Suffolk reviews children's services

A SEARCHING review of how Suffolk protects vulnerable young children is being carried out in the wake of the Baby P scandal, it emerged today.

A SEARCHING review of how Suffolk protects vulnerable young children is being carried out in the wake of the Baby P scandal, it emerged today.

Following widespread concern at numerous failings leading to the death of the tot, children's secretary Ed Balls has called for all authorities to make sure their processes are sound.

Peter Worobec, independent chair of Suffolk's Safeguarding Children Board, said the review is already under way.

“Ed Balls suggested that boards need to reassure themselves of the effectiveness of local arrangements and we felt the most appropriate approach was for us to carry out a review,” he said.

“It is certainly not the case that any particular case has given us reason to be concerned but we are not complacent. It is going to be a thorough and searching review.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board has just started this review across all agencies and aims to report in the next few months when it is completed.

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“We must stress that we already have sound audit and quality assurance arrangements within all agencies and within the Safeguarding Board.

“We learn from inspections and serious case reviews, but we are not complacent and must continue to improve.”

Baby P died in August 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger, despite being on the child protection register and receiving 60 contacts with the authorities over eight months.

A recent annual performance assessment from Ofsted, showed Suffolk to be among the best performing local authorities in the eastern region for services for vulnerable children.

However the report did highlight a number of weaknesses which bosses claim have been addressed.

Last week The Evening Star revealed Suffolk County Council is ploughing �3.8million of additional cash to recruit around 50 more social workers.

Are you confident children in Suffolk are adequately protected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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