Home DNA kits may lead to litigation

The developments in DNA and the readily available “DIY kits” may lead to a new wave of litigation as legacy adoptions are investigated.

In Ireland a 71 year old woman and her “daughter” took a DNA test and discovered that the mother had been given the wrong baby back by a religious order over 50 years ago.  It came to light following revelations that St Patricks Guild in Dublin had incorrectly registered over 100 births and the investigations into the organisation continue.  As investigations proceed and more people take tests that number is likely to grow.  It was as a result of the scandal that this lady and her “daughter” decided to take the DNA test.

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Modernisation of records service, in disarray

A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), released on 1 May 2019, confirmed that due to ongoing delays the updating of systems at the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), is running four years late and is almost £230 million over budget. The DBS is used by employers who need to obtain safeguarding information, such as details of criminal records, about people who want to work with children or vulnerable adults. The DBS took over from the Criminal Records Bureau in 2012.

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Operation Stovewood update

A further 40 individuals have been arrested as part of Operation Stovewood.

Operation Stovewood was set up by the National Crime Agency (NCA) following the Jay Inquiry into the handling of child sexual exploitation reports in Rotherham. The Jay Inquiry was published in August 2014 and estimated that 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

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IICSA report – The Anglican Church

IICSA last week published its report in respect of the case studies relating to the (1) The Diocese of Chichester and (2) The response to allegations against Peter Ball. As with the other reports published by IICSA to date the picture painted of past responses to abuse is not a good one, although the report acknowledges the significant progress made by the Diocese in the last few years and the significantly enhanced focus and investment made now by the national church in respect of safeguarding.

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IICSA investigations update

The work of IICSA has been quietly progressing; sometimes the subject matter hits the headlines but much has not. A brief summary below notes the current progress of the investigations.

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IICSA announces a new investigation

A significant focus of the Royal Commission (RC)  in Australia in the national inquiry in connection with child abuse was religious organisations. Given the results of the RC and of other similar inquiries, it is not surprising that IICSA has announced an investigation looking at child abuse and religion, this being in addition to the two current investigations into abuse in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

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IICSA publishes report on child sexual abuse in custodial institutions

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report into sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions on the 28 February 2019.

The report follows on from a hearing on 9 – 20 July 2018 and can be found here.

It examines evidence of “appalling abuse and institutional failures to protect children in the youth secure estate in England and Wales”.  The investigation looked at Youth Offenders Institutions (YOI), Secure Training Centres (STC) and Secure Children’s Homes (SCH).

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