A misconduct hearing for the two social workers at the centre of the Baby Peter case in Haringey will begin next week, the General Social Care Council has announced.
Maria Ward, the allocated social worker for Peter Connelly, and Gillian Christou, her manager, face removal from the register after allegations of poor practice were finally released 18 months after officials began an investigation.
Christou is accused of failing to keep supervision records and case files up to date and to ensure that a child protection plan was followed. Ward allegedly failed to follow a child protection plan and keep records of visits up to date.
The hearing will begin at the GSCC’s headquarters in London on 24 May, and is expected to last four days.
The baby Peter case triggered national outrage in November 2008 after the 17-month-old child was found to have died at the hands of his abusive carers even though he had been seen by police, health or social workers 60 times.
The GSCC announced it was starting a formal investigation into Ward and Christou’s professional conduct two days after Peter’s step-father, Steven Barker, and Barker’s brother, Jason Owen, were convicted at the Old Bailey of causing or allowing the child’s death. The baby’s mother, Tracey Connelly, had already pleaded guilty to this charge.
Ward and Christou were sacked by Haringey Council for gross misconduct in April 2009, but are appealing against their dismissal at an employment tribunal.