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Digital copy of Witness 3's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of her experiences in foster care and in various residential care homes including Haut de la Garenne, Brig-y-Don and La Préférence. [Some details redacted].
July 20th 2014 - July 20th 2014
|Scope and Content|
Background and Home Life Gives details of background and early years at home. Born in . Descriptions of mother’s alcoholism and neglect by mother, recalling being frequently left at home alone. Also describes relationship with man she later learnt was not her biological father. Recalls various placements with foster parents interspersed with stints with mother between the ages of 3 and 5. Mentions sibling’s placement at Haut de la Garenne. Institutions Includes references to her time at Haut de la Garenne, Brig-y-Don, La Préférence and in foster care. Placed into Haut de la Garenne aged 5. Recollections of the property including dormitories and furniture, punishments and other children in residence. Also includes recollections of a child running away from Haut de la Garenne whilst in residence. Refers to visitors whilst at Haut de la Garenne, mentioning possible visits by mother and maternal grandmother. Returned to live with mother after 6 months at Haut de la Garenne. Recollections of mother’s boyfriend’s property. Gives details of an incident whereby mother fell down the stairs and subsequent involvement of Children’s Services. Taken to Brig-y-Don aged 6 where she stayed until age of 8. Recollections of the property referring to the proximity of the home to the beach. Also includes recollections of staff, leisure activities and other children in residence. Recalls not seeing mother once she moved to Brig-y-Don but had continued contact with grandmother. Includes fond memories of a couple who took Witness 3 out on weekends whilst at Brig-y-Don. Talks about second family, referring to inappropriate nature of first meeting and descriptions of subsequent visits and trips on weekends. Fostered by this family aged 8. Recollections of foster family, including a description of the family home and sleeping arrangements. Recalls little about foster father. Describes deterioration of relationship with foster mother and foster brother soon after being fostered and subsequent abuse. Gives details of friendship with another child living on the same estate and subsequently reporting unhappiness to them. Diminished contact with grandmother over time whilst in foster care. Also includes recollections of running away from foster home on two occasions. Describes subsequent reaction of foster mother on first occasion, and contact with man Witness 3 had presumed to be her biological father on the second occasion. Recalls being informed by the man’s [wife] that he was not Witness 3’s biological father, and impact of this revelation. Recollections of brief contact with mother. Gives details of consequences of running away second time, mentioning move to La Préférence. Moved to La Préférence aged 12. Includes recollections of the property, geographic location, staff, other children in residence and leisure activities whilst at the home. Recalls running away shortly after arriving at La Préférence. Describes being introduced to biological father sometime around 13th birthday. Includes description of father, increase in contact with him over time and gradual deterioration in relationship with him after a couple of years. Also recalls resumption of regular contact with grandmother whilst at La Préférence. Left La Préférence aged 16 after finishing school and starting employment. Fostered by family of friend Witness 3 met at a youth club, commenting on fostering process. Includes recollections of new foster family, describing relationship with foster mother and developments with respect to social life. Describes breakdown in marriage of foster parents and subsequently moving to live with the sister of a member of staff at La Préférence for six months. Moved to a girls’ hostel aged 17, providing details of the property and other girls in residence. Lived at hostel for about two years. Describes difficulties with respect to retaining employment and details about emotional wellbeing during this period of her life. Children’s Services Gives details of intervention by Children’s Services from the age of 3 until 5, recalling various foster placements. Names Ms Wrigley as her social worker during her time in residence at Haut de la Garenne. Wrigley continued as her social worker until replaced by [Charles] Smith. Includes recollections of Smith, including descriptions of his temperament. Only recollections of social workers whilst at Brig-y-Don was when Witness 3 was being introduced to couples who would take her out at the weekend, mentioning Smith. Names Marnie Baudains as her allocated social worker when fostered at the age of 8, recalling little contact with Baudains whilst in foster care. Taken to La Préférence by Baudains aged 12 after running away from foster family and subsequently reporting unhappiness. Recollections of being taken by Baudains to visit former foster family whilst in residence at La Préférence. Describes transfer to new foster family from La Préférence, mentioning Baudains. Recalls increased contact with Baudains whilst at girls’ hostel, citing this period as the most consistent with respect to contact with social workers whilst in care. Describes contact with Children’s Services ending aged 18. Abuse and Consequences Descriptions of physical abuse by staff at Haut de la Garenne. No recollection of suffering or witnessing sexual abuse whilst in residence. Recollections of emotional abuse by foster mother and foster brother. Gives details of sexual abuse by foster brother. Recalls being scared to report abuse, citing lack of contact with social workers or relatives and difficulty speaking to adults as reasons for not reporting abuse. Gives details of discussion with foster mother after La Préférence whereby Witness 3 reported sexual abuse by former foster brother. Recollections of foster mother contacting police and Witness 3 subsequently reporting sexual abuse to a policewoman. Recalls little follow-up from police with respect to her complaint, referring to difficulty remembering sequence of events at this time as complaint coincided with significant upheaval in living arrangements. Events since leaving Care Describes latter time in care and leaving the girls’ hostel aged 19 following arrival of new caretakers at the hostel. Refers to period of homelessness followed by gradual improvement in living situation, mentioning boyfriend and lose relationship with his mother. Describes early adult life as unsettled referring to difficulty retaining employment, dropping out of a college course after one term and upheaval in living arrangements. Statement finishes with reflections of Witness 3’s experiences during her childhood. Refers to current situation at time of statement, giving details of relationship and steady employment in same workplace for 12 years. Discusses impact of experiences during childhood on later life with respect to confidence and social development. Explains decision to talk to the Inquiry about her experiences and apprehension about opening up about past. Suggests areas of improvement with respect to the provision of childcare services, including increased involvement and inspections by Social Services mentioning need for social workers to form personable relationships with children in order to secure their wellbeing.
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