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The Climbie problem all over again?

24 June 2011

Over eight years ago I acted on behalf of one of the local authorities involved in the tragic death of Victoria Climbie.

A public enquiry followed, and Lord Laming identified 12 key occasions when the relevant services had opportunity to intervene in Victoria’s life. He went on to say that “… There was plenty of evidence to show that scarce resources were not being put to good use.”

I was therefore disappointed, but not surprised, to read the news report of the review by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board.

It is tough to deliver effective child protection services at times of limited resources, and my heart goes out to the professionals involved in this case.

It goes to show however that in this context, there is a danger that the same problems will arise over and over again. In this case, as in Victoria Climbie’s case, the problems were fundamental; poor record-keeping, ineffective inter-agency information sharing, and key decision-making at too low a level.

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