Friday, 4 July 2008

Social Services allowed at risk teenager to remain at the McElhill home

Full Story:

SOCIAL workers and their managers involved with the ill-fated McElhill/ McGovern families of Lammy, who perished in an arson attack at their home in November last year were incompetent and failed to meet statutory requirements, according to the independent report into the matter released on Tuesday. Though there have been cautious welcomes for the report fromthe Western Health Trust and Omagh District Council, there is little in the report that can offer any comfort to Social Services in Omagh. In the 30,000 word document almost every page details failing after failing on the part of Social Services, and on the part of police and other agencies, though not explicitly in relation to the McElhill family. Rather, it would appear that many of the deficiencies were in respect of the failure of social workers to remove another child a non-family member from the household. On September 11 last year the PSNI were called out by Lorraine McGovern to 4 Lammy Crescent, to an incident involving the mother of a teenage child (staying with the family). PSNI officers contacted the Trust's out-of-hours service social work service seeking the approval of Social Services for the teenage child to remain at 4 Lammy Crescent overnight. This approval was given by the co-ordinator without any checks being carried out. One paragraph in the report reads: "Scant details were recorded in files which were of a poor professional standard. Statutory requirements were not met in relation to the visits to the teenage child who was placed on the (at risk) register. There was no evidence of planned and structured work linked to the case plan. "The events between August 3, 2007 and November 13, 2007, show that competent professional practice was not followed in a number of instances particularly in responding to concerns raised and referrals made, conducting assessments, risk assessments and working with other disciplines and agencies. The professional practices of the relevant social workers were not adequately monitored supported or challenged by senior staff and case files were not adequately examined and monitored during this period."

1 comment:

admin said...


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