Eileen Munro gave an interesting interview about the Daniel Pelka case this morning, admitting that after reading the serious case review she couldn’t say she’d have done any better than the social workers involved.
It’s a bold admission from such an experienced social worker and academic, particularly one who led a much-praised, government-endorsed review into the English child protection system. It shows the complexity and ambiguity of the case, which Munro described as “very unusual”.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Professor Munro said she found the serious case review into the four-year-old Coventry schoolboy’s death, “very frustrating”, complaining it doesn’t explain why workers acted as they did. ”It’s written totally with hindsight saying that now that we know what was happening to Daniel they should have noticed,” she said.
Munro also questioned the author’s criticism of Daniel’s school, which failed to report his bruises. “If you were to go to a group of four-year-old boys and check how many of them had bruises on any one day you’d find it was probably over half. At the time, a bruise on its own does not alert you,” she said.
By failing to represent social workers’ experiences and views, the author left them “invisible”, she said. “I feel this report just describes what was done and the actual workers are invisible and their voice isn’t heard. It is a complaint [the author] makes of their treatment of Daniel, but it’s also true within the review.”
She concluded by highlighting how “very complicated” the case was, involving two people who were “sadistically torturing” Daniel, while not maltreating their other two children. “That new development was the bit that was hidden,” Munro said. “But it’s very unusual. From what’s in that report, I wouldn’t claim that I know I would have done better.”
- You can listen to the full interview here; Munro is on around 2:51:30.