Lord Laming report to criticise child protection

Councils across the country are making the same mistakes that contributed to the death of Baby P, an official report is expected to say today.
Social services departments have still not adopted the safeguards recommended following the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000, meaning vulnerable children are slipping through the net.

Lord Laming, who called for total overhaul of child protection systems following the eight-year-old’s death, will today publish a follow-up report that is expected to reveal that his reforms have still not been introduced.

The former chief inspector of social services will criticise the form-filling, box-ticking culture that restricts the time social workers have to spend visiting children, and warn that poor managers are able to stay in their jobs because of weak inspection regimes.

The report is also expected to conclude that too many departments are run by people with little front-line social work experience like Sharon Shoesmith, the former director of children’s services at Haringey council.

The review was ordered by Children’s Secretary Ed Balls last November following the death of 17-month-old Baby P, who suffered more than 50 injuries from his abusive mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

Mr Balls also ordered that Mrs Shoesmith be removed from her post after an Ofsted report exposed inadequacies in the council’s child protection services.

Both Baby P and Victoria Climbie died despite regular contacts with health and social workers in Haringey, north London.

Mrs Shoesmith is now taking her council to an employment tribunal after being dismissed without compensation from her £100,000-a-year post in December.