THERE is no evidence children in care in Worcestershire have been targeted by child abusers, a briefing to county councillors has confirmed.
A letter was sent to councillors by Coun Liz Eyre, who is responsible for children and families, in the wake of the Rotherham scandal where a report revealed up to 1,400 children had been abused between 1997 and 2013.
It also follows charity The Lucy Faithful Foundation warning on the radio some of the issues raised in the report would be present across this region.
Coun Eyre said a group containing members from different organisations had been set up a year ago to launch the Worcestershire Child and Sexual Exploitation Pathway which highlighted the steps professionals needed to follow.
“I am reassured by professionals that the tools and steps along the pathway give ample opportunity for the voice of the child to be heard.
“I have been reassured that there is no evidence in Worcestershire that looked after children have been a target for activity. We do not believe that our children’s homes have been targeted but staff remain vigilant.
“This year the multi-agency CSE panel has reviewed the cases of around 50 children where there were vulnerabilities and this did not come up as a theme.”
Coun Eyre told the Standard her briefing was a ‘proactive response’ to national concerns rather than as a response to any specific enquiry.
“In addition to my annual report to members I regularly brief them to ensure as far as possible they are well informed to answer any questions or concerns that residents may have, particularly in respect to safeguarding, which is everybody’s business.”