For all that I like to point out the multiple failings of “private providers”, it is sadly the case that the state doesn’t always get social services right either – and historically it has sometimes got it spectacularly wrong. This is a particularly shameful chapter:
Generation of children brutalised in state care won’t get public apology
The final report of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service has detailed the harrowing experiences of children at the hands of people who were meant to keep them safe. The report, which heard evidence from more than 1100 people, is still under consideration by the Government. The abuse detailed in the report covers foster homes, institutions, asylums, health camps and borstals from the early 1940s up to 1992.
…asked if the Government would apologise to the children of these institutions, she [Social Development Minister Anne Tolley] said: “No”. “But I do acknowledge that some people in the care of government institutions were failed and let down badly, and that they still suffer the trauma from that experience. “That is why we now have two processes in place to offer an apology and a financial settlement to claimants.”
What possible reason could there be for the government not to apologise directly to the victims?
I hope and believe that the state has learned the lessons of the past, and now provides better, better monitored, and more appropriate social services. Let’s not make the same mistakes all over again with profit-driven private providers.