It is unacceptable that vulnerable children across the UK are experiencing restraint, seclusion and other restrictions in the very places they are supposed to be safe and well cared for, including schools.
Four former employees at Ty Coryton, a children’s home in Cardiff run by Orbis Education and Care Ltd, claim that autistic children were “abused” and mistreated.
The employees claim that the children at Ty Coryton were restrained and locked up unnecessarily, with one teenager having been regularly locked in her flat because she was menstruating. One whistleblower described an incident which involved a child being restrained on the floor for almost 20 minutes. Kristy Edwards, who worked at Ty Coryton, claimed “young people were ‘mismanaged’ so behaved in challenging ways which led to them being locked away.” Other allegations included verbal abuse, poor state of accommodation, incidents of unnecessary isolation, a lack of incontinence pads and wipes, children absconding without staff noticing, and inappropriate language in front of the children.
Prof Edwin Jones, from the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD), said the allegations were shocking, and also that he believed it was likely the type of problems alleged at Ty Coryton could be happening elsewhere. He said: “The most important thing that needs to happen now very, very quickly, is that Welsh government move forward and implement the Welsh reducing restrictive practice framework.”
A spokesperson for the Welsh government said: “There is absolutely no place for the inappropriate treatment of children in any setting anywhere in Wales.
“We will publish a framework to reduce restrictive practices to cover childcare, education, health and social care next month and will work with organisations across Wales to take an approach that actively promotes human rights and person-centred support.”
Statement from the CBF
Viv Cooper, Chief Executive and founder of the CBF, said:
“Our thoughts are with the children, young people and their families – and we expect Cardiff Council’s Children’s Services to confirm that they are now safe and receiving appropriate care and support as well as support for the trauma they have experienced.
“Another scandal in a children’s home means more children suffering abuse in services where they should be supported and cared for. It is yet more evidence that care is not been transformed, and commissioners are buying expensive places in services that are causing harm. It has taken whistleblowers to expose this situation – an indication that system safeguards are deficient.
“All children and young people have a right to be safe and well cared for. Any individual displaying challenging behaviour does so for a reason – identifying that reason is the key to providing appropriate support.
“It is unacceptable that vulnerable children across the UK are experiencing restraint, seclusion and other restrictions in the very places they are supposed to be safe and well cared for.”
Support from the CBF
Family Support Service
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the Family Support Service on 0300 666 0126
Or email us at email@example.com
We are open at the following times:
- Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm
- Friday: 9am – 3pm
We offer information about challenging behaviour to anyone who provides support to a child, young person or adult with a severe learning disability. We can also signpost you to other specialist organisations and sources of information.
Please note we are a small support service so you may not be able to get support straight away. We will support families with urgent concerns as a priority.
Resources on our website
A group of families with relatives who were at Winterbourne View have published their family stories reflecting on the last ten years since the Winterbourne View scandal. Read ‘Tea, smiles and empty promises.’