Laming prepares to deliver post-Baby P verdict on child protection

Lord Laming’s review of child protection ordered after the Baby P case is being published later today.

Children’s secretary Ed Balls asked Laming, who formerly led the Victoria Climbié inquiry, for a “progress report” on safeguarding, after the Baby P trial ended last November. 

The review is expected to look at barriers to taking children into care, including legal processes, and recommend what action the government and other agencies should take to speed up improvements.

Community Care will be covering the review as it happens and updating this page throughout the day.

Laming’s remit

Outlining Laming’s remit last November, Balls also asked the peer to consider whether local safeguarding children boards should be independently chaired and to review what could be done to improve serious case reviews.

Both issues were highlighted in the Baby P case, as it emerged that former Haringey children’s director Sharon Shoesmith had chaired the local LSCB, while the Baby P serious case review was rated as inadequate by Ofsted.

Widespread reform not on cards

In an interim report last December, Laming indicated that he would not be recommending widespread reform, as he did following the Victoria Climbié inquiry, which reported in 2003. But he suggested he would call for urgent changes to the system for producing serious case reviews and revision of the Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance.

Individuals and organisations including Community Care contributed to the Laming review, due to be published alongside a ministerial statement from Ed Balls at midday.

Ahead of the review’s publication, the National Children’s Bureau called on the government to strengthen support for all frontline staff working with children.

Social work ‘unfairly hounded’

New AssetNCB’s chief executive, Paul Ennals, said: “Social work as a profession has been unfairly hounded over recent months, and the morale of thousands of excellent public servants has been affected. Now we all need to recognise the debt we owe to social workers and others for keeping most children in this country safe. The time has come to repay that debt.”

Action for Children chief executive Clare Tickell said: “We look forward to seeing Lord Laming’s recommendations and hope that the report recognises the importance of investing in social workers to help them do their job, through nothing less than first class training, supervision and management.

‘Avoid short-term fixes’

“However any progress needs to focus on long-term improvements and start by looking at what currently works- rather than undertaking short term reviews focusing on what has gone wrong.”

Community Care will be bringing you full coverage of the review online this afternoon.


February 2000: Victoria Climbié dies while under the protection of Haringey Council.

January 2003: Laming’s Victoria Climbié inquiry recommends wide-ranging reforms that lead to the Every Child Matters green paper and the Children Act 2004

August 2007: 17-month-old Baby P dies while under the care of Haringey Council.

November 2008: Second Laming inquiry ordered after Baby P’s mother, her boyfriend and another man are convicted of causing or allowing his death.

March 2009: Laming inquiry reports.

Press coverage ahead of Laming report

Child protection reforms ‘part of the problem’ (BBC Radio 4 Today programme)

Martin Narey: Our duty of care (The Guardian)

Action urged on child protection (The Guardian)

Child services to be retrained in hidden family risks after Baby P review (The Times)

Child protection facing criticism (BBC Online)

Related articles

Lord Laming and Ofsted urge changes to serious case reviews

Community Care’s recommendations for Laming

BASW response to Laming urges child assessment overhaul

DCSF sets out remit for child protection review

Baby P case prompts government to commission second Laming review

Expert guide to the Baby P case in Haringey

Expert guide to child protection

Expert guide to children’s services

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