Plymouth : ‘We Will Keep Children Safe’ Pledge Social Services

In a statement following the coroner’s verdict, Plymouth City Council, which runs social services in Plymouth, said: “The coroner found that Perrin died from bronchial pneumonia, with low body weight and dehydration as contributing factors, as a result of neglect by his mother and her partner and that this finding did not reflect upon the efforts of the agencies working with the family.”

“We are grateful for the coroner’s comments, that highlighted just how much hard work and dedication went into supporting the Barlow family. Nevertheless, a lot has changed since Perrin’s tragic death and it was important to reassure the public during the inquest that systems for safeguarding children in Plymouth are much improved.

“Leading children’s services professionals have demonstrated in detail to the coroner this week that the people, procedures and processes we now have in place are very strong. We have a solid Safeguarding Children Board that acts as a regulatory group to test the city’s child protection processes and all key agencies are signed up to that group.

“We have strengthened supervision arrangements for staff responsible for safeguarding because together they have to make tough judgement calls to keep children safe.

“There is ongoing, citywide, child protection training for all staff providing support for children and young people. Each agency has undergone extensive work to ensure safeguarding children is embedded in their daily working lives and safeguarding is a priority for the city

“It can never be acceptable for anyone to harm a child and we will work together to do all in our power to keep children in Plymouth safe, however challenging that may be.”