Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Review follows rape of girl, 10

Pembrokeshire County Council
Pembrokeshire council says many recommendations are implemented

Measures to improve protection given to vulnerable youngsters in Pembrokeshire have been put forward after a girl was raped by the adopted son of her carer.

The 10-year-old suffered "persistent sexual abuse" at the hands of the son who was jailed in 2006.

A review examining the case and that of a 15-year-old boy who took a drugs overdose said child support agencies needed to work more closely together.

The county council said it had invested heavily in foster care since the cases.

Summaries of both serious case reviews have been published.

The review into Child B examined the case of a 10-year-old girl who was sexually abused by the adopted son of her foster carer.

She and her brother had been placed in foster care after suffering abuse and neglect by their mother.

In 2005 the brother told his teacher that he had seen his sister being sexually abused by their foster carer's adopted son.

Minimum sentence

Inquiries by police and social services discovered that she had been regularly abused by the adopted son in her foster home from the age of six.

He was subsequently convicted of rape and sentenced to a minimum of six years imprisonment.

The review found "no evidence that any agency or professional was aware of information" that the son posed a danger to the girl.

But the report puts forward 33 recommendations on how services could be improved.

In addition to suggesting improvements in the way agencies work together and are more consistent in their approaches, it recommends a tightening of procedures governing the number of children in foster homes, improvements to the training of foster carers and changes in the way they are assessed.

The second review examined the case of a 15-year-old boy, who took an overdose of drugs in January 2007.

The boy, known as Child C, suffered serious and permanent damage to his health as result.

Drink and drugs

In that case 20 recommendations have been made.

They include improvements in the way agencies deal with families that intimidate agency workers and calls for a review of arrangements dealing with youngsters who persistently offend or are at risk from the misuse of drink and drugs.

Pembrokeshire council said over the last four years it had made a significant investment in its fostering service.

It said many of the recommendations had already been implemented.

"This has contributed to better outcomes for children and young people looked after by Pembrokeshire County Council in a number of ways," it said.

It said a larger pool of foster carers meant placement choice and stability had increased while support for children in placements had improved with fewer foster children being placed with each foster family.

It said there was also better levels of support for foster carers.

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