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Shock report slams care of vunerable children at Baby P council Haringey

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 17 February 2018

Baby Peter Connelly had repeatedly been seen by Haringey social workers and healthcare professionals

Baby Peter Connelly had repeatedly been seen by Haringey social workers and healthcare professionals

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The treatment of children living with neglect in Haringey has been slammed by care watchdogs more than ten years after the death of Peter Connelly

Help for neglected children in Haringey has been slammed following an inspection. Picture: ISABEL INFANTESHelp for neglected children in Haringey has been slammed following an inspection. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES

Inspectors have concluded the care vulnerable youngsters receive is “too variable” with some practice criticised as being “ineffective”.

In a 15 page letter inspectors slam the council, Met police, Haringey and Islington CCG, the local probation and youth justice services, law enforcement agency the London Community Rehabilitation Company and child protection bosses at the local safeguarding children board (LSCB).

They found an inability to focus on intervention with parents and lack of progress in monitoring had led to “drift and delay” in supporting children. The pace of improvement is described as “too slow”. And a lack of guidance for parents means there is little change in youngsters’ circumstances.

Information sharing between health services, health agencies and others is criticised as “poor”.

A team of 14 inspectors found a backlog of about 200 cases awaiting full risk assessment by the police. In last December’s review inspectors saw neglected children “spending significant overnight periods in custody”.

The report says: “Although some good practice is evident, this is often due to the commitment and skills of individuals rather than sound practice underpinned by robust management,” a letter sent to safeguarding bosses states.

The inspection – from the Care Quality Commission, Ofsted, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Inspectorate of Probation – goes on to say cases are closed too early without “sufficient progress”.

This shock report comes ten years after the tragic case of Peter Connolly, know as Baby P, a 17-month-old boy who died in August 2007 after suffering horrific abuse – and more than 50 injuries - at the hands of his mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker, and her boyfriend’s brother Jason Owen, in Tottenham. The tragic youngster died despite being repeatedly seen by Haringey children’s services and NHS health professionals

A serious case review in 2009 slammed Haringey Council and other safeguarding agencies for not preventing his death concluding: “The interventions were not sufficiently authoritative by almost every agency.”

It stated that Peter’s death “could and should” have been prevented.

Haringey Council was also criticised in 2000 for not stopping the torture and murder of another child, Victoria Climbié,

Counsellor Sue Hessel said in reference to these cases: “You would think in Haringey neglected children would be an absolute priority. This is very serious. There is no place for timidity where children are concerned.”

In a statement calling for more resources, Lib Dem deputy leader Liz Morris said: “Children in Haringey are being put at risk.

“Protecting the most vulnerable is obviously a moral priority,” Cllr Morris added.

In a joint response Haringey LSCB said improvements are underway and an action plan will be sent to Ofsted in May.

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