John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
  Khyra Ishaq
The rather tragic case of Khyra Ishaq has occurred (and her siblings). Obviously we should not jump to any conclusions.

However, for a child of 7 - which is school age - to starve to death raises a large number of questions. After all it does not happen quickly.

In a sense it is a test of the new post Laming framework. We now have a vastly larger number of references to Childrens Services (Specialised Services in Birmingham). I have been concerned for some time at the overwhelming effect this has on the system.

I have always felt that the system should concentrate on the more serious cases. Superficially this appears to be one of those. However, although serious questions need to be answered now is not the time to speculate.

I must admit I have supported the calls from practitioners for the retention of the Child Protection Register in preference to the Common Assessment Framework - that puts all sorts of irrelevant information into a database.

However, questions will need to be answered.
 
Comments:
I keep saying it and I'll say it again .... we cannot blame the Local Autority for the death of a child that they are not aware needs urgent help (they were involved due to school bullying) you hve to be realistic, they are not superhuman, they are just normal people trying to do a job.

But Where was the childs father for over a year? and all the other relatives that came crawling out of the woodwork after she died?

The local MP will blame social services rather than look to his own community who ignored the fact that the children had been stealing scraps ... did they even bother to report it?

She deserved better and I am sure that had social services had an inkling of her situation they would have done something about it.
 
We as society, however, need to endorse the role of the wider family.

The Local Authorities normally act to exclude the extended family from considerations relating to children. This is a big mistake.

This, however, is a systematic problem not an individual problem.
 
Hello, Ive been looking for a blog to comment on this and glad to find one.

I am aware of certain elements of the media and the way Child Protection is reported. I emphasize that I do not subscribe to such elements of presumptions, blame and culpability especially when such elements are more to with the comments made by a certain politician rather than actual facts. Instead, I refer to the statement by Wes Cuell Senior Worker for the NSPCC who says:

"The main problem we have is a lack of continuity in council social services departments due to a shortage of permanent, experienced social workers..." (The Daily Telegraph, 24/05/08).

This statement is further compounded by Councilor Keith Barton Chairman of the Vulnerable Children Scrutiny Committee who says that:

"The local authority is short of up to 100 Social Workers.." (The Sunday Mecrcury 25/05/08)

The most distressing aspect of this case is that the local Area Office that deals with Child Protection is but a few minutes walk from the child's address. Furthermore, another council service 'The Rights of Children'
is also nearby.

It is unfair to blame the parents at this stage when appropriate intervention could have prevented the child's death from happening. Lets be realistic: we are talking about parents who live in Handsworth; an area considered to be low budget, an area that has been ignored by funding bodies, an area where nobody wants to live and that is still trying to pick itself up from the previous race riots few years ago...

It is said that the upbringing of a child is the responsibility of EVERYONE. In this age of big brother whereby we are all being watched says some thing depressingly familier to me.. nobody really cares.

There have been some really dark clouds hanging over Birmingham after this event, dark clouds of guilt.

You are absolutly right. Serious questions do need to be asked...

Thank you for reading and thank you for giving me the opportunity to get a few things off my cheast.
 
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