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Baby P: Shortcomings and actions

  • Comment
According to the Children's Secretary Ed Balls, shortcomings exposed by the Baby P case in Haringey LBC included:
  • Failure to identify children at immediate risk of harm and to act on evidence. This included a failure to talk to children believed to be at risk

  • Agencies acting in isolation from one another without effective co-ordination

  • Poor gathering, recording and sharing of information

  • Insufficient supervision by senior management

  • Insufficient challenge by the Safeguarding Children Board to council members and frontline staff

  • Over-dependence on performance data which was not always accurate Poor child protection plans

  • Failure to implement the recommendations of the Victoria Climbié inquiry, which heavily criticised it five years ago.

Actions announced by Mr Balls included:

  • Removing Sharon Shoesmith from her post as head of children's services

  • John Coughlan from Hampshire County Council to cover her role while the Department for Children, Schools and Families finds a permanent replacement

  • Mr Coughlan is also to carry out an internal review of social work staff in Haringey

  • Graham Badman, the director of Kent children's services, to take over Ms Shoesmith's role as chairman of the local Safeguarding Children Board

  • A new serious case review to be undertaken into the death of Baby P, with an executive summary to be published by the end of March

  • The education and children's services watchdog Ofsted to carry out unannounced annual inspections of children's services across the country

  • More action to be taken at those authorities in England which have had "inadequate" serious case reviews to show they have made improvements.

    Other Baby P reports on LGCplus

  • Comment

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