Monday, 22 September 2008

”…same as it ever was…”

Social workers failed to spot the risks to a toddler who was tortured to death by her drug addict stepfather, a report has found.

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.
Stand by for the usual whining and excuses…
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.



Chair of the CSCB David Hopkins said Lois' death highlighted the challenges faced by professionals in dealing with child protection cases.
Ahhh, professionals, you see. So much better at their job than mere members of the public. Just like in the Victoria Climbié case.
"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.

This included mandatory training for staff working with drug abusing parents to help them recognise any disguised harm.
Translation: ‘Ooops! Long-term drug addicts are deceitful, lying scum! Who knew? Our bad, won’t happen again…’

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.

4 comments:

Ross said...

Lessons will be learned.

JuliaM said...

Wouldn't it be nice if, for once, they actually were...?

I'd better not hold my breath, though.

Umbongo said...

The obvious solution for concerned neighbours is not to report worries about injuries, torture etc but to complain that the children are being subjected to satanic abuse. That would get the social workers moving.

As to your solution about sacking people responsible, that would be fine if there was some follow through. However, you might be interested to listen to this self-serving lump of useless sh*t pleading ignorance and victimisation (of her - the social worker - not the murdered child).

Tomrat said...

Stories like this royally piss me off because as a youth worker I deal with the type of kids mentioned in this report; that drug addict stepfather could've been the father to dozens of the kids I work with.

My view is thus: if social services are a public service we must publicly fund, like the police or army, then they must be accountable to the people paying their wages; elected social service chiefs in the same way we want sheriffs for the police.

Currently they are protected by empire building beuraucrats and faulty legislation; they hide behind laws designed to stop the vulnerable from unnecessary scrutiny and this government allows it because, in its heart of hearts, they are trying to defend the system, not the individuals the system is designed to protect.

Umbongo,

Interesting story; if it were up to me there would be an automatic ejection from their social service role with automatic prohibition from entering the service again if their actions were implicit in a child being permanently removed from their family which were later cleared - it wouldn't restore the children (I believe the judge is right to keep them apart) to their parents but it would stop the same mistake being repeated eternally and make others think hard before sanctioning that sort of action.