Baby P social workers have suspensions extended

Two of the social workers sacked by Haringey Council for their role in the Baby P case have had their social care register suspensions extended.

The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has made the move because it needs more time to assess their cases.

At separate GSCC independent panel hearings last week, Gillie Christou, the team manager who approved the decision to return Baby P to his home, had her interim suspension order (ISO) extended by nine months, and Maria Ward, the social worker in charge of Baby P’s case, saw her ISO extended by six months.

As the independent panels are held in private it is not known why there is a three-month disparity, said a GSCC spokeswoman.

During their suspension, the GSCC will assess whether the pair should be subject to a conduct hearing, which has the power to remove social workers from the register.

Meanwhile, the GSCC is continuing to investigate whether Haringey’s former head of safeguarding Clive Preece, who was also sacked by the council for his role in the Baby P case, should be subject to a ISO.

Another sacked Haringey social worker, deputy director of children’s services Cecilia Hitchen, has voluntarily removed herself from the social care register.

Last month Haringey Council confirmed that Hitchen, Christou and Ward were appealing against their sackings.