Safe Houses for 100,000 Children
‘Safe Houses’ for children running away from the abuse of the care system. Their little voices will be heard, and the Nation will know the truth.
Government figures show that some 100,000 children per year are running away from the abuse of parents and the care system to live on the streets. Some of them are as young as five. All hostels in this country are for children aged 16-18. There is not one Safe House for children under the age of 16 in England, Scotland or Wales.
It is the intention of the charity ‘Children Screaming to be Heard – The Silent Witnesses’ to raise the funds necessary for the first Safe House to be put in place in Essex, going on to raise funding for Safe Houses to be set up throughout the country. After speaking with many police officers, who have all agreed, Safe Houses would be the best idea for the 21st century, as many children are picked up from the streets and they can be sat for up to nine hours in a police station, only to be collected by the social services to be sent back to their abusers, only for the child to run away again.
Once the Safe Houses are in place, we hope to put a stop to the street children being picked up, trafficked, sold, prostituted, sold to paedophile rings and murdered.
A Safe House will have a 24/7 free-phone line for children to call, with drivers ready 24/7 to pick up the children and take them to the safety of a Safe House. All the Safe Houses will be registered with OFSTED, Safe Houses will also be the voice for abused children whom governments, social services, CAFCASS lawyers and the whole child protection system, purporting to be in a “child’s best interests”, are simply not listening to the children – this is why the charity calls children “the silent witnesses”.
The Safe Houses will negotiate to work with governments, schools, social services and police so that the necessary changes are introduced enabling children’s human rights to be upheld and their wishes respected. The charity will employ adults from the care system who were abused who will be trained to speak in schools across the country and inform all children of an age to know about the Safe Houses and about Children’s Rights under the law and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Every child who enters a Safe House will find security, food, affection and big hugs. They will be listened to and their voices will be heard outside. We will protect each child for up to 3 weeks, following which every child returned to the system will have a McKenzie friend or advocate. This will give the child a feeling of security, knowing they have someone to turn to for support and to whom they can report what happens to them. The Safe Houses will also continue to monitor all children leaving their care.
The Safe Houses will all have access to medical GPs, in-house teachers for education and if it is the wish of the child to see members of their families, contact may be arranged within the Safe Houses. The charity will also have a legal team to represent the children, with all children of an age being told of their rights under the Gillick Competence Rule.
The Nation needs to know the truth about what is happening to our children in the care system, and via the Safe Houses for the abused children the Nation will learn of the abuse of children in a system claiming to be acting in a “child’s best interests”, yet woefully failing them. Children in the care system are not allowed access to telephones or computers and they are completely cut off from their families and friends. Should a child and family be allowed contact, this normally takes place in a tiny room, with a supervisor writing everything down, following which allegations may be made against families and contact stopped. Yet contact with parents, grandparents and other family members is in almost all cases vital to a child’s happiness, to feelings of having ‘roots’ in the society and to enable their successful development into an adult. Worst of all, children in the care system have no way of reporting abuse, and should they do so they are usually ignored. For this reason, if for none other we must bring change if we can truly claim to be acting in the best interests of our children.
Recent research has found that many parents and families throughout the country are being charged from £50 per hour for contact in a centre to see a child in care. Many parents cannot afford to pay and this is another form of a family break up in a child’s “best interest”.
Ben Sitting on a Cardboard Box
Out on the streets of London early hours of the morning Maggie Tuttle, Roger Crawford and I met Ben sitting on a cardboard box on the Strand, I asked Ben if he begs to survive, he told me he doesn’t beg, I asked how he makes any money to eat and he said “I sing” so I asked him to give us a quick song, he did and we were pretty impressed so here’s a taste of his song which he wrote.called “Sitting on a cardboard box”
Ben will be singing this song for the first time live at the TRUTH AND HOPE Rally against child abuse on the 29 Sept in Trafalgar Square London
TRUTH AND HOPE 29TH SEPTEMBER 1 OCLOCK TRAFALGER SQUARE
THE ABUSED CHILDREN NEED YOU AND YOUR VOICE.
A young man filmed in the streets of London, sings of his life having lived in a cardboard box. He is a talented young man who writes songs and sings of his life brought up in the care system. He has dedicated this song to all of the children who are abused by the care system. At the age of 11, he ran away from abuse to the streets and from a system that states “In a Childs Best Interest”. At the age of 15, he was put into a Bed & Breakfast by social services who then failed to pay the bill, resulting in Ben being thrown onto the streets again to live in a cardboard box and beg for food. We, as a Nation have to help the abused children in the care system and on the 29th September 2012, Truth and Hope Charity have organised a main event in Trafalgar Square. Ben is asking the people of the Nation to attend to help put a stop to the abuse of children in the UK, and to hear him singing his song for the first time in public.
Thank you for watching