Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Progress made at Baby P council

Haringey Council was heavily criticised after the death of Baby P Peter Connelly

The council at the centre of the Baby P scandal still has "areas for development", inspectors have ruled.

A new Ofsted report found three areas that required attention within Haringey's children's services department which was heavily criticised following the death of baby Peter Connelly in 2007.

But the unannounced inspection found progress had been made since the toddler's brutal death which led to the sacking of social services chief Sharon Shoesmith.

In a letter addressed to the current director of children's services, inspectors said summaries of completed cases did not always show agreed plans had been carried out.

And they said the outcomes of initial assessments were not "consistently being reported back".

Meanwhile, the watchdog highlighted delays in passing on cases after they were first brought to the attention of social workers.

The report read: "Transfer of work from the first response service to the safeguarding and care teams is timely but workload pressures within the children in need team periodically affect the ability of the first response service to transfer work. Case closure summaries do not consistently demonstrate that agreed plans have been fully implemented."

However, the report singled out no "priority actions" and identified a series of "strengths". It said the department responded promptly to the needs of children and said managers had a "strong commitment and vision", while staff morale was "good".

The council now has plans in place to deal with the areas in need of development.

Councillor Lorna Reith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This report is real evidence of the significant progress made in the past couple of years across all areas of our children's safeguarding service. But we are certainly not complacent and recognise there is still some way to go to reach the level of the very best."