More scandal over homes in Province (18.03.82)

Community Care, 18th March 1982

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  1. Kate MacDonald said:

    Transcript:
    MORE SCANDAL OVER HOMES IN PROVINCE (Community Care, 18th March 1982)

    Two more children’s homes in Northern Ireland have become the subject of inquires by police who are already investigating the Kincora House scandal, writes Anne Whitehouse.
    At Burnside House, Craigavon, County Armagh, allegations have been made of sexual assault against a boy, and at Marmion Home, Holywood, County Down, an officer has been suspended.
    A spokesman at the Eastern Health and Social Services Board, which ran both the Kincora and Marmion homes, said the suspension of the Marmion Home officer was on a precautionary basis following allegations of homosexual behaviour.
    However, the spokesman stressed that these allegations concerned the officer’s employment 18 months previous to his appointment at Marmion.
    The board has meanwhile come under heavy criticism over its handling of the Kincora affair, and its own watchdog committee has called for the resignation of its members.
    The board drew attention to specific regulations concerning supervision of children’s homes which it adheres to. These include the provision for visiting homes by board members at least once per quarter, and for a member of the board social services staff to visit at least once a month.
    “In addition in 1977 the board revised the procedures for the supervision and review of children in care so that a social worker is required to visit each child in care at least once a month. There are also arrangements for a full review of each child’s progress.”
    The watchdog committee also criticised some of the appointment boards which, it said, had taken up references and testimonials only after awarding jobs.
    The board replied that present procedures generally require that at a stage in interview panel proceedings, referees’ reports are read to the panel members. “This is done before the panel makes a final decision as to which person should be appointed and before a formal offer of employment is made.”

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