Report advises tightening of fostering procedures after rape case

THE adopted teenage son of foster carers repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted a young girl they had fostered. The 19-year-old boy had abused the girl for four years – from when she was six years old – before her brother told one of his teachers.

In 2006, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to a minimum of six years in prison.

A serious case review has now put forward 33 recommendations for improving the way agencies deal with vulnerable young people and their families in Pembrokeshire.

The case has horrifying similarities to the case in the Vale of Glamorgan where a teenage sex offender was placed by the local authority with a family with two young children. He went on to rape one and sexually abuse another. The parents were not aware of the teenager’s history, which stretched back five years, but social services were aware.

However, in the case in Pembrokeshire, the review found “no evidence that any agency or professional was aware of information that should have led them to invoke safeguarding procedures to protect Child B or any other child in the household”.

In addition to suggesting improvements in the way agencies work together and are more consistent in their approaches, the report, released today, also 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.

It also recommends that the Welsh Assembly Government should consider issuing guidance and advice on the risk to children of different sexes, who are not biologically related, living together in foster homes.

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

It said its Safeguarding Children Board has developed action plans to meet the recommendations and said that since the cases referred to in the reports took place several years ago, many of the issues raised in the reports have already been addressed.