Clifford Heap

Clifford Heap

1950’s: Probation Officer

1954-55: Assistant cub master 1st Banstead Scouts which met at Beecholme Children’s Home

April 1960 – November 1964: London County Council Child Care Service. Deputy Superintendent of Shirley Oaks children’s home, Lambeth

1965- December 1971: Superintendent Stamford House secure unit, Shepherds Bush, London W2 for 6 years

Lecturer for the Central Training Council in Child Care and other residential childcare organisations

December 1971: Recruited by Hermas Rees Jones Director of Social Services as Islington Development Officer 3 months before John Rea Price was appointed as Director of Social Services. Assists Hermas Rees Jones to create Islington’s new social service structure. Heap covered the Director’s post between the 2 appointments for 12-14 weeks.

July 1973: Assistant Director for Social Services – Day and Residential Establishments Division. Responsible for 74 homes, lodgings and day centres, a labour force of 1250 and some 2400 service users

1972-4:Contact point for recruitment of Senior Management Advisors (SMA’s) and offers informal chats with potential candidates whose responsibilities focused on the development and support of staff in residential and day care. Based at Blue Star House, Highgate Hill N19 01-272 8331

1980 Resigned as ADSS

Islington Council Minutes 29.7.80 show that in the period after Hermas Rees Jones, the former Islington SSD had left and prior to John Rea-Price joining as Social Services Director on 13.3.72, Clifford Heap was in situ and the most senior Islington Social Services officer
Islington Council Advertisement 19.10.70
Several Islington Council Social Services job adverts published during 1972-1975 suggest that potential candidates telephone Clifford Heap to make informal enquiries. Further advertisements at end of this web page

In 1979, Heap took a child from an Islington children’s home to visit another Islington child who had been placed in Stamford House  [where Heap had previously been Superintendent] and threatened him that if he told about sexual abuse in the children’s home he would “end up in that secure unit”. Report #4: Morgan’s denial of organised abuse – Islington Survivors Network

Of the twelve ISN survivors who came forward from Mildmay Park, four went directly from Mildmay to Stamford House (between 1976 and 1982). Others went there at a later or even earlier stage. The procedures for being sent to Stamford House were unclear from the survivor’s incomplete file records. To place a child in secure would usually require the agreement of the Assistant Director – who would have been for 3 of these children the aforesaid Clifford Heap. Although some children were sent to Stamford House directly as a result of a court hearing, the Mildmay children’s incomplete files are not always clear about psychiatric or social work recommendations to the court making it difficult to know why this extreme measure was recommended and by whom. Survivor’s comments about the impact of social work industrial action interestingly state that because their social workers were not present in court to speak up for them they got sent to secure units although one survivor appreciated that a social worker broke the strike in order to support ‘the boys’ in court.

Clifford Heap is acknowledged as a friend in a book by Tom Hart ‘They Call it Murder’ a novel dated 1977. Tom Hart MBE was superintendent of Cumberlow Lodge a secure unit for girls in South Norwood. Some Islington survivors were placed in Cumberlow Lodge in one situation seemingly by conversations between Heap, Hart and the children’s home manager. ISN question the lack of protocols in placing children in secure units when the decision was not made through a court.

Clifford Heap was a member of the Working Party on Secure Accommodation in 1979 promoting the concept of Community Homes which were the subject of the Home Office Advisory Group report in 1970. A programme based on small groups and individual attention.

13.3.79 Secure Accommodation Working Group
13.3.79 Secure Accommodation Working Group

Shirley Oaks Survivors Association alerted Sarah Morgan QC to their concerns about Heap and the connections between Lambeth and Islington abuse networks.

We are sure you will be aware of links between convicted and known child abusers, as well as people of  influence, in Lambeth and Islington. We are certain that there were organised crime networks abusing and exploiting children which went across the authorities during the years covered by your Review. As just one example: Clifford Heap was the Superintendent of Shirley Oaks Children’s Home [1952-65] who subsequently became Assistant Director in Islington (1971-80). In our view it is relevant for you to explore, investigate  and include this information in your Review.”

Shirley Oaks Survivors Association email to Sarah Morgan QC 26.3.18

Extract from The Times 11.05.1960

Clifford Heap was responsible for the Islington Fostering Experiments (See heading within the Fostercare section of the website). These were bizarre arrangements when a children’s home closed and the manager of the home took over the care of some of the children in an LBI property. ISN understand that the managers were not assessed as foster carers. Survivors say that these were family groups where they had to call the manager ‘Mum’. The schemes were called ‘experiments’ in the survivor’s files and the social work supervision of the children was unusually at a centalised not local office level.

“I began to build on my knowledge of the 90s and understand the extent of the networks that I had only begun to uncover. I also learnt of the links between Lambeth abuse networks and Islington. I began to liaise with Shirley Oaks Survivors Association e.g. Clifford Heap as Superintendent of Shirley Oaks children’s home and then appointed as ADSS Islington with responsibility for residential care. Heap also set up a fostering ‘experiment’ (his description) in 1977 whereby a children’s home was closed down and the manager was given 5 of the children to foster. Survivors have described this ‘experiment’ in some detail as they were told it was their family and they had to call the manager ‘Mum’. A file record states that she had not been assessed as a foster carer”

Liz Davies report to Sarah Morgan QC 13.2.18:13.4

Further advertisements naming Heap 1972-4

Observer: 30.6.74

Mr Heap started his career as a Probation Officer.

Towards the end of the 1960s and early 1970s some of those Probation Officers move into Child Care work, perhaps through the route of managing juvenile delinquency as a specialist interest.

A pioneer of shaping pro-paedophile policy from within institutions intended for the protection of children was a former Probation officer turned child care expert who from May 1976 served on PIE’s Executive Committee as their residential childcare and social work specialist — Peter Righton. Throughout the decade of PIE’s open existence he continued extending his connections visiting prisons ‘counselling’ sexual offenders against children.

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