Abuse Investigations Should Be Taken Away From Childrens Social Services

Writing to Minister Kevin Brennan, John Hemming MP, chairman of Justice for Families, has called for the responsiblity for investigating allegations of Child Abuse to be removed from Childrens Social Services.

“With the sad death recently in ‘Climbie’ council Haringey of a 17 month old child in early August 2007, following the convictions for the murder of Leticia Wright in Huddersfield, it is quite clear that our system designed to protect children is failing.” said Mr Hemming

“In the attempt to find “adoptible commodities” to satisfy the government’s targets, serious cases of abuse have been missed.”

“The police are far better at investigating allegations of abuse than Childrens Social Services. We need people who concentrate on issues of evidence.”

“There is also a conflict of interest between being a support service and an investigative service. The two responsibilities need to be separated. In Cleveland it was found that practitioners came to a conclusion at the start of an investigation, rather than when the evidence was collated.”

“In both of the recent cases as with Victoria Climbie there was very obvious physical maltreatment of a child. This is easy to spot. All they have to do is to make sure that they see the child. However, this did not happen.”

“Other countries separate out the investigative functions from those which are supportive. We should do the same. I have argue for some time that the dysfunctional nature of the English and Welsh Childrens Social Services system causes both intervention to happen when it shouldn’t and intervention to fail to happen when it should. Sadly the evidence in the newspapers proves the second part of this thesis.”

“Haringey’s response of shooting the messenger when someone warned the council they were leaving children at risk is a further obvious problem.”