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Part 8 Serious Case Reviews

The answer to the question about Serious Case Reviews is a critical issue. The whole objective of Child Protection is protecting children. Part 8 reviews are those where the system has clearly failed.

The question I am interested in is whether the obsession with social workers (and to some extent some paediatricians) with MSbP or FII and previously Satanic Abuse actually means that the system fails more frequently.

The Climbie case was a good example where the social workers were too busy with nonsensical enquiries into MSbP to take seriously the situation with Victoria Climbie.

One argument being put forward, which has some weight, is that we need to separate the enforcement aspect of Child Protection from the social support aspects of Social Services (now Children and Families).

It appears that the system fails on two fronts on an aggregate basis. It harrasses parents and children for what is basically normal life (shouting at the kiddies etc) and fails to protect children from being killed at the hands of their carers (mainly parents).

You cannot have a perfect system, but I am really not clear as to what the merits of the current system are.

It is, to be fair, difficult for some social workers who work in very difficult environments and deal with complex cases. However, we need to consider the system as a whole. If in the past 5 years there have been about 200-300 Serious Case Reviews that is a big issue.

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

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KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

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