The murder of two Cambridgeshire girls by their mother in 2007 could not have been prevented by social workers or any other professionals, according to the serious case review.
However, social workers should be aware of the need to keep their focus on the impact of parental behaviour on children, rather than the motivation or causes of this behaviour, the review concluded.
Rekha Kumari-Baker was jailed for 33 years for stabbing her daughters, Davina, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13.
The SCR identified the mother as a parent who sometimes emotionally abused her children and who was sometimes unable to put their needs ahead of her own.
“However, there were no factors that could have led professionals to predict that she was one of those very few mothers who would kill her children,” the report stated.
As in the Khyra Ishaq case, Kumari-Baker was resistant to engagement with practitioners, the SCR said. Maintaining focus on the needs of a child when dealing with difficult parents was listed as one lesson to be learned.
Practitioners should also recognise that persistent emotional abuse can be as seriously damaging to a developing child as any other form of abuse and not be downgraded as a “soft concern”.
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