Workers ignored abuse allegations

A social services department ignored the concerns of a father and
school by failing to investigate allegations of child abuse, the
Local Government Ombudsman reports.

The case, one of 76 highlighted in the ombudsman’s annual digest
for 2002-3, resulted in the council being ordered to pay nearly
£15,000 compensation after three children, aged seven, five
and two, were neglected by their mother.

The father – who was separated from the mother – made numerous
complaints to social services over two years about the way the
three children were being treated. The head teacher at the
children’s school also expressed concerns.

The council did not allocate a worker even though the children told
a social worker they had been hit by their mother’s boyfriend and
they had seen drugs used in the house. Only after the five-year-old
daughter told social workers she had been sexually abused were the
children placed with foster carers.

The ombudsman found that the concerns expressed by the father and
children’s school were largely ignored, and that the staff’s
attitude was “inexcusable”. It was “reasonable to assume” that some
of the neglect the children suffered could have been

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