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BBC Wales's Gail Foley
"NSPCC Cymru/Wales is calling for guaranteed investigations of all abuse accusations."
 real 28k

Monday, 10 January, 2000, 09:38 GMT
Care children still at risk of abuse

image The NSPCC is calling for government action on abuse


The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has said that children in care in Wales are still facing the risk of serious sexual and physical abuse.

The charity's investigation unit in Cardiff conducted 10 investigations last year, half of them involving recent cases.

There are around 2,000 children living in residential or foster care in Wales.

The NSPCC said that although local authorities had done much to protect children from abusers, there was still a need for independent investigations when complaints were made.

Report is imminent

The Waterhouse report into abuse in north Wales children's homes is due to be published in February.

The document is expected to suggest that abuse is continuing to occur despite new safeguards.

The NSPCC published its findings on the day that Parliament was due to debate the Care Standards Bill.

The new legislation proposes independent regulation of children's homes and foster care in England and Wales.

Independent commissioners

The charity has also called for the appointment of children's commissioners to act as a child protection and welfare watchdogs.

The closely-guarded 800-page Waterhouse report, written after a 15-month inquiry, is said to have identified the recruitment of a commissioner as a priority.

Last autumn Assembly Health and Social Services Secretary Jane Hutt indicated that a commissioner for Wales could be appointed within months.

As part of its campaign, the NSPCC said it would launch a "five-point plan" to open up the care system to greater independent scrutiny.

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See also:
06 Oct 99 |  Wales
Child abuse inquiry report completed
26 Dec 99 |  Wales
Pressure mounts for children's commissioner
23 Nov 99 |  Wales
Call for paedophile inquiry
15 Dec 97 |  UK
Child abuse investigation extended

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