Waterhouse Inquiry into care home abuse explained

The Waterhouse Inquiry into abuse at North Wales children's homes was set up in 1996 to investigate cases from 1974 onwards.

  • The inquiry was headed by Sir Ronald Waterhouse
  • William Hague was Welsh Secretary at the time the review was set up
  • It received evidence from 259 complainants in Clwyd and Gwynedd
  • The report of its findings, called "Lost in Care", was published in 2000
  • It found Bryn Estyn was one of the homes "most affected" by abuse
  • The Waterhouse Inquiry made 72 recommendations

The inquiry concluded that "widespread sexual abuse of boys occurred in children's residential establishments in Clwyd between 1974 and 1990", but incidents of sexual abuse of girls "were comparatively rare".

In the neighbouring county of Gwynedd, the investigation found that both sexual and physical abuse of children in care "occurred in a small number of foster homes".