Care Services Accused Of Neglect After Child’s Death

Care services have been accused of systematic failures following the death of a 10-year-old Bristol child who suffered years of chronic neglect. Professionals “missed opportunities” to intervene before the girl had an epileptic fit and fell in a bath of scalding water, a child safety panel concluded.

{mosimage}Bristol’s Safeguarding Children Board condemned health, education and social care services for failing to communicate and underestimating neglect in the family. A catalogue of physical, racial and drug abuse in the family, over a 14-year period, had been collated by authorities. But a lack of “critical analysis” prevented workers recognising chronic neglect suffered by the girl and her seven siblings.

The board, led by police, health and children’s organisations, concluded: “Professionals failed to gauge the level of actual neglect being experienced by the children and consequently the view held by professionals was that the threshold for child protection intervention was not met.

“There were missed opportunities for professionals to intervene in the early years, which could have focused upon parenting support. There was a lack of critical analysis of known information with incidents being treated discretely in isolation from each other, which contributed to an underestimate of the amount of neglect that the children in the family were experiencing.”

Responding to the report, Bristol Primary Care Trust and Bristol City Council said procedures had been reviewed. The girl’s parents, who have not faced any criminal prosecution, were invited to respond to the report’s findings. The family cannot be identified as the girl’s siblings are on the child protection register.