Baby Peter’s social workers keep their jobs

PUBLISHED: 13:05 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:19 12 August 2010

TWO social workers responsible for a catalogue of errors during their care of Baby Peter will get to keep their jobs.

TWO social workers responsible for a catalogue of errors during their care of Baby Peter will get to keep their jobs.

Maria Ward was suspended for two months and Gillie Christou for four months by the General Social Care Council (GSCC) last Wednesday. Neither was struck off the social care register.

The duo were found guilty of misconduct after admitting failing to ensure that the tot, who died aged 17 months, was visited regularly enough, losing contact with him for a period, and not keeping proper records.

Jason Owen, 38, who lived in a council house in Wittersham Road, Bromley, was convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child in November 2008 for his abuse of Baby Peter, who had over 50 injuries including a broken back at the time of his death in August 2007.

Also found guilty of the same charges were the baby's mother, Tracey Connelly, 29, and her boyfriend Steven Barker, 34, Owen's brother.

Owen fled to North London with his 15-year-old girlfriend and changed his name after a family row.

Ms Christou was the team manager whom Ms Ward reported to at Haringey council whom they both worked for. They were dismissed in April 2009, a decision they will fight at a tribunal later this year.

Both social workers have been suspended since December 2008 and their new sanctions are in addition to their previous suspensions. Both were said to "deeply regret" the death of the baby.

A spokesperson for Haringey council said: "The facts accepted by Mrs Christou and Mrs Ward at the hearing confirm the serious failings in their conduct and support the stance taken by the council to dismiss them.

"These matters will be fully explored again at the employment tribunal later this year where Mrs Christou and Mrs Ward will be challenging their dismissal."

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