Details of the social services failings leading up to the death of Baby Peter have emerged with the publication of two serious case reviews into the tragedy.
The first report on the 17-month-old’s death under the noses of Haringey LBC social workers three years ago was dismissed as “inadequate” by Ofsted.
In publishing the subsequently commissioned second review in full alongside the full first report, children’s minister Tim Loughton said he hoped the publication in full of both reports would “bring some form of closure, so everyone, family and professionals involved in this tragic case have the chance to move on.”
The second serious case review is peppered with redactions, but it reveals that Baby Peter’s mother Tracey Connelly named her violent partner as her next of kin on an official form but authorities still failed to realise he was living with her.
The youngster died at the hands of his mother, her partner Stephen Barker, and his brother Jason Owen, at the family home in Tottenham, north London, in August 2007. He had suffered more than 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over an eight-month period.
The toddler’s social worker was told Tracey Connelly had a boyfriend but did not ask who he was or request to meet him. The second report was scathing about social workers’ failure to quiz Peter’s mother about her boyfriend.
It said: “It would have been interesting to know whether Ms A (Connelly) would have refused the information and what it was thought to signify. She was not asked.”
Graham Badman, chair of Haringey safeguarding children board, said Peter Connelly’s death had prompted a fundamental reappraisal of child protection services both in the borough and throughout the country.
“If Peter is to have a legacy, it is that other children are now safer as a consequence of the honest analysis of events that led to his death and the embedding in practice of the lessons learned,” he said.
Mr Badman presided over the second review, which was completed in March 2009 - four months after then children’s secretary Ed Balls sacked Haringey director of children’s services Sharon Shoesmith who had been responsible for overseeing the first version.
Children’s minister Mr Loughton said he believed there had been a “certain complacency” to the first serious case review .
“I think it was insufficiently thorough and insufficiently critical at trying to find out the underlying problems and the way that certain agencies did not interact with each other,” he added.