Baby Peter – Haringey even worse than we thought!

The Ofsted Report on Haringey Council’s progress on child protection since the fall out after Baby P and since the installation of a new Director of Children’s Services was published this morning.

It makes miserable reading as the key findings are that the situation in Haringey Child Protection was even worse than we thought with a 400 case backlog. Either Haringey didn’t know how bad they were or they were hiding how bad they were – either way a terrifying prospect.

The report states: ‘Significant shortcomings remain which means that children and young people in Haringey are not yet consistently safeguarded.’

And goes onto say: ‘The Council has made limited progress overall in addressing the areas of weakness identified in the November 2008 joint area review … Capacity to improve within the Council and across the partnership is limited overall.’

Whilst the report rightly recognises the efforts that have been made by staff to improve the service and safeguard the borough’s children, the main message is that children and young people are still not safe and that progress is limited and the capacity to improve that situation is also rubbish.

Peter Lewis (new Director on very high salary) said it would take him three years to really turn Haringey around. However, this report would seem to indicate that he is not track – or at least a fast enough track – to do so.

I will be seeking a meeting with him – to find out why there has been such slow progress and what the issues are. Certainly there is a shortage of social workers – and they are not rushing to Haringey to help.

But I have to say if things don’t speed up in the next six months maximum – then Ed Balls is going to have to put Haringey into special measures. We cannot continue with our children not being safeguarded properly.