Minister announces review of child protection services in Scotland

A review of child protection in Scotland is to be announced this
week prompted by the independent inquiry into the murder of
three-year-old Kennedy McFarlane in Dumfries and Galloway.

Kennedy McFarlane died last May and her mother’s
co-habitee, Thomas Duncan, pleaded guilty to the girl’s
murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2000.

There had been numerous referrals to health services and
concerns, had been raised with social work several times before her
death. The child protection committee of Dumfries and Galloway
Council immediately commissioned an independent review appointing
Dr Helen Hammond, a consult paediatrician of West Lothian to take
the lead.

Hammond’s report said that she would have expected social
work and health professionals to have behaved differently to signs
of abuse. Several social work managers and staff of Dumfries and
Galloway Council face disciplinary action as a result of the

Hammond also called for a national review of child protection
procedures involving all the key agencies to ensure they are
working together effectively. Jack McConnell, education minister,
will announce the national review.

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