Failings emerged in the weeks after Tyler’s death
CHILDREN’S services cabinet member Sheila Scott has said it became apparent a few weeks after the death of Tyler Whelan that there had been failures in the department charged with looking after vulnerable children in the city.
A Serious Case Review by the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board has highlighted a series of failures in Peterborough City Council’s children’s services department in the handling of the Tyler case.
Interim children’s services director Malcolm Newsam said on Monday that there were two opportunities where more action could have been taken prior to Tyler’s death in March 2011
This relates to leg and groin injuries suffered by Tyler in the year before his death, which were reported to social workers.
Tyler’s death preceded a hugely critical Ofsted report which found the department to be failing in seven out of nine child safeguarding categories, prompting the resignation of then director John Richards.
Recalling the reporting of Tyler’s death, Cllr Scott, who has faced calls to resign, said: “At first I understood that we knew Tyler’s family, but it became clear over the next few weeks that it went further than that and we might have failed in some of the processes that we followed.
“By that August 2011, Ofsted was in and by then we knew two things: We knew what Ofsted was finding; and we knew there was a bit of crossover between Ofsted’s findings and findings of the serious case review.”
Among the comments in the seri- ous case review were:
Children’s services failed to carry out an initial assessment into the Whelan family to a “sufficient standard” and two follow-up “core” assessments were not carried out.
Investigation went no further than interviews in hospital, with no record of need to meet Elvis Lee and visit the home to see where the “unusual injuries” occurred.
Managers failed to ensure the core assessments took place.
There was a “lack of professional curiosity” displayed and while it may not have made a difference to the outcome, the missed opportunities to do core assessments “considerably reduced the opportunity to understand (Tyler’s) life, the level of care he received and ultimately the level of risk he lived with.”
PRESSURE: Cllr Sheila Scott.