Child protection stifled by £30m computer system
A government computer system intended to improve the handling of child abuse cases has led to social workers having to spend more than 100 hours for every case filling out forms, cutting the time they have to make visits.
Reports by two universities have revealed that the Integrated Children’s System (ICS), launched in 2005 following the death of Victoria Climbié, is so laborious it typically takes more than 10 hours to fill in initial assessment forms for a child considered to be at risk. A “core assessment” takes a further 48 hours on average, according to government-commissioned research by York University. The system, which cost £30m to implement, creates deadlines that further restrict the time available for family visits.
Ignorance no longer a defence for men who pay for sex with trafficked women
New prostitution laws to be set out today will mean a plea of ignorance is no defence for men facing prosecution for buying sex from a woman who has been trafficked or is being exploited by a pimp.
Under proposals to be published today by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, a man who “knowingly” pays for sex with a woman who has been trafficked or is under the control of a pimp could face a charge of rape, which carries a potential life sentence.
Vulnerable inmates failed by the system
People with learning difficulties face “personal, systemic and routine” discrimination across the criminal justice system, from arrest to release from prison, and are more likely to be victims of miscarriages of justice, according to a new report.
Council issues its first apology over Baby P
The leader of Haringey Council issued a “formal apology” last night and acknowledged that the death of Baby P had highlighted the failure “by all the agencies involved”.
Facing calls for his resignation, George Meehan gave a “heartfelt and unreserved” apology for the suffering Baby P had endured and the “failure of all the child protection agencies” to save the infant’s life.
Council ‘was entirely supportive of Baby P’s relationship with mother’ but three doctors warned of abuse
Haringey Council wrote a letter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) saying they were ‘entirely supportive’ of Baby P’s relationship with his mother, it has been claimed.
The alleged letter was reported on ITV News last night as it emerged a police investigation against the child’s mother was dropped despite warnings from three doctors that his injuries could have been caused by abuse.
Their statements said that his bruises were ‘suggestive of non-accidental injury’.