Friday, 22 May 2009

Experienced director has task of preventing more baby P cases

A children's services boss with professional experience of two horrific baby deaths will take up a national role to prevent more Baby P cases, it was announced today.
Catherine Fitt will become the new strategic director for children's services for the National College of School Leadership, after a four-year stint as executive director of children's services at Newcastle City Council.
The role was created by children's secretary Ed Balls following the publication of the recent review of Children's Services by Lord Laming.
In her time in Newcastle, she oversaw reviews into two high-profile baby deaths.
Aaron O'Neil, aged just three months, was killed at the hands of his father Paul, in February 2005. The baby had his face held against a gas fire, Newcastle Crown Court heard, and his father was jealous of the attention the infant received.
Mrs Fitt ordered an independent inquiry which concluded there were lessons to be learnt, and a social worker resigned.
The council executive took up her role in Newcastle in the same month baby Aaron was murdered.
In August 2005, four-month-old Alexander Gallon was killed by his mother Danielle Wails when she set fire to their home in Cowgate, Newcastle.
A Serious Case Review was carried out which found his death could not have been predicted, but found different agencies and staff within them needed to communicate better.

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