care practice in both councils.

“We are determined to do our utmost to ensure that children in the care of this council are as safe as they can be. And swift and effective measures are now in place to deal with any allegations of abuse of children in the care of this council.

“We must now reflect carefully on this report and consider the findings and recommendations to determine what further changes to practice may be necessary.

"We welcome any findings that will help us to keep children and young people safe now and in the future. That is a priority for us and we are committed to making this happen.”