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Social services posts vacant at Baby P council

PUBLISHED: 11:37 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 September 2010

MORE than a quarter of social services posts in Haringey are vacant, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The figures, published by the Conservative party, were collated two weeks before the Baby P case became public in Nove

MORE than a quarter of social services posts in Haringey are vacant, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The figures, published by the Conservative party, were collated two weeks before the Baby P case became public in November 2008 and show that 80 of 317 posts are not filled in the borough. This is equivalent to one in four vacant positions, higher than the national average of one in seven.

Tim Loughton, the Tory children's minister, said: "The crisis in social services began well before the tragic death of Baby P.

"The government has created a vicious circle of overstretch and under recruitment. Demoralised and exhausted experts are leaving and very few are filling their shoes."

Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem children's spokeswoman, said: "The council needs to put together an action plan so we can attract and retain experienced and qualified social workers."

The figures showed that of the 203 positions within children's services, 60 are vacant, the equivalent of almost 30 per cent.

But Haringey council claims only five positions within the 199 full time posts were vacant and that all of the 651 children in care or on the child protection register were allocated to social workers.

A council spokesman said: "We want to ensure sufficient staffing resources are available to deliver social care services. An action plan is being prepared to take forward the issues arising from the Ofsted inspection, including plans for staffing.


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