Thursday, July 08, 2010


Slowly but surely, the hindsight investigation in to the death of a toddler is treading its way through a variety of professional enquiry systems. It strikes me, the disparate enquiries reflect the untidy mass of systems that have not, to date, worked in any coherent way with one another.

My belief is, that until there is serious joined up communication, a trust between the organisations and professionals, to enable them to work supportively with one another, child killing cases in the UK, such as the one of Maria Colwell, Victoria Climbie, and Baby Peter, will continue to appear. 

In times of austerity,  tougher times that will cause increased individual and family pressures, where a timely intervention could be a lifesaver, it is going to become even more imperative that services do develop broader interdisciplinary teamwork skills, outside their offices, clinics, surgeries and hospital wards. Egos have to be left at the door! 

Quality training and dedicated skilled leadership will go some way to improving community protection services for a whole range of vulnerable individuals.  These and the other service structures mentioned above, on their own will not. I know that recent practice and regulation manuals spell out what I have believed for a long time, (better now than  not at all).  Staff shortages, increased workloads for those who are left in the field, will dilute efficacy.

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