Children with intellectual disabilities are on their knees scrubbing the floor in the church under the supervision of a nun sitting nearby. The shocking recording is intended to show only a fragment of the practices used at the Social Welfare Center in Kamień Krajeński. The prosecutor’s office investigates reports of abuse against children.
The residents of the Social Welfare Home for Children and Youth in Kamień Krajeński are on their knees washing the floor in front of the altar. – The stay in the church of these people, the charges, is an element of their social therapy – explained Mariusz Łątkowski, spokesman for the Social Welfare Home for Children and Youth in Kamień Krajeński.
There were two teenagers in the group. Residents saw the church from behind the scenes on cable TV, thanks to cameras that have been installed there for over a dozen years. – Children are, so to speak, used to clean the church – said Jarosław Tadych, starosta of Sępolno.
This outraged and started a storm. – They simply saw what was happening, and people were already loudly discussing that it was probably inappropriate that disabled people and employees were used to clean the church during working hours, because it was practically not their responsibility to perform such activities – emphasizes Sławomir Słomkowski, editor-in-chief of Channel 10. The parish priest and the nun who runs the facility called the television operator. They heard that they were being recorded. They had a grudge about the painting that had gone out into the world.
Anyone who refused to work in the church had a difficult time. – She couldn’t stand it mentally, she came home crying or locked herself in the nursing home toilets, she cried – said Sławomir Słomkowski about one of the charges. The voivode sent an inspection, and the complaint was also sent to the Ombudsman for Children. The residents wrote a letter to the bishop. – We are banging our heads against a wall that is impossible to break through, just because we are afraid to make a decision – said councilor Danuta Zalewska.
County councilors intervene, but not everyone sees the problem. – My assessment is that the children there are very well taken care of and are happy – says Krzysztof Szymanowicz, a district councilor. This is contradicted by the words of the child who was put up for adoption.
– There is an ongoing investigation. It concerns the suspicion of physical and psychological violence against the charges – said Marcin Przytarski from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Tuchola. – She allegedly spoke vulgarly and abusively to employees and kicked children in wheelchairs – said Sławomir Słomkowski. However, this sister will no longer exist. The social welfare home claims that it also reported her to the prosecutor’s office.
The Elizabethan Sisters have been taking care of young people and children with intellectual disabilities in the DPS for over half a century. The further agreement depends on the results of the inspection and the findings of the prosecutor’s office. – We will, of course, think about it, but then we will have to solve it – explained Jarosław Tadych. – We have this idea that the Church is a great mercy. There was no indication that such pathologies were occurring, commented Zofia Krzemińska, vice-chairman of the Sępoleński County Council.
Main photo source: Channel 10