Judge slams coun­cil ‘mis­takes’ over baby girl with head in­juries

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A HIGH Court judge has slammed Cheshire East Coun­cil af­ter ‘se­ri­ous mis­takes’ were made in han­dling the case of an 11-mon­thold girl who suf­fered se­ri­ous head in­juries.

The coun­cil was tasked with ar­rang­ing the fu­ture long-term care of the child, who can­not be iden­ti­fied, af­ter a court ruled in De­cem­ber that ‘on the bal­ance of prob­a­bil­i­ties’, her mother had caused the two sep­a­rate head in­juries.

But Mr Jus­tice MacDonald, sit­ting at a pri­vate fam­ily court hear­ing in Liver­pool to de­cide where the child should live, said as­sess­ments by Cheshire East so­cial work­ers of fam­ily mem­bers who ap­plied to look af­ter her were ‘in­ad­e­quate and fun­da­men­tally flawed’.

He said the work of the so­cial work­ers was ‘lack­adaisi­cal’ and ‘the highly re­gret­table fail­ures on the part of Cheshire East Bor­ough Coun­cil’ meant the case had to be ad­journed so a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the girl’s fu­ture had to be de­layed.

Mr Jus­tice MacDonald said: “The se­ri­ous mis­takes made by East Cheshire Bor­ough Coun­cil in this case are of very real con­cern and must not be re­peated.”

He added: “I hope that those re­spon­si­ble at the lo­cal au­thor­ity for the un­for­tu­nate omis­sions I have had to deal with in this judg­ment will re­flect on the con­se­quences for [the girl] and her fam­ily of their fail­ure to com­ply with their pro­fes­sional obli­ga­tions and their obli­ga­tions to this court, and on the need for them to do bet­ter in the fu­ture for a child whose wel­fare they are charged with safe­guard­ing and pro­mot­ing.”

Cheshire East has apol­o­gised ‘un­re­servedly’ for its fail­ings.

Speak­ing af­ter the hear­ing, Kath O’Dwyer, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of chil­dren’s ser­vices at Cheshire East Coun­cil, said: “Cheshire East Coun­cil apol­o­gises un­re­servedly for the fail­ings high­lighted in the court judge­ment.

“It is clear that, on this oc­ca­sion, the as­sess­ments car­ried out did not meet the high pro­fes­sional stan­dards that we ex­pect and de­mand of those work­ing in chil­dren’s so­cial care ser­vices.

“Lessons will be learned and staff train­ing and pro­ce­dures will be re­viewed and re­in­forced to en­sure such fail­ings are not re­peated.

“Cheshire East places para­mount im­por­tance on the well­be­ing and pro­tec­tion of its vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents, both young and old, and we will take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to en­sure we de­liver good qual­ity prac­tice that places chil­dren’s wel­fare as the key pri­or­ity.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.