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Last week (31 July), the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published a report on children in local authority care in Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. The report revealed that vulnerable children were exposed to child sexual exploitation (CSE) and abuse.

The IICSA described the behavior of the perpetrators as “tolerated and overlooked” due to 350 complaints being received since the 1960s.

Following evidence from 115 witnesses at public hearings, the IICSA detailed the abuse suffered. Children throughout children’s homes and foster care were subjected to rape, sexual assault and voyeurism.

The report states that some foster carers were allowed to continue caring for vulnerable children, despite them being “known perpetrators”. The secretary to the inquiry, John O’Brien, described the investigation as “the most shocking we have seen”.

Following the public hearings, 16 residential staff were convicted and 10 foster carers were convicted, all for the sexual abuse of foster children.

The Supreme Court commented specifically on these issues in the 2017 case of Armes (Appellant) v Nottinghamshire County Council (Respondent) [2017] EWCA Civ 1139 in which a child was sexually and physically abused by foster carers whilst placed in local authority care. It was held that the Local Authority exercised a significant degree of control over both what the foster parents did and how they did it.

It is of some comfort that there will be a real course of redress for these survivors.

At Ramsdens our Abuse team, led by Natalie Marrison, act for survivors of sexual and physical abuse. For a confidential discussion please contact 0113 887 1834. Alternatively, you can text LAW to 67777 or make an enquiry using the enquiry form and we will be in touch when it is convenient for you.