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Baby P: Haringey's response

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Haringey LBC has insisted that social workers, health visitors, doctors and nurses “worked hard to support” the borough’s latest high-profile child abuse fatality.

Social workers saw “Baby P”, the 17-month-old boy who suffered horrific abuse including a broken spine before he died last year, a total of 60 times in his final months.

The failings of social workers in the same borough over the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbié in 2000 led to a huge realignment of child protection work in England, but the Baby P case has called the effectiveness of that work into question.

Haringey director of children’s services Sharon Shoesmith, who also chairs the borough’s local safeguarding children board, said the boy’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had successfully covered up the harm that was being caused to her son.

“We worked hard to support the family - social workers, health visitors, doctors and nurses all saw him and his mother regularly,” she said.

“We made arrangements to protect him, monitoring his progress and organised for the mother to go on a parenting course.

“We arranged for a family friend to help with his care, a childminder to look after him four days a week and report any suspicious injuries.

“The mother seemed to be co-operating with us: taking the child to doctors when he was ill, seeking help.

“In line with Government guidelines for such circumstances, we immediately set up an independent review into what happened and have acted on every recommendation.”

Children’s minister Beverley Hughes said Haringey could still face a government-level probe into the operations of its social services following the case.

Click here for: A summary of the findings of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board’s investigations into the Baby P tragedy.

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