Thursday, 25 February 2010

The State Must Control

Commenting on the sad death of Khyra Ishaq, Ed Balls is quoted as saying that "he was 'determined' to make sure that local authorities were given the power to make sure children are safe." and that "but [the authorities] didn't see Khyra, they didn't enter the house."

Yet according to this report "Birmingham City Council social workers Sanya Scott and Anne Gondo pay a pre-arranged visit but are refused entry to the house. The women decide that they have no concerns for Khyra's well-being after she is brought to meet them at the front door."  Following this visit one also has to question the mentality and judgement of this individual "The council mentor returns to the home but there is no answer. He leaves after posting a note through the letterbox."

It is obvious that there were 'powers' available to ensure this child's well-being but that they were not used, as exhibited by this report "The family were known to social services in the past, but were not considered to be at risk". If the family were known to social services then they must have been on some type of 'potential risk' register, in which case who made the decision that they were not at risk? This in turn contradicts Mr. Brownbill's statement "The children were not on the at risk register." Either they were 'known' to social services, or they were not.

Ed Balls' intention to insure that local authorities were given the power necessary to make children safe would not appear to solve the problem when this report shows "Birmingham City Council's social services department was under pressure at the time. Last year its children's services were found to be "not fit for purpose". An inquiry was commissioned the previous year after it emerged eight children known to social services had died in the city in four years. An audit by a Birmingham City Council scrutiny committee identified failings, including a shortage of experienced staff, inadequate monitoring, excessive paperwork and too little time with children and families".So the Council's social services department were 'not fit for purpose'; eight children die in four years and an audit report identified serious problems - and who did what, exactly, to rectify the faults?

Besides Ed Balls, on the evidence of the reports quoted above, not being able to get his facts right, he also misses one vital aspect of any system - that if you employ incompetents you have an immediate problem. But then it is hardly surprising when Ed Balls is at the heart of what can only be described as probably the most incompetent collection of politicians it has been this country's misfortune to have elected. Even more unfortunate for the country is the fact that, as I have posted previously, the next bunch do not look to be any different!

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