Lessons should be learnt from Baby P tragedy says expert

PUBLISHED: 15:56 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 25 August 2010



A LECTURER has said there are lessons to be learnt from the Baby P case for all practitioners working with vulnerable children.

A LECTURER has said there are lessons to be learnt from the Baby P case for all practitioners working with vulnerable children.

Jan Webb, a lecturer in Child Health and Welfare, told the Times that all professionals dealing with children should learn from a report into Haringey council's handling of the shocking Baby P case.

The report, published on Monday, highlighted a catalogue of errors by the council and health professionals who failed to take action to prevent the death of the 17-month-old boy.

He died on August 3 last year after suffering sustained abuse despite being on Haringey council's child protection register after being seen 60 times in eight months by police, doctors and social workers.

The Greenwich University lecturer said training should be improved to enable practitioners to make holistic assessments in relation to children's welfare.

She said: "The focus can be too much on systems, quantitative data and practise and not always child-focused.

"The systems themselves don't protect the children - it is what people do and what individual practitioners put in place."

The report has led to the suspension of three social workers and the resignation of the council leader and cabinet member for children.

A nationwide report by former social worker and Chief Inspector of Social Services Lord Lamming on safeguarding children, is due to be published early next year.

In Bexley, there are 209 children in care and 69 children on the child protection register.

Out of 67 social worker posts in child protection the borough have one vacancy.

In Greenwich there are 241 children with a child protection plan. A total of 513 children are in care plus 17 in respite care. The council says there are no children waiting to go into care.

Out of a possible 11 beds in children's homes, two are currently vacant.

l Lodger Jason Owen, of Wittersham Road, Bromley, was convicted of causing or allowing the death of Baby P, along with the 27-year-old mother and her boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons. They were due to be sentenced on December 15 but was adjourned last Friday to next Spring.

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