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Social workers involved in Baby P case lose Employment Tribunal appeal

Two social workers at the centre of the Baby P scandal lost their appeal at an Employment Tribunal in London to have a decision regarding the termination of their employment overturned. Gillie Christou and Maria Ward were Peter Connelly’s social workers when, at 17 months old he died from horrific abuse in his London home.

Baby P was found dead in a blood stained cot in August 2007. He was on the at risk register, he had over 50 injuries and there had been 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over an 8 month period prior to his death.

Ms Ward was Peter’s nominated social worker at Haringey Council from February 2007 until his death and Mrs Christou was her team manager. They admitted failing to ensure Peter was visited regularly enough, not keeping adequate records and losing contact with him. Ms Ward was also found to have missed a requirement to see Baby P at least once a fortnight. The lawyers of the social workers argued that they were under supported and under resourced at the time of Peter’s death.

Details from social services records have revealed that Miss Christou and Ms Ward had not tracked where Peter was for 12 days; something which Haringey Council has called ‘a serious error of judgement’. The social workers accepted the word of the baby’s mother that he was visiting an Uncle in Cricklewood when in fact he was at home suffering severe abuse and being kept from the eye of the social workers.

Baby P’s mother, her boyfriend and their lodger were imprisoned in 2009 after being found guilty of allowing or causing his death. 

We see these failings at the hands of social workers and social services far too often here at Farleys and these are cases that are clearly preventable. If you have been affected by any of the above issues then do not hesitate to get in touch with us, our expert solicitors will be able to advise you whether you have grounds to sue social services or indeed make a claim for abuse against an individual.

By Jonathan Bridge, Child Abuse Claims Solicitor

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