Boy ‘wrapped in cling film and gagged at Gwynedd care home’

We have already highlighted that teenagers who are taken into care are housed in caravans or other completely unsuitable accommodation and left vulnerable to violence and exploitation, as this report shows. It’s unbelievable that the police found “no emotional abuse” and are taking no action and that Social Care Wales is still discussing whether the two staff members are “fit to practise”. Of course they’re not, they should be sacked and prosecuted!

BBC 29 Jan 2020

A 15-year-old boy was wrapped in cling film and had his mouth gagged with packaging tape by two children’s home staff, a disciplinary panel has heard.

The schoolboy’s mother found photos and videos of it on his social media account – and alerted social services.

Richard Burnell and Kyle Johnson allegedly bound his legs and arms and swore at the boy at a north Wales home.

Social Care Wales are deciding if the child care workers at Arthog children’s home in Gwynedd are fit to practise.

Presenting officer Delme Griffiths told the hearing in Cardiff the boy was put in for a 30-day emergency residential placement for some “positive role models”.

The panel saw a video in which Mr Johnson was heard using sexual swear words towards the boy at the home run by Keys group.

Mr Griffiths said the video showed the teenager sitting on a sofa with cling film around his arm and legs.

The hearing was told it happened on New Year’s Eve in 2018 in a caravan where the teenager was being housed.

‘Having a laugh’

“We say the video and the comments made speak for themselves,” said Mr Griffiths.

“It would always be inappropriate to tie and bound a young person in this manner. By its very nature, this is an inappropriate act in any circumstances.”

The hearing heard project worker Mr Johnson had not yet undergone safeguarding training because there was a shortage of staff at the training company.

The teenager claimed the workers had been “having a laugh” and he did not want to take matters further.

The manager of the home said the two workers were suspended after the allegations came to light.

Andrea Roberts added that since the incident there had been a greater focus on training.

Police found there had not been any emotional abuse and no charges were brought.

Neither man attended the disciplinary hearing although letters were sent to both informing them that it would take place.

Llyr Tegai, the home’s deputy manager, said their behaviour was “not normal practice at all” and he “couldn’t quite believe it”.

The hearing is expected to last three days.