Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Baby P serious case reviews released

Date:26 OCT 2010

By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor

The two serious case reviews into the death of Baby P - now named as Peter Connelly - have been published in full for the first time today.

The reports reveal Peter Connelly's mother named her violent boyfriend as her next of kin on health records in mid-2007 and described him as a friend. A second report, commissioned after the first was judged by Ofsted to be "inadequate" found that Peter's "horrifying death could and should have been prevented".

The reports have both been redacted and anonymised to protect the privacy and welfare of vulnerable children and their families.

The first was commissioned in August 2007 by Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB), under the chairmanship of Sharon Shoesmith, and the executive summary was published by the LSCB in November 2008.

In December 2008, Ed Balls, the then Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families directed the appointment of a new LSCB Chair, Graham Badman, and asked the Haringey LSCB to begin a new review on the case of Peter Connelly. This second review was evaluated as 'good' by Ofsted and the executive summary was published in May 2009.

Following several high profile child abuse cases, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged that they would publish serious case reviews in full. Soon after the coalition was formed, the government announced the change along with an independent review of child protection and social work in England.

Children's Minister Tim Loughton said that he wanted the publication of the Peter Connelly reports to "bring some form of closure" so that family and professionals involved in the case "have the chance to move on".

"Today everyone can see and understand the events that led to Peter Connelly's horrific death. The publication of both Peter Connelly reports means that across the country and across the child protection profession full lessons can be learned and widely applied," Mr Loughton said.   

"The Government's commitment to publish full serious case reviews overview reports has always been about transparency, so that vital information is made available, so that agencies can be held to account, and lessons properly learned. The reports have details of the events which are shocking to read but are necessary to publish in order to learn from them."

He added: "The publication of these reports is not about apportioning blame but about allowing professionals to understand fully what happens in each case, and most importantly what needs to change in order to reduce the risk of such tragedies happening in the future. I welcome the progress that Haringey and local partners have made over the past two years and it is essential that this progress continues."