On this World Social Work Day, Jadwiga Leigh discusses the findings of her paper co-authored with Stephen Crossley on ‘The ‘troubled’ case of Rotherham’. This case had a huge impact on the creation of a culture of fear, mistrust and blame in social work. How did this happen and what can we learn?
“On the 4th of February 2015, Louise Casey published a report from an investigation she and her team carried out into the way Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) responded to child sexual exploitation (CSE). Casey opened by stating that ‘terrible things’ had happened in Rotherham and on ‘a significant scale’.
We found it hard to disagree with this statement.
Terrible things had indeed happened and there was no doubt that substantial improvements needed to be made. However, on reading the report we felt that Casey’s findings were actually going to prevent us from fully understanding what did happen in Rotherham, why it happened and what we needed to do to minimise the chances of it happening again.