Social workers failed to spot the risks to a toddler who was tortured to death by her drug addict stepfather, a report has found.Stand by for the usual whining and excuses…
The girl, named as Lois in the report, was killed by Daniel Bishop, 28, four months after he moved into her home in Caerphilly in 2004.
Social workers were concerned about her welfare in the weeks before she died but did not act, said the report.
Neighbours on the Lansbury Park estate in Caerphilly said they had complained about the abuse but the court was told that the couple kept it hidden from social services.Ahhh, professionals, you see. So much better at their job than mere members of the public. Just like in the Victoria Climbié case.
Chair of the CSCB David Hopkins said Lois' death highlighted the challenges faced by professionals in dealing with child protection cases.
"This case was complicated by the determined efforts of Sarah and Daniel Bishop to deceive professionals and cover up any signs of abuse or injuries to her," he said.Err, isn’t that why we pay your staff the salaries we do…? Because they are supposed to be able to outwit a pair of drug-addled members of the underclass and check for non-accidental injury?
Still, ‘learnt any lessons’ from this? Just a few:
The resulting Maddocks' Report, published on Monday, found there was a "failure to recognise indicators of risk" and a collective "failure to react with sufficient clarity of purpose".Translation: ‘We were too dumb to force a drug addict mother to show us the injuries caused to her child by her violent live-in boyfriend, and when neighbours pointed that out, we sat on our well-paid backsides holding case conferences and awaiting our public sector pensions….’
It found that "significant changes" to strengthen the safeguards for children in Caerphilly county borough had been made in the four years since Lois' death by all the agencies involved, but it still made eight recommendations.Translation: ‘Ooops! Long-term drug addicts are deceitful, lying scum! Who knew? Our bad, won’t happen again…’
This included mandatory training for staff working with drug abusing parents to help them recognise any disguised harm.
Oh, but it will. Again, and again, and again…
Until someone starts sacking the people who get it wrong, and the people who do nothing while they get it wrong, and promoting the people who get it right.