Lancashire Evening Telegraph today reports that 3 staff at Lancashire County Council have faced proceedings before the Health and Care Professions Council because of their conduct in relation to vulnerable children.
The County Council was criticised for failing to protect “vulnerable” youngsters in a case involving 2 children who had been abused by their father.
My Department at Farleys specialises in claims against Social Services in this situation. We regularly find that Social Workers have failed to protect children and as a result they have suffered considerable harm. One of the cases referred to by the HCPC in relation to Lancashire County Council involved an injured child being placed back with grandparents who may already have caused a skull fracture leaving that child vulnerable to further injury.
It was good to see the Social Workers held accountable for their failings. All too often we see bad practice by Social Services Departments without any accountability on behalf of the Social Workers involved despite the life changing injuries caused to the children.
It is interesting to note that the watchdog heard that between 2009 and 2011 Lancashire County Council’s Social Services Department was described as “overstretched and under resourced and often reliant on newly qualified staff”.
This story follows on from David Cameron’s suggestion that a new criminal offence will be created for those who fail to report or deal with abuse appropriately and we must hope that going forwards the combined efforts of bodies such as the Health and Care Professions Council and the Criminal Courts will start to limit bad practice amongst Social Workers.
If you have been affected by failings on the part of Social Services you should contact a specialist Solicitor for advice. To speak to a solicitor regarding claims against public authorities contact Farleys on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete the online enquiry form.