Scapegoat speaks out

Lisa Arthurworrey’s appeal against her dismissal for gross
misconduct in the Victoria Climbie case is at last to be heard.
Justice delayed is justice denied they say and it is a matter of
regret that the case has taken so long to reach a tribunal.
Arthurworrey’s life must remain in limbo a little longer as she
waits to see if her sacking is upheld and whether she will remain
on the list of people banned from working with children.

Her interview on BBC Radio’s Today programme last week made it
clear that she is still very angry at the way she has been treated.
It must be galling to find yourself on the professional scrapheap
while the careers of some of your former superiors, who you feel
failed to support you, continue to thrive.

But Arthurworrey’s latest pronouncements only echo what she told
the Laming Inquiry: that while she admitted making mistakes she was
only doing her best under difficult circumstances and it was the
system that was at fault. Lord Laming didn’t entirely buy that and
although he lambasted the entire chain of command at Haringey
Council, he did highlight serious failings on the part of
Arthurworrey herself. As a professional, she must take
responsibility for those failings. But so should others.

Under the new system she would have been hauled up before a General
Social Care Council conduct committee. It’s possible she could even
have been struck off the register. But you would hope those further
up the hierarchy would be similarly called to account. She is
absolutely right that she was made a scapegoat in the most
disgraceful way and it is incredible that someone in such a junior
position should be thrown to the media and be left to bear the
brunt of the blame almost singlehanded.

Whether she is right to keep fighting is not so clear.
Realistically she is unlikely to get another job working with
children. She might be better off accepting that, putting past
events behind her, and moving on – either switching to another role
or perhaps a new line of work altogether.

That may well be the only way she will ever find any real peace of

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