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Experiences Shared


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Cliff was arrested as a teenager for petty theft. As a result, social services obtained an interim care order and he was put into care and placed in a children’s home.

There were six boys in the dormitory in the home. One of them began bullying Cliff and made him perform sex acts on him. This abuse happened both in and around the home.

When Larry, a new member of staff, arrived, Cliff got on well with him and told him what was happening. Larry promised to help but he was dismissed because the perpetrator had made a complaint against him. The head of the school dismissed Cliff’s complaint against his abuser.  

Cliff took up running and had a regular route from the home. It took him past a particular place which he would stop and engage in sexual behaviour with men. Over time he began to undertake sexual activity for money, and was subsequently arrested for indecency offences and sent to prison as an older teenager for a short while.

Despite a care order still being in place when he was released, he did not receive any support from social services. He was under the supervision of the probation service supervision, but the services were not joined up.

As an adult, Cliff took an overdose and was subsequently referred to a psychiatrist. He does not feel he has had a good relationship with social services, starting with his time in care and recently with his own children. He reported to his social worker that he was thinking of committing suicide.

Cliff believes that children in care need to be listened to, but by people with experience of children, who can distinguish between storytelling and the truth. Cliff says children in care need to be looked after until they leave and there should be adequate follow-up after that.

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