The social worker at the centre of the Victoria Climbie case has
admitted her practice was “poor in the extreme” but
claimed she is suitable to work with children because her mistakes
were not made knowingly, writes Simeon
Lisa Arthurworrey told the Care Standards Tribunal that she had
been badly let down by her employer, Haringey Council, who she said
had not been operating with statutory child protection
Arthurworrey, who is appealing against the decision to place her
on the Protection of Children Act List, said the experience of
going through the Climbie case had made her more suitable to work
Looking visibly shaken, she told the court there had been a time
when she had considered not appealing. She said: “There was
a lot of negative media coverage for a long time I believe that was
being written about me. I used to wake up in the morning look in
the mirror and all I could see was a child murderer.
“I thought I could walk away from this situation, just
block it out of my mind and try to get on with something
else,” she added.
But Arthurworrey told the court that unless she challenged the
listing it would hang over her, and every child she saw would
remind her of it.
She said: “I’m not a person that is unsuitable to
work with children. In fact, I now believe the opposite. Having
gone through this experience, I now think that I’m in a
better position to protect children.
“I made appalling mistakes but I didn’t knowingly
make these mistakes.”
She said her biggest mistake was agreeing to work for Haringey
Council, which let her down in terms of supervision, training and
Child protection practice in the council was so bad that all the
cases of that period should be re-opened, she told the
Arthurworrey, who now works supporting tenants, said there was
no escape for her personally from the events of 1999.
“I’ll never be the same again.”
She said her passion was for working with children and families
but did not know if she would return to social work. She accepted
that employers would be ashamed to take her on.
The case continues.