About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Déjà vu?

I can barely keep up with the avalanche of press interest in child protection following the revelation of social services involvement in the Baby P case. It seems the press is now back to damning social services because they don't, rather than because they do and I notice a deafening silence from some of the usual critics of the system. Looking at the information which is already in the public domain, including that there were some two visits a week from social services in the several months before the child's death. The serious case review does not suggest any great systematic failing on the part of LB Haringey. It seems to come down to the fact that a quantity of people were simply not doing their jobs to a good enough standard. The serious case review was however prepared by the Local Children's Safeguarding Board, chaired by, you've guessed it, the Director of Children's Services for LB Haringey. I would have thought the conflict of interest was obvious and even if not obvious was decried even by the DfCS some 18 months ago. I note too that the legal team advised at one point that there were insufficient grounds to issue care proceedings: I wonder if this isn't yet another example of a local authority failing to distinguish between cases where the evidence justifies issuing proceedings and those in which an immediate removal is supported by the evidence. Public interest in the case seems set to be maintained with yet another enquiry being commissioned from Lord Laming together with an independent review of children's services.

In the meantime ...

Be warned that some of the newspaper reports contain detailed accounts of the child's injuries, including body maps and computer generated images,


LB Haringey's own statement

The Serious Case Review Executive Summary (pdf file)

The Telegraph's overview of the criminal case with video summary

The Telegraph's time line

The Times: heads not likely to roll

The Telegraph: call for heads to roll

Community Care on Ed Balls' commissioning of a joint area review by Ofsted

Community Care: Director of the Climbie Foundation says the case is worse than the Climbie case

Community Care on the review of progress by Lord Laming


The Daily Mail on the Brown / Cameron Commons Clash - this article also provides an excellent overview of the whole case and the main protagonists (but watch out for the disturbing images).

Sky News

BBC coverage

Times: Baby P's mother thinks she will be home for Christmas

The Guardian : BASW Head defends social workers

Camilla Cavendish: why first impressions are dangerous

Beatrix Campbell comments in the Independent

The Guardian rounds up expert reaction to the case :comments from, Sharon Shoesmith, Beverley Hughes, Ian Johnston, Harry Ferguson, Dr Hamilton, Tim Loughton, Eileen Munro, Wes Cuell & David Bellotti.

Reuters reports that the General Social Care Council is to look at the social work practice in the case

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