Keeping survivors at the heart of the inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation
Telford & Wrekin Council last week published the invitation to tender for an Independent Commissioning Body for the inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in the borough.
The inquiry itself will be independent of the Council. To achieve this, one of the first jobs of the Commissioning Body (appointed through the tender process) will be to meet with survivors and to work with them on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.
Once those are outlined, the Commissioning Body will then appoint an Independent person (the ‘Independent Chair’) to investigate and Chair the Inquiry. The independent Chair will meet with Survivors to hear their account of what happened and listen to their stories.
The inquiry will be monitored by the Commissioning Body, removing the Council from the process and ensuring a double layer of independence from the Council.
The Council is fully committed to a fair, open and transparent Inquiry and, as such, is organising open question and answer sessions for any survivors about the inquiry process.
These will be informal ‘drop in’ sessions in which any survivors are welcome and can seek reassurance and meet those tasked with delivering the Inquiry.
These sessions will be held on 13 July and 3 August from 1.45–5pm, at the National Farmers Union building on Southwater Way in Telford town centre. No booking is necessary.
Jonathan Eatough, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Monitoring Officer, said: “Survivors will be at the heart of this Inquiry.
“Without their support, the Inquiry will not be able to answer the questions about Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford.
“We hope everyone affected will feel able to talk with us about the process now and understand that they will be able to engage freely with the Commissioning Body when it starts work later in the year.”