Haringey Council admits to further investigations into child abuse

Labour-run Haringey Council, which failed to protect Child T and Baby P, has admitted that there are two further cases of child abuse under review in the borough. The shocking revelation comes just a month after the release of a damning report into the failure to protect Child T.

Child T was left to be abused for a year by his parents following failings by Haringey Council, the police and NHS. Child T and his siblings were eventually taken into care more than a year after the first incident of abuse came to the attention of doctors and social services.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors uncovered the additional serious case reviews via a question to the Labour administration, where they asked how many abuse cases in the borough were being investigated. In response, the Labour Cabinet Member for Children admitted that the handling of two abuse cases are being investigated in the borough.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have called for an independent investigation into repeated failures in child protection services by Haringey’s Labour-run council. So far the calls have been rejected.

Haringey Liberal Democrats children spokesperson has also called for the Serious Case Review process to be reformed.

Cllr Katherine Reece, Haringey Lib Dem Children’s spokesperson, comments:

“I am very concerned that there is another review into a child abuse case in the borough just weeks after a new serious case review was launched.

“We believe that an independent inquiry into the repeated failures to protect children from abuse in Haringey is urgently needed. We also believe that the system of serious case reviews is flawed and needs to be reformed at the very least to ensure some independent voices on the panels.

“We will continue to call for this and to fight for reforms to the child protection service in Haringey to make sure children in the borough are safe.”

Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, comments:

“I am devastated to learn of yet more cases of child abuse under review in Haringey. How many more children will suffer before we see real change?

“Just two weeks ago, Cllr Katherine Reece and I met with the Chief Executive of Haringey Council to discuss child protection in the borough. Very disappointingly, my call for a vital independent investigation into children’s services was rejected again.

“I will continue to call for an independent review and reform of Haringey Council’s children’s services and the Local Safeguarding Children Board – and will not rest until Haringey ceases to fail these vulnerable children.”

Child T – another Haringey protection failure

I am deeply saddened and shocked at news of another failure to protect a child in Haringey. A serious case review published this morning has identified multiple failings by local authorities – including social services – to protect a child, known only as ‘Child T.’

The reportevidences serious failures of management and professional practice at that time within and between the three key child protection agencies – police, health and social care services.’

Child T is alive, having been removed from the care of their parents more than a year after the first incident of abuse came to the attention of doctors and social services. However, the report states that, in the course of the year, Child T was taken to hospital twice with suspicious injuries, only to be returned to their parents. This is just one of the multiple failings listed.

Most people will be aware that it was also Haringey Council who failed to protect Baby P and Victoria Climbe. After these two horrendous failures – serious changes should have been made. But now, Child T has been failed too. Indeed, the review identifies features that are common between the Baby P and the Child T cases.

It is just appalling that Haringey Council have become embroiled in another child abuse scandal. The local Lib Dems, local residents and I have long been calling on the Labour leadership to address the manifest failings of Children’s Services – but our calls have simply been ignored.

What makes me even more upset and angry, is that Haringey’s Labour leadership have repeatedly told us that lessons had been learnt, and that Children’s Services had turned a corner. But this was evidently not true – and now another child has paid the price.

I fully support the Haringey Liberal Democrat calls for an urgent, independent investigation. It cannot come quickly enough.