Friday, 22 May 2009

Officials were told to put Baby P in care seven months before death

Social workers ignored legal advice to take Baby P into care and condemned him to seven months of abuse that led up to his horrifying death, an inquiry found today.
A report into failings by social services, lawyers, doctors and the police found the boy's abuse could have been stopped in its tracks if the professionals paid to protect children had done their job.
Seventeen-month-old Baby Peter died on 3 August, 2007 after suffering months of neglect and violence at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.
He suffered more than 50 injuries, including a broken back, despite being on Haringey's child protection register and being seen 60 times by social workers, doctors and police.
The summary of the serious case review report was published as Peter's 27-year-old mother, her boyfriend, 32, and their lodger, Jason Owen, 37, of Bromley, Kent, were sentenced at the Old Bailey today.
But the focus returned to the failure of Haringey's social workers and medical staff to act to protect Baby Peter despite evidence that his injuries had been deliberately caused.
Graham Badman, independent chairman of Haringey's Local Safeguarding Children Board, which conducted the review, said Peter should have been taken into care sooner.
He said social workers were too keen to keep the family together. He said: Staff adopted a threshold of concern for taking children into care that was too high and had expectations of what they themselves could achieve that were too low.

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