Councillor Bob Sullivan is calling for an investigation into how five children managed to go missing from Waltham Forest care

Waltham Forest council

Waltham Forest council

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An investigation could be held into Waltham Forest Council's 'lost' children after it was revealed that five children are currently missing from care.

Bob Sullivan, a Liberal Democrat councillor, is calling for a 'thorough' look at how the young people managed to go missing.

Mr Sullivan said that as a corporate parent he is not satisfied that enough has been done to locate the children.

He said: “Like all Councillors we have a duty to the children and young people in the council’s care, as we would if they were our own children.

"This applies to the officers responsible for the day-to-day care as well, and in the vast majority of cases children are looked after as they should be.

“However difficult the circumstances, what parent would lose track of their children like this?

“Where was the timely call to the community to help find these children before it was too late?"

This week the council claimed it believed all the children had left the country.

However, this explanation has been met with anger from Mr Sullivan, who said it was not good enough.

“I am very worried about the children said to have been taken overseas – this could be a genuine change in family circumstances, or something akin to abduction," he said.

"The matter should have been investigated thoroughly at the time."

Cllr Sullivan has called on the council boss with responsibility for care to bring a report to the childre's committee, which oversees children in care, as soon as possible.

He said the urgent report should also go to the Corporate Parenting Board.

Following this, Cllr Sullivan is asking for a review to ensure this will not happen again.

He said: "What parent would be content with just assuming their child was overseas?

"If this was my daughter I would not rest until she was found.

"We all have a responsibility to look after the children in our care."

An freedom of information request from the London Assembly Liberal Democrats group revealed that Waltham Forest and Newham are the boroughs with the most children missing from care.

Waltham Forest Council has released no more details of how the children went missing and will not provide photographs to the Guardian.

Comments (1)

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11:18am Sat 19 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Quite right too, this is a disgrace that the Legal Guardians namely the council have buy neglect and incompetence allowed these children to disappear at the drop of a hat into the abyss, probably never to be seen again.

Will heads roll if a probe is launched? Will the useless council be taken to task to ensure this does not occur again? One thing is for certain, the hopeless Labour Party will be voted in again.
Quite right too, this is a disgrace that the Legal Guardians namely the council have buy neglect and incompetence allowed these children to disappear at the drop of a hat into the abyss, probably never to be seen again. Will heads roll if a probe is launched? Will the useless council be taken to task to ensure this does not occur again? One thing is for certain, the hopeless Labour Party will be voted in again. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

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