Creating a fairer Britain
Title of guidance:
Year published: 2004
Length: 23 pages
Format: PDF (242Kb)
Other formats: none indicated
Producer/ Publisher: Children's Commissioner for Wales
Type of organisation: Inspectorate
Children's services | Local government | External Service Guidance | UN Convention on the Rights of the Child | GB wide| Case studies
Audience: Senior Executives | Service management | Human resources | Front-line service personnel
Topics: Human rights | transparency and accountability | safeguarding | residential care
This practice guide examines whistleblowing procedures from the perspective both of young people and of employees of social services who wish to raise concerns about malpractice. It contains insights gained during a review of Welsh local authority social services published in 2003 by the Children's Commissioner for Wales. Specifically, it aims to support local authorities to implement the recommendations made in the review about whistleblowing. It is also relevant to public authorities in Britain that wish to strengthen the protection offered to children and young people by enabling and supporting people to 'blow the whistle' on malpractice. It does not refer in detail to human rights standards; however, it is underpinned by human rights as the Children's Commissioner for Wales has express responsibility for protecting children's rights as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It contains references and contacts for further advice and training and can be read in conjunction with similar guides on complaints and advocacy.
In 2002, the Children's Commissioner for Wales reviewed the operation of whistleblowing procedures, complaints, and arrangements for the provision of children's advocacy services in Welsh local authorities.
The review, Telling Concerns, was published in 2003. It refers expressly to earlier recommendations made in the 2000 report Lost in Care after the inquiry by Sir Ronald Waterhouse into abuse in children's homes in North Wales stretching back 25 years.
In each area, the 2003 review identified recommendations of greatest strategic significance for social services. In relation to whistleblowing, these include:
This short practice guide uses an extended practical case study to explain how these and other recommendations can be put into practice.
The case study involves a child, Dai, who lives in a local authority residential unit. Dai witnesses the manager of the unit stealing meat from the kitchen. The manager picks on and threatens Dai. Other staff are drawn into the scenario, including:
At each stage in the scenario, the guide explains, with reference to examples from Welsh authorities:
The guide is short and readable, but would benefit from clearer signposting to convey its key messages. These include:
The guide notes that unfair discrimination in the provision of services is an example of a concern might need to be reported.
We hope that you found the resource helpful and easy to use. Please let us know about other guidance or references that you think we should include. Send us your feedback.