Sue Berelowitz left the Office of the Children’s Commissioner under a voluntary redundancy agreement as part of plans to flatten the organisation’s management structure so that her responsibilities as Deputy Children’s Commissioner and Chief Executive of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner could transfer to the new Children’s Commissioner and her post could be deleted. As Sue had worked for the organisation for a number of years at a senior level, she was entitled to a severance payment plus a notice period. The severance payment fell below the six figure sum ceiling and making Sue’s post redundant and the administrative costs to support it saved the organisation £164,000 per year.
When Sue left her post, she was part way through leading a national inquiry into the scale of child sexual abuse in the family context and the best ways in which to tackle it. This is an extremely important piece of work for the organisation which requires expert leadership and knowledge and we were therefore pleased when Sue agreed to continue it. Sue has the national support of survivor organisations, the police, academic institutions and others to do this work and is a recognised expert in the area. She was appointed to chair the inquiry on a consultancy basis at up to nine days per month.
The organisation is proud of the work done by the inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in gangs and groups which Sue led. This inquiry brought this issue to the fore, including exposing its true scale in England and has led to changes to policy and practice at the national and local level bringing about measurable improvements to the identification of and support provided to thousands of child victims.