Kendall House, a Church of England run care home in Kent has come back into the spotlight with the publication of a report detailing the harrowing treatment of the girls who stayed there.

The review, which was carried out by the Church of England, confirms that the practices at the care home were appalling and included heavy sedation, solitary confinement and other forms of psychological and emotional cruelty for resisting unauthorised medication, and routine violence. Several of the girls at the care home also complained that they were regularly raped.

Many of those young girls who went on to have children, gave birth to babies with defects as a result of the drugs they were forced to take – doses often greater than would be given to a horse. The Church was sued by a former resident, and the claim settled out of court.

A formal apology from The Church has been released::

Statement on Kendall House review from Bishop Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding for the Church of England

“The findings of the independent review into Kendall House describe the harrowing regime experienced by numerous girls and young teenagers who were placed into the care of this Church of England home. The appalling standards of care and treatment should never have been allowed and on behalf of the national church I apologise unreservedly to all the former residents whose lives were and continue to be affected by their damaging experiences at Kendall House.

The considerations for the national Church contained in the report will be examined carefully and there is full commitment to ensuring that this leads to the best possible implementation. The report will be shared with senior staff, including all diocesan bishops, across the whole Church.

There are serious lessons to be learnt from this Review both at diocesan and national level to ensure that this never happens again.”

Researching Reform has a strong interest in Kendall House having worked with Teresa Cooper, a survivor of the care home and principal investigator into the crimes that took place there. Her blog No2Abuse is a must-read on this issue and her fight to get hold of her records from the care home, which took over thirty years, is hugely important in understanding the nature of abuse and the way it is hidden by institutions and those working in them across the country. Teresa also explains that the facts presented within the report are inaccurate.

We very much hope that the nation’s Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse will look into the abuses at Kendall House, as they offer enormous insight into how child sexual abuse, medical care and social work intersect.

You can read the full report here.

Further documents can be found here, including Press Conference Statements.

There is also a support line for former residents of the care home, which is 0845 120 4634. The support line has been provided by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, which the press release says is an independent Christian safeguarding charity.


Kendall House