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Baby P - the lessons to be learned

PUBLISHED: 14:57 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:25 12 August 2010

A LECTURER has said there are lessons to be learnt from the Baby P case for all practitioners working with vulnerable children. Jan Webb, a lecturer in Child Health and Welfare said that all professionals dealing with children should learn from a repor

A LECTURER has said there are lessons to be learnt from the Baby P case for all practitioners working with vulnerable children.

Jan Webb, a lecturer in Child Health and Welfare said that all professionals dealing with children should learn from a report into Haringey council's handling of the shocking Baby P case.

The report, published on Monday, highlighted a catalogue of errors by council and health professionals who failed to take action to prevent the death of the 17-month-old boy.

He died on August 3 last year after suffering sustained abuse despite being on Haringey council's child protection register and being seen 60 times in eight months by police, doctors and social workers.

The Greenwich University lecturer said training should be improved to enable practitioners to make holistic assessments in relation to children's welfare.

She said: "The focus can be too much on systems, quantitative data and practise and not always child-focused.

"The systems themselves don't protect the children - it is what people do and what individual practitioners put in place."

The report has led to the suspension of three social workers and the resignation of the Haringey's council leaders and cabinet member for children.

A nationwide report by former social worker and Chief Inspector of Social Services Lord Lamming on safeguarding children, is due to be published early next year.

Bromley council currently has 253 children in their care and 161 children in the borough are on the child protection register, which is now known as a 'child protection plan'.

In Bromley the majority of children are placed with foster carers, some with registered independent fostering agencies vetted by Ofsted and a minority, children with complex needs, are placed in residential settings, such as specialist homes.

Lodger Jason Owen, of Wittersham Road, Bromley, was convicted of causing or allowing the death of Baby P, along with the 27-year-old mother and her boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons. They were due to be sentenced on December 15 but was adjourned last Friday to next spring.

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