Children’s minister Edward Timpson has criticised the Hamzah Khan serious case review.
In a letter to Nick Frost, chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, Timpson says he has “deep concerns” about the review, which he says “fails to explain sufficiently clearly the actions taken, or not taken, by children’s social care”.
The letter sets out what the minister regards as “the most glaring absences”.
These include whether children’s social care carried out an assessment after being told by the police that there were not enough beds for the children in the family home and that the mother seemed to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
The minister also says the report is unclear about the outcome of a number of social worker visits to Khan’s home.
“It is essential that answers to the questions above are put into the public domain so that the people of Bradford and the public are reassured that you have been clear enough about the past to ensure that such mistakes will not be repeated in the future,” says the letter.
Bridget Robb, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), said the minister’s criticisms highlight the need for a rethink on serious case reviews.
“There is often confusion and a lack of agreement on the purpose and format of serious case reviews,” she said. “This has to be resolved before more time and effort is put into the creation of documents that may ultimately be meaningless.
“Equally, unless the recommendations made in all serious case reviews are acted upon, they will not be worth the paper they are written on.”