Somerset County Council criticised for catalogue of missed opportunities - Social Services Negligence

Chances were missed by authorities to uncover sexual exploitation of teenage girls, a serious case review has found.

Six girls, aged 14 and 15, were groomed by two men who were jailed in 2016 for sex offences in Yeovil.

A report found there were 14 missed opportunities, and criticised social services for not investigating concerns when the girls repeatedly got pregnant.

Somerset Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) said improvements had since been made to services.

The serious case review, commissioned by SSCB, looked at the case of two of the girls, dating back to 2010.

The review found possible signs of child abuse were missed by professionals, including an occasion when one girl had a pregnancy termination aged 15.

SSCB chairman Sally Halls said there were "points at which opportunities were missed to uncover the real nature of what was happening" and "valuable lessons" to be learned.

Julian Wooster, director of children's services at Somerset County Council, said: "By not providing consistent social workers at the time we didn't actually get to know the young people, understand their issues and understand what was happening in their lives outside the family home."

Mehmet Citak, 34, of Bradford Abbas, Dorset was convicted at Bristol Crown Court last year of two counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault. He was jailed for 20 years.

Ahmet Kurtyemez, 29, from Swindon, was sentenced to 12 years for six counts of sexual assault.

If you feel that you or a loved one was failed by Social Services or other agencies during childhood, please do not hesitate to contact us in the strictest of confidence.


Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.

Schools

  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.

Charities

  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.

Perpetrators

  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

"Your help in pursuing and fighting my case is greatly appreciated, not by just myself but my whole family. Only through the progression of the case have I found it easier to talk about it and this has helped deal with something I had locked away since the day I left the school. It has allowed me to talk about my experiences far more openly and without the stigma of shame I had felt for so long.
Once again thank you sincerely for your time and patience in dealing with my case."

Abuse Survivor, St Georges School, Norfolk

Various


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