Police investigate abuse and neglect allegations at Northamptonshire children's home

Arnold House is run by the local authority and has been hit by a covid outbreak among staff and children

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 6:14 pm
Police are investigating allegations of neglect and abuse.

A local authority-run Northamptonshire children’s home is under police investigation after allegations of abuse and neglect.

Arnold House, a specialist care home that looks after children with special needs and autism, is currently being investigated following a number of complaints made against the treatment of a child in its care.

The safeguarding complaints date back to before the lockdown and up to recent weeks.

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The home hit the headlines last month when it had a Covid-19 outbreak. Its manager has been shielding since the pandemic began and there have been agency staff working alongside permanent carers at the home.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are investigating allegations in relation to Arnold House. However, these are live investigations and, as such, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

The home in Manning Road, Northampton, is one of only a small number run by the local authority with most of the children the authority looks after being placed in private placements or out of county residential care.

Northamptonshire’s children’s services was rated as inadequate last July after a series of failings and is now being overseen by children’s commissioner Andrew Christie. The service will be taken over by an independent children’s trust before the new untiaries begin in April 2021 on government orders.

A professional who has had involvement with Arnold House in recent months has reported some of their concerns about the incidents and culture at the home to Ofsted and the county council’s designated safeguarding officer.

The designated officer now has a duty to capture all information related to the incident, provide advice and follow the complaint to its conclusion.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said it had done everything in its power to ensure it had been robust and managed issues raised at Arnold House appropriately with the best interests of the children as a priority.

A 45-year-old woman has been charged by Northamptonshire police in relation to an assault at Arnold House and will appear at court on August 13.