Social work manager was suffering from mental illness

team manager Carole Baptiste admitted yesterday that the mental problems she
suffered from in 2000 would have been developing in 1999 in a way that “would
have had an impact” on her capacity to function as a social worker, writes
Lauren Revans

her second day of evidence to the Victoria Climbie Inquiry yesterday, Baptiste
said that there was “probably a lot of forgetfulness, absentmindedness, not
remembering things, but not being aware I was not remembering things” during
the time she was responsible for supervising Victoria’s allocated social
worker, Lisa Arthurworrey.

also agreed that her attitude to the way she managed children’s cases had
probably changed as a result of joining a “charistmatic church” at the
beginning of 1999.

independent report by a consultant psychiatrist concluded it was likely that
Baptiste was developing “a serious psychotic mental illness during 1999”.

report adds: “It is likely that this mental illness would have impaired
seriously her capacity to function as a social work team leader. In particular,
I would expect that her capacity for work would have been lower than before she
developed mental illness and that her capacity to take decisions would have
been impaired.”

by inquiry chairperson Lord Herbert Laming whether she felt she had “made any
difference at all, beyond allocating the case, to the way in which Victoria’s
case was handled”, Baptiste insisted she had done the best she could given the

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