Kendall House, Gravesend, Kent

Kendall House, Gravesend, KentKendall House was a private children’s home for girls based in Gravesend, Kent,  Until 1986, it was run and funded by the Church of England, overseen by the Joint Council for Social Responsibility for the Dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury.  Girls who were placed there were aged between 11 and 16 years old.

In December 2015 an independent review of Kendall House was commissioned to review events from 1967 until its closure in 1986.  The report was released to the public on 13th July 2016 and outlined revelations of sexual abuse, ill-treatment and physical abuse.

The report found that between 1967 and 1986 girls as young as 11 were often given anti-depressants and other powerful anti-depressants and those girls that resisted faced punishment and emotionally abusive threats.  The review said the “harrowing” findings exposed a children’s home which was a place of control, containment and sometimes, cruelty were normalised.”

The 137 page report also revealed how every former resident spoken to by the review team had suffered abuse, some of whom went on to attempt suicide.

The Church of England has apologised to former residents of Kendall House.  The dioceses have set up a support line for former residents and survivors of Kendall House, and those who may be affected by the findings of the report into Kendall House, which is 0845 120 4634. The support line is provided by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service, an independent Christian safeguarding charity.