‘Social Services Covering Up Major Failures’

Dozens of social services departments across the country have been covering up serious failures, an independent review into the death of Baby P will warn.

Councils will reportedly be criticised for putting children at risk by overloading social workers with red tape and targets when the report is published on Thursday.

The review by Lord Laming follows the death of 17-month-old Baby P who suffered more than 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

The toddler’s death came despite 60 contacts with the Haringey council over eight months.

Lord Laming’s report will say the Government’s obsession with reports, “performance indicators” and middle managers has left social workers isolated and overworked.

It will conclude too many social services managers have got no experience of dealing with children and inexperienced social workers are under too much pressure.

The News of the World says the report will conclude that major reforms that were supposed to be introduced four years ago have never been properly implemented.

Lord Laming was asked in November to assess whether reforms introduced following the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000 were being successfully implemented around the country.

In his landmark inquiry into the Climbie case, Lord Laming called for a total overhaul of the child protection system.

Although many of his reforms have been implemented, Lord Laming will say they have failed to deal with problems on the front-line of child protection.

He will warn there are still too many badly performing local authorities.

Information about children at risk of abuse is not widely circulated and social workers in the worst boroughs are overworked, he will add.

Lord Laming will also warn social services have not been properly checked or inspected, allowing poor managers to continue in their jobs.