Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Baby P - Shame on you Haringey

It's happened again. Another child has lost it life in a cruel and horrible way. We've had the usual handwringing from the top brass in the borough - shame on you Harringey, how could you let this happen again?

Being a fairly normal person, I assumed that most people will behave decently and those who do not, will have their behaviour curtailed by society. How wrong I was! How can it be that we allow a 17 month old child to die in the most awful circumstances, despite being on the child protection register? How can a doctor not spot a broken spine? How can hightly educated professionals not spot that the child's bruses disappeared when he was apart from his mum for a month, but, hey presto, reappeared when he was returned home? How can 3 adults be so sadistic as to allow this child to be bitten by a dog or to swallow its own tooth or have its top lip torn away from its 17 month old face? Where were the neighbours, the decent local coppers, the health visitors, the staff at social services, the other adults in this childs life when he needed them most?

What is most shaming is that it appears that all the work done since the terrible death of Victoria Climbie has not prevented this latest death. How must her parents be feeling?

I hope that Haringey will not squirm out of this one and that heads will roll. Otherwise what will be the legacy of this particular childs death, except corporate handwringing and a few formal warnings?


Anonymous said...

Judging by news reports today the buck-passing has begun.

I cannot get my mind around it. Don't you love the way the baby is protected now, with all photos blurred out?

Head of Society for the Protection of Children, or head of the Social services [they are interchangeable] said, on lunchtime news, that they have increased training times, that Social workers had heavy case loads and were 'doing the best they could. I screamed at the TV.

auntiegwen said...

Thank you for your comments on mine, you always seem to catch my sadness and I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me, xx

I am a lecturer in child care and I have to teach the Childrens act of 1989 and 2004 and how the welfare of the child is paramount.

I am ashamed beyond measure of the health, education and social services. What kind of society are we that we allow this ?


what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

Hmmm...I did a lot of shouting too, Moannie, at the telly...working where I do, I come across a lot of low level neglect and poor parenting...and have made a number of referrals to social care for kids I have been concerned about. And Yes, auntie g, I too get frustrated by the way in which social care put so much importance on keeping a family whatever cost it seems.

auntiegwen said...

Thanks again for the support sweetie, can I pop round for the scones ? I've still got room ?

Have a great weekend xx

GreenJello said...

I don't know about England, but here in the States, it seems that Child Protective Services has plenty of time to harass those who are innocent.

And then the guilty parents continue to hurt the little ones. :(

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that we have felt the need to do this - all jump on this bangwagon like a load of sheep and blame the social workers. It actually takes away from the real tragedy of this case and turns it into a political issue.

Social workers are in a very difficult position. If abusers are determined to abuse they will be wily and cunning in hiding that abuse, particularly from officials.

We seem to have lost focus. The people who killed and tortured Baby P were his mother and her lover and lodger - not the social workers. These were not just people struggling to bring up a child in poverty, feeding him the wrong food or something - this was sadistic abuse.

I cannot see how scape-goating will help anyone. We need social workers. We need good caring people entering the profession. Who in their right mind would want to do so in this climate of offloading responsibility to people/organisation who will always struggle to gain entry into people's private lives.

Do we really want that level of intrusion? How do we determine where it should and should not occur? I wouldn't want it in my my life. So where is the line? How do we draw it?

I think the people who criticise social workers should stop for a moment and just try to imagine the situation they are in. I am sure there were failings, serious failings maybe, but what they have to deal with, the barriers that are put up, are always going to be there and sometimes they are going to get it wrong.

Let's not forget who the real culprits are in this case. I do not believe that an institution can or should be expected to save a child - others need to play their parts too.

Ooops got a bit carried away there. But comment boxes are more fun if you get someone turn up with an opposing point of view!!!

(oh and I am NOT a social worker nor would I ever want to be)

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

Good to have a debate! I am not blaming the social workers alone - every adult who had contact with this child had a responsibility to act. I do agree about the mother and boyfriend and the lies they told. However, I work with families and see at first hand how stretched social services are - and this is down to the budget holders, NOT individual social workers. Something went very wrong in Haringey - not least a doctor not spotting a broken spine - and heads should roll. I do not apologise for this and I am not scapegoating. The guilty parties are the childs mother, her boyfriend and their lodger. They killed the child. Everyone else involved might've prevented this death - we will never know, but not one person, relative,organisation or agency took this childs side and therein lies the tragedy - how much did this child actually matter to anyone?