Councillors Not Held To Account

November 25, 2008

The two councillors facing a vote of no confidence in the handling of the Baby P case have survived the vote and  remain in their posts.

If things were different, and Haringey Council had been given the top rating in the country for its Children’s Services, would both Councillors not have sent out press releases taking credit for providing such an outstanding service??? So why is it that they and all their colleagues in the Labour group at Haringey do not want to accept responsibility for such an outrageous failure in protecting a child?

Are we seeing Haringey’s Labour group following the example of Gordon Brown in their excuses? When things go well, its the politicians that are taking the right decisions, when things go wrong its someone else’s fault!!


Panorama and Baby P

November 17, 2008

I’ve just finished watching Panorama on the events leading up to Baby P’s death and the biggest concerns raised were

Management overruling Social Workers according to one of Haringey Council’s staff speaking anonymously, with lack of funds being cited as one of the reasons for management decisions.

Insufficient number of social workers and a high turnover of staff.

High levels of bureaucracy with 60-80% of staff time being spent doing paperwork.

Breakdown of communication between the Police and Haringey Council with differing versions of what was discussed and agreed.

The number of cases being dealt with by each social worker being too high.

The doctor who examined Baby P failing to examine him properly when he was bought into hospital.

Many of the reasons given by social workers referred to in the program were similar to those expressed by the manager of social workers who I mentioned in this post. The lack of sufficient funds, inadequate training and more cases than the recommended amount being given to each social worker being the obvious ones.

While all the concerns highlighted in the program and elsewhere need to be looked at and dealt with robustly, especially as they don’t seem to be specific only to Haringey Council to avoid a repeat of this tragedy, I remain of the view that the death of Baby P was undoubtedly avoidable. While the system remains inadequate even after the Climbie Report recommendations, the failure of individuals to flag up the glaringly obvious concerns in this case is why Baby P remained exposed to violent individuals whose behaviour eventually killed him.


If This Is True…..

November 14, 2008

The Times is reporting that social workers in Haringey Council tried to prevent the baby born to the mother of Baby P while she was in jail from being taken into care. If this is confirmed then the children’s department at Haringey Council should be taken over by a Government appointed official with immediate effect. It is beyond comprehension that a mother who pleaded guilty to neglecting a child who subsequently died would be allowed to keep a new born baby. The police it is alleged to their credit intervened and overruled the social workers who wanted to let mother and child ‘bond’ and felt removing the baby would be against the mother’s ‘human rights.’ If this is true, what kind of society are we living in?