Thursday, 13 November 2008

Council's 'sorrow' over baby death (ITV NEWS)

Watch The News Broadcast At The End Of The Article:

A north London council has said the death of a 17-month-old boy from child abuse is a matter of the "deepest sorrow".
As calls grow for Sharon Shoesmith, the director of Haringey Council's children's services division, to quit, councillor Liz Santry said: "It is a matter of the deepest sorrow that Baby P died in Haringey."
Ms Santry, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, continued: "Our priority has to be and has always been to safeguard children in our borough and as an authority we were all devastated by the death of this child."
She added: "We are truly sorry that we did not do more to protect him."
Pressure is growing on Ms Shoesmith to step down over the death of the tot last August in his blood-spattered cot. He spent much of his short life being used as a "punchbag", and suffering more than 50 injuries.
The court heard that social workers, police and health professionals failed to save him despite 60 visits over eight months.
Social workers involved in the case are being investigated by professional regulators. Haringey Council was severely criticised following the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000.
The General Social Care Council (GSCC) is conducting "preliminary inquiries" into the actions of social workers involved in the case. All social workers must register with the body and can be held to account if they breach its professional code of practice.
Rosie Varley, the regulator's chairman, said: "We are deeply saddened by this case and we are conducting our own preliminary inquiries to establish whether the circumstances have any bearing on the suitability of individual social workers to remain on the register.
"All registered social workers are required to meet the highest standards of care and abide by our code of practice, to which they are held accountable," she said, adding the case of Baby P underlined the need for "high quality support and training" for social workers to help reduce the risk of similar tragedies.
The toddler's mother, 27, her 32-year-old boyfriend and another man, Jason Owen, 36, face up to 14 years in prison after being convicted of causing or allowing his death.
They were cleared of his murder. Sentencing will be held on December 15.
The GSCC probe is separate to an urgent inquiry ordered by Children's Secretary Ed Balls which will be carried out by Ofsted, the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection and the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
Mr Balls said the review - due to make an initial report by December 1 - would involve a "thorough inspection" of all services responsible for safeguarding children in Haringey.
"The case of Baby P is tragic and appalling," he said. "It is our duty to take whatever action is needed to ensure that such a tragedy doesn't happen again, that lessons are learned and that children in Haringey are safe."
If Your an Adult or Child and Have Problems with Social Services, Please Visit

No comments: