Report clears council over social worker Lynda Barnes
An independent report by the NSPCC has concluded that a social worked employed in Bath despite a conviction to conspiracy to murder did not “improperly influence” the cases she worked on.
However the review has made “necessary” suggestions to Bath and North East Somerset Council about improvements that need be made to children’s services.
The NSPCC was called in to investigate 16 cases that team manager Lynda Barnes was involved with between September 2005 and June 2008.
Earlier this year it emerged that Ms Barnes had been working as a social worker despite plotting to kill her husband, after she told a colleague to lie in court during a child protection case.
As details of her past were revealed, the council commissioned a review of all the cases she had worked on to see if she had improperly influenced them in any way.
The findings of the report, which was handed to the council in September, have just been published.
The charity says that no further action is needed due to any wrongdoing on Ms Barnes’s part.
It says: “The review team found that in all cases there was no evidence that Ms Barnes’s involvement significantly altered the evidence, care and case planning in an undue or improper way.”
However, it has made recommendations about the way information is recorded within social services, which the council has accepted and is responding to.
The report concludes by saying: “In conclusion, based upon the methodology and terms of reference for this review, we find that there is no evidence to suggest the need to take any further actions in respect of any of the cases reviewed or the need to seek a formal review of the decisions made in any case or refer matters back to the court.
“We do however consider that there are improvements to the council’s arrangements for dealing with child care cases and proceedings that can be made which essentially focus on quality assurance and standards of practice and scrutiny.”
A spokesman for B&NES said it had written to all the parents involved in the cases dealt with by Ms Barnes to inform them of the outcome of the review.
A copy of the report, with confidential sections removed, is available at: