Six more reviews into safeguarding failures of Northamptonshire children going ahead
Reviews are taking place into six cases where a child was seriously harmed or neglected
By Sarah Ward
The partnership responsible for ensuring Northamptonshire children are safe is carrying out reviews into six cases where a child was seriously harmed or neglected.
The Northamptonshire Children’s Safeguarding Partnership has confirmed that independent child safeguarding experts are interviewing professionals involved with the child’s care and preparing reports, which will be published in the coming months.
Safeguarding Practice Reviews are triggered when a child has been neglected or abused or has died or been seriously harmed.
The point of the reviews is to assess how professionals and organisations responsible for safeguarding children had worked together and if there had been failings how they could be prevented from happening again.
The partnership, which is led by health, social services and police bosses, has said it will not release any more details about the nature of the cases or say whether any are related to children who have died.
They say the cases relate to incidents from 2020 onwards and that one is being carried out in tandem with another local authority.
These reviews come after a number of serious case reviews in the past several years within Northamptonshire, which has had a failing children’s services department and was ordered by the government to hand over management of social services to an independent trust last year.
Since December three serious case reviews have been published regarding the mistreatment of children; two of the babies died and one toddler was severely mistreated, malnourished and tied to her cot and only taken into care after a heating engineer made an alert call to social services after health visitors had failed to ask questions.
These reviews follow the shocking murders of Evelyn Rose Muggleton and Dylan Tiffin -Brown who were both murdered by a family member. Both were known to social services and the reviews found mistakes had been made in both cases and there were failings of the health and social services.
A spokesperson for NCSP said: “Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships operate using the guidance and thresholds set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the advice provided by The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (national group) which encourages partnerships to undertake and publish CSPRs.
“The NSCP is committed to learning from such reviews to strengthen current processes. Agencies are working together to ensure child safeguarding is paramount in this county.
“Criminal proceedings are ongoing in some cases and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The number of reviews was revealed in a board meeting of the Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The number within the report was eight, but the NSCP said one had been discontinued and another was included in error).
It also reported there were seven domestic homicide reviews (which will likely include the deaths of Marta Chmielecka, 31, and Maddie Durrant-Hollamby, 22), however the cases were not discussed by Chief Nurse Angela Dempsey at the meeting, and instead chair of the CCG board Dr Joanne Watts congratulated Dempsey on the formatting of her report.
Watch the video of the meeting below:
Cllr Jean Addison, who is shadow member for children’s services at North Northamptonshire Council, said she is concerned about the number of reviews coming forward and the oversight that the local authority and its councillors now have of children’s services.
She said: “I have concerns about the oversight of children’s services, and concerns about how the authority is running in general. It is not what residents were promised. As councillors we are picking up a lot more cases - particularly to do with children with special educational needs, who are not getting the education they should be. Some have not been in school for two years.
“I don't want this council to fail. Too many children’s lives depend on it.”
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