Social workers in Haringey children and
families team are being given briefings to help them prepare for
the Laming inquiry public hearing, which begins on Tuesday.
More than a dozen Haringey staff are due to
give evidence. A council spokesperson who has visited the room
where the hearing will take place said he expected the process to
be “daunting” for those involved.
“So we are explaining the process to our
witnesses and outlining what they can expect,” he said, adding that
staff would also receive advice on how to handle the media.
“We are reminding them they are giving
evidence to the enquiry, and telling them not to be put on the spot
by the press outside.”
All Haringey social workers are being offered
counselling provided by the Tavistock Centre in north London to
help them deal with stress.
“It is to help staff deal with what we expect
will be a difficult and distressing time for some of them,” said
One social worker, who worked for Haringey
children and families team at the time of Victoria Climbie’s death
and has asked not to be named, said team members have been verbally
abused by local people and workers in other agencies and their cars
have been damaged.
The public stage of the Laming inquiry begins
on Tuesday at Hannibal House, Elephant and Castle, south London.
Inquiry barristers will be given questions in writing for approval,
before they are put to witnesses.