To be incredulous that this little boy wasn't protected (warning - distressing news coverage)

(252 Posts)
LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:11:21

news article

I am so angry - yet another child tortured and murdered by his "parents". The school had written comments in the "concerns" book, yet still this poor little mite was starved and beaten systematically over a period of time. Do professionals become numb to childrens needs? Does no one check FFS????

My DD is a healthy child (thankfully) and never taken to the GP as she hardly ever gets sick, the only times she has been in the past few years are for injuries - nothing serious apart from biting through her tongue (ouchie), another time she burnt her hand and more recently a horse trod on her toe. The nurse commented that she was "accident prone" and asked if we had a social worker hmm Fair enough actually, although DP was offended, although no follow up action taken. It looks worse i guess because they are the only notes on her medical record since she was a baby (shes 8 now). Everyone talks about "safeguarding" but it appears that they are just paying lip service to it and children are suffering either through unintentional neglect or willful cruelty.

I don't understand, after the whole Baby P thing that this can still slip through the net angry

Joanne279 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:19:42

Ooohhhhhh don't get me started. Just read the news and actually stroked the poor little lads face on my phone and told him he was in a better place.

So far today I've read on the news about 12 yr old girls bring raped, this poor lad and child abuse scandals!

WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE!!!

I'm livid that in this case apparently the teachers knew he was hungry!!!!! Well take the poor lad to the canteen and give him a meal, don't stand there afterwards and admit you saw a problem and stood by and watched!!!

It made me feel sick to read a statement from the police to say he was beaten, left in his room on 1st march. Cold. Hungry and dying all alone. He wasn't found til 3rd march. My stomach turns for this poor little soul.

Wherever you are Daniel, you are in a far better place and no one can hurt you anymore darling x x x x x

Donnadoon Wed 31-Jul-13 21:20:50

YANBU I've followed this story from the start and wept for this beautiful boy. Don't know what the answer is sad

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 21:23:25

just simply dreadful. I work in a reception class and a child stealing food from others lunch boxes coupled with extreme thinness and bruises would be a massive massive red flag.

we have filled out 'cause for concern'sheets for far less red flags than this.

I will be quite glad to hear that these vile animals are punished properly by other inmates.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:23:56

This seems to be a failure by the school and doctors? Were social services even aware?

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 31-Jul-13 21:24:04

There is a special place in hell for that child's mother and step father. What is wrong with some people?

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:25:15

thebody what is the thing with the "cause for concern" sheets? How are they reviewed and courses of action decided upon - surely this would have been reported??

Wannabestepfordwife Wed 31-Jul-13 21:26:26

I've only just stopped crying I had to hold my dd after reading about it.

I don't understand how there were so many opportunities to save him but nothing was picked up on.

I feel so sorry for his siblings and hope they get the help they deserve watching their mum torture their sibling like that and no one trying to protect him is going to leave serious scars.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 31-Jul-13 21:27:35

I think they should be sent back to gaol in their home country. Won't be as comfortable as gaol here.

I cried when I saw the news.

Didn't the mother tell the school they were not to give him food as he had some sort of eating disorder..... wicked woman. I think she should be forcibly sterilised, and for good measure without anaesthetic.

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 21:29:11

Compulsory sterillisation for both parents.
More teeth for SW and teachers and CP officers, and more backing when they need to use them rather than the shrieks of 'Evil SWs breaking up families'
Doctors to be more involved with the active protection of children from abuse.

QOD Wed 31-Jul-13 21:29:23

And yet when we had our surrogate baby, we had a social worker, she visited us, our parents, our surrogate, our surrogates family, us on a couple of surprise visits both before and after the birth
The midwife in charge of the ward after the birth blocked me from visiting my friend because she wanted her to have a chance to change her mind (I was already in possession, if you like, of the baby). We had court case we had surprise midwife and health visitor for friggin ages and yet we were 3 working adults, with no history of depression or social need, no one was in need of money or support ... Fucks me right off that that money wasn't spent on that dear little boy

I Wonder if he was a smelly "naughty" boy because of the way he was dragged up and that went against him in school? Maybe he didnt get play dates and the attention a nice polite shiney little boy would have got?

PictureMeInThese Wed 31-Jul-13 21:30:08

I heard the school put locks on the bins after he was caught stealing food from them. sad

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 31-Jul-13 21:31:12

Yanbu. It totally beggars belief that no one noticed a child being starved to death. I cannot understand how no one came to his aid. God rest his poor, little soul sad

greeneyed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:32:34

It's too much to comprehend the poor wee soul. I'm not religious and don't believe in the death penalty but I could pray for him and gladly see his carers hanged. Heartbreaking

maddening Wed 31-Jul-13 21:33:43

This case is so tragic - it is sickening and heart wrenching to think of what Daniel went through and I doubt even the most vivid imagination wouldn't touch on the true horror.

RIP Daniel sad x

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 21:45:03

People did notice and act on it - education welfare officers visited the home, his doctor was contacted by the school, people did act and did do something. The parents lied repeatedly and it was them who killed him.

Do you know how many child protection issues get raised in every school every year? Teachers DO career, believe me, we do care desperately but we're not talking about the odd kid every so often. My school makes over a hundred CP referrals a year - a normal school in a normal area. These kids are noticed, concerns are passed on, they are talked about and cared about...it's not like teachers shrug their shoulders and say 'oh well', we do give a damn but once you've followed the procedures what else are you going to do? Feed every hungry kid? There's probably two or three in every lesson I teach. There are kids living in houses I've heard described as 'like a hoarder's house on TV' who SS couldn't do anything about - I can't clean their houses or sort their parents' lives out. I get paid to teach and to report concerns, which I do. Teachers don't have the time or the capability to solve these problems themselves and you have no idea what happened in this school.

There is no way everyone went home every night thinking everything was OK.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 21:45:55

I heard on the Radio that he had TWO black eyes a week before his death and the TA described him as looking very thin so why was the action taken so minimal?

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:49:19

"eyesunderarock" i totally agree with you. As i said, my DDs records must look really dodgy seeing as the only records on there are for injuries - yes they all had explanations but I would not have been offended to have a visit from SS actually, i'd rather that than something like that be missed.

Slinkysista Wed 31-Jul-13 21:49:23

I can't stop thinking about this little boy, what he went through is unimaginable. I'm sure they'll trot out all the usual nonsense about inquiries, reviews, changes in procedure but really how could they not see there was something desperately wrong here!! Stealing food from other children, eating dirty food off the ground, eating beans that were
Meant for a science project!! All that happened and yet this poor baby was just left to those animals!
I hope the parents rot in the depths of hell that goes without saying but I really want to know why this little boy was so let down by everyone!!

Hassled Wed 31-Jul-13 21:51:58

Brian - I know that everything you say is true but it's still just not enough. Otherwise are we really no further forward than we were with Victoria Climbie or Baby P? Have we really learned nothing at all? I think the Serious Case Review will make shocking reading.

Nancy66 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:52:31

The child was skeletal at the time of death - surely that would have been noticed when he got changed for PE lessons?

I accept that one isolated incident might not be enough but:

scavenging for food in bins
black eyes and a bruised body
a skeletal frame
lame excuses from parents

I agree that the mother and boyfriend killed him and nobody else but his teachers and other authorities badly, badly let him down.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 21:52:54

But brian, why then did this little boy die? Surely the welfare officer didn't just buy the lies? And yes, aren't free school dinners there to feed children who's parents can't afford school dinners and at least they get one meal a day? I am not blaming the teachers - but there was absolutely a failing in the system that did not protect this little boy, yes his parents killed him but the fact remains that this boy was failed by those who should have protected him.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 21:55:23

This boy was murdered, that was the end result of the 'professionals' action Brian.

Joanne279 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:56:52

Brian.

Feed every child? Yes we should!!! If I was a teacher at this school I would have brought him food from my own house!

A child was starved to death and you talk about a child like they are little more than a statistic! There might be 3 hungry kids in each class but that doesn't make it acceptable!!

People with the power to do something need to pull there finger out and DO it rather than complaining about red tape and asking for a form to be filled in first.

Rant over.

Slinkysista Wed 31-Jul-13 21:59:25

I'm sorry Brianbutterfield that just won't do, so the concerns were passed on!! Is that it? No follow up just assume someone else is doing something about it??
I'm a teacher too and I know how the system works but really if a child was starving to death with bruises and black eyes on a regular basis I really don't think that i'd just content myself with the notion that I'd passed on concerns! I'm questioning the whole system not just the teachers by the way!

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 22:00:03

People are blaming the teachers though - for all we know they called SS every day and got told they'd looked into it. If the parents don't claim FSM, the child can't have them - the meal isn't there to be had. Yes the system is shit but it doesn't mean nobody in the system gives a damn. His teacher will think 'if only'...but if only what? She could have fed him a three course meal every day and they would still have killed him, she couldn't take him home, it's not up to her to go round and search his house (and apparently it all seemed respectable anyway downstairs).

Hungry, dirty, skinny kids...we see them all the time. There's so many children out there, the system can't cope.

This wasn't just a hungry kid, this was a child who was starving to death, how anyone failed to see this is beyond me.

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 22:00:21

LEMis, a cause for concern sheet is a document that any teacher/TA/ dinner supervisor can instigate and its a body of 'concerns' that could help build a picture of neglect/abuse.

the HT and senior management team review it regularly and report to SS if concerns are numerous and worrying.

this case beggars belief.

seriously basic child protection steps are looking in a lunch box or observing if a child steals food or seems really hungry.

think the fruit basket, normal kids take a price or not if they don't like. a hungry kid will take as many slices as they can and arnt choosy.

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 22:01:25

Who says they just assumed someone was doing something?

Sidge Wed 31-Jul-13 22:03:09

If you read the back stories the school seem to have done the right things - they involved Children's Services, they referred onwards. The child was seen by a paediatrician and school nurse.

The poor boy was not only starved but was forced to drink salt to make him vomit, as well as being beaten and drowned. So even if the school had fed him (and some reports I read said they did) it wouldn't necessarily have helped. The parents were liars, devious and manipulative.

This is a tragic and hideous case - it will be interesting to see what the Serious Case Review concludes and I think it is prudent to wait for the outcome of that before slinging mud at the school staff and other agencies involved.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 31-Jul-13 22:04:00

It's on the news now. There's a recording of his mother crying down the phone to the emergency operator.

hmm sad

Joanne279 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:04:21

OMG Brian are you having a laugh? 'But if only what?'

THIS CHILD MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE!!!!!!!!'

Sorry op, I'm leaving this thread before I say snything rude to this man. Joke!

Rest in peace little one x

dontmeanto Wed 31-Jul-13 22:04:32

Why would parents only single out one child for abuse? What is the psychological explanation behind this, does anyone know? His poor brother or sister, who witnessed all of this, will be traumatised for life.

McNewPants2013 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:06:30

How the fuck could this has happend.

When Ds has any medical appointments, and he has had a lot every plan of action has been cc to every one in his care, this includes the school.

CocacolaMum Wed 31-Jul-13 22:06:30

I knew this would be about Daniels case before I opened the thread. That poor baby was murdered and i am not sure that the teachers concerned will feel they did all they could but at the same time they are not to blame for his murder.

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 22:06:59

Can you tell me exactly what, step by step, a teacher could have done, and prove it didn't happen? Siege makes a good post - they did the RIGHT THINGS. it didn't work because the parents were cruel, violent murderers. It's easy to say "well, I would do..." but you don't actually know what anyone did.

Joanne279 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:05

When a child dies its quite simple whst they did. NOT ENOUGH!

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:30

So what else should have happened?

shufflehopstep Wed 31-Jul-13 22:10:04

I'm watching the news and am stunned. I can't imagine what was going through that woman's head. It's one thing to be so far removed from reality that you become a child abuser but on top of that, to do it to your own flesh and blood... My baby girl is the most precious thing in the world to me. I kept her safe for 9 months and then brought her into the world. I would lay down my own life before letting anything happen to her. What is wrong with some people?

It is so so sad.

exoticfruits Wed 31-Jul-13 22:11:21

The depressing thing is that each time there is a dreadful case like this you think it must be the last, but then we get another. As we write this there will be some children suffering horrific, hidden, abuse.

spotscotch Wed 31-Jul-13 22:11:27

Was he not having anything for lunch at school then, I don't understand?

Sidge Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:45

School staff are not social workers. Nor are they miracle workers who can just take home children who are not being treated appropriately by their parents.

There are procedures to follow, laws are in place. Children's Services are the people who can remove a child from it's parents and even then only with police and legal jurisdiction.

A lot of the posts on these threads are just speculation - we DON'T KNOW what went on behind the scenes, why poor Daniel wasn't removed, or reviewed more urgently. Until the SCR is published we WON'T KNOW if there were failings in the system. So IMO speculating as to how the school staff let Daniel down is inappropriate.

JackNoneReacher Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:20

It is heart breaking. I cant bear to read the details. Did his teacher ring the police when 'passing on concerns' didn't get results? If not does s/he sleep at night?

Joanne279 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:34

The person who has the power to make that kind of decision should have stepped in and taken that child and his sibling away.

Are people thick enough to fall for the lies when the body of the child in front of you is telling z very different story?

This country is full of crappy red tape in more areas than this alone and it needs to be put right. Not next week. Not next year. Now!

No child deserves this. Someone somewhere knows it was them (at one stage) that had the power to help this child and they failed him.

Wellthen Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:45

This child's death lies with his mother and her partner. No one else.

Randomly pointing the finger at any adult with any contact with this child is disgusting behaviour. His teachers and social workers are grieving. Leave them alone.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:58

Appalling,such sustained violence,upon young boy
So sad
there will be serious case review

BridgetBidet Wed 31-Jul-13 22:15:01

I read something about this case tonight that I read before.

The mother had told such convincing lies about his supposed eating disorder that she had even conned a hospital doctor. The little boy was being investigated for a hyper metabolism disorder because of what she had said. She was so plausible that even a consultant believed her.

She told them that he constantly ate yet never put on any weight and that he would eat food out of bins and discarded crisps off the floor despite being well fed already.

Given that the boy was under the treatment of the hospital for this faked illness and the mother would likely have been able to back up her claims as a result I'm not really sure what the school could have done. They thought that they were dealing with an eating disorder, not a child abuse case.

This was a plausible woman who was being backed up by members of the medical profession in her lies.

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Wed 31-Jul-13 22:15:43

I'm shocked at the physical reaction I've felt about this news story. It's an ache in the pit of my stomach. That poor poor boy, I wish something could have been done to help him.

I think of my DD asleep in her bed, and we are here in our comfortable home, and you just don't know what's happening outside your four walls. It's frightening.

BrianButterfield Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:16

Jack - as a classroom teacher when you pass on concerns you do not generally get to know the outcomes. Usually there are issues of confidentiality which mean you only get to find out tiny pieces of information, often long after the event. The class teacher would probably not know whether social services had been called or the results of any medical examinations. Calling the police would be way outside their authority.

indyandlara Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:32

I too have filled in Welfare Concern forms for far less. This whole case disgusts me. In Edinburgh we had the horrific case of Caleb Ness. If we haven't learned from these cases in the past when will we bu too have regularly fed kids, provided coats for winter etc. I would happily go over the HT's head if a child into class presented as this one had.

magimedi Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:51

Dear Lord - I am so saddened to read about this.

Did no one realise - WTAF is wrong that this could happen?

McNewPants2013 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:56

Sadly I think there will always be a few children who fall through the net.

The blame is 100% the scum who did this.

BridgetBidet Wed 31-Jul-13 22:18:06

Joanne279, the problem is that people get just as outraged if a sick child is taken away or a family investigated when the illness is genuine. And the medical profession were backing this woman up so how could social services over rule them and take the child away when doctors were insisting his thinness was due to an illness?

I'm sure half the people complaining about this would be up in arms if a child who had a genuine illness was taken from his family too.

Social services couldn't really win in this situation.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:18:51

The perpetrators are the mum and stepdad,manipulative,cruel,liars
I've seen mn threads were tone is sw have excessive powers,too interventionist
In this case there clearly will be significant case review,with findings and recommendations

spotscotch Wed 31-Jul-13 22:20:23

*Add message | Report | Message poster Wellthen Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:45
This child's death lies with his mother and her partner. No one else.

Randomly pointing the finger at any adult with any contact with this child is disgusting behaviour. His teachers and social workers are grieving. Leave them alone.*

I agree that the blame for his death lies with his parents, but what is the point of all these child protection agencies etc if not to protect the child. Surely they utterly failed in their role?

snotfunny Wed 31-Jul-13 22:21:28

I agree. It's a knee jerk reaction to say the teachers should have saved him, but there are procedures in place for a very good reason. Things need to be done by the book from the outset. In schools, this means noting concerns and passing them straight on to the Child Protection Officer. I have filled out many reports in my time. After this teachers are ABSOLUTELY not allowed to take it any further with the child or the parents because teachers aren't trained to interview children. If we were to talk to the child and make them disclose more, we can be accused of putting words in mouths, so we don't. We pass it on to Child Protection experts.

We have hungry children who we feed with extra toast and school dinners if they have been provided with no lunch or breakfast, but I'm willing to guess that he wasn't always in school. I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of those who was kept off school if he had a bad injury.

Personally, I'm sure that every adult who ever came into contact with Daniel is now wondering what else they could have done. It's awful. We can't know who or how he was failed, though. We are all just guessing and it's not that helpful.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:21:33

What oukd they have done? They reported.
They can't kep the child unless SS tell them to stall until they can get there with the polic.
They cannot go o the child's house.
They have no powers.
All they can do is keep reporting their concerns
They are as powerless as the rest of us.
Why not blame the dinner ladies?
The caretaker?
The other parents?
They had as much ability to save this child as the teachers.

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 22:22:03

teachers and TAs are also citizens. they could have independently contacted the police child protection unit if SS didn't seem to he doing its job. it's been done in my knowledge.

doing nothing but reporting is not good enough. it's just not.

I taught a child who I found eating out of the bin one day. After a fairly lengthy time, and many logged incidents later, the child has been removed from the home.

I've taught countless children I've raised issues about and there really is only so much you can do. I directly phoned the police once about something that I didn't feel was being treated with the speed required. I was told to go through the 'system'. I don't think it's right to speculate on the role of the teacher until the facts are given.

Absolute tragedy caused by monsters and may the dear little soul rest in peace.

JakeBullet Wed 31-Jul-13 22:23:25

Sadly it WILL happen again simply because a users are vey convincing and very good at concealing their actions, sad

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 22:23:34

Kind of wondering what is the point of all the safeguarding interview questions,policies,procedures and training just about anybody in contact with children go on to be frank.confused

rockpink Wed 31-Jul-13 22:24:40

I can only pray that this poor little boy is in a happier place. So sorry this happened to him.
When i become a teacher I hope i WILL make a difference. I hope i will be trained to recognise this situation. I wont write a report & think that is all I can do. Stealing food!? Poor wee lad, i'd have fed him myself.
So so sad. Off to kiss my DC's.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:25:09

What a terrible terrible story. God help anyone who comes on here saying that perhaps we need to understand WHY the parents did what they did and if only they had been supported...

They are evil evil people, why did they pick on him. I believe he had another sibling who is still alive. The scum of the earth who will hopefully always be looking over their shoulder in prison.

The mother was trying to make out she was a victim.... The jury took just a few hrs to find them guility.

I hope they rot in hell.

The thing is we give people chance after chance. On another thread people were claiming that often kids are better off being in an abusive household because fostering was worse - really!!

Wellthen Wed 31-Jul-13 22:25:13

How do you know (and not because the press told you) that they didnt do everything in their power with the information they had?

People don't walk around saying 'I'm going to kill my child tonight' - it could be a matter of minutes between saving a child and losing them.

Based on your argument people should never die in house fires, car crashes or have their houses broken into - I mean otherwise whats the point of the emergency services?

McNewPants2013 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:27:03

At what point can a doctor hospitalise a child without parental consent.

If he was getting worse why didn't they put him into hospital.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 31-Jul-13 22:28:16

I read that a teacher had spoken to his mother about him stealing food and she had given an excuse along with many other excuses to

It is easy for us to sit here and say we would do this or that but when you are against parents who have a good enough reason for your every concern and once it has been reported there is not much you can do no matter how much you want to. The ss need a total shake up to protect more children but to get a child taken away from a parent or to help families get away from an abusive parent is very complex and difficult

BridgetBidet Wed 31-Jul-13 22:29:20

Oh for God's sake. People haven't even read the coverage properly. This woman had convinced the medical profession that the child had an eating disorder which was being investigated.

If she conned the medical profession what could the school or social services do? If she was challenged she had back up from the medical profession that his thinness was due to an illness. Not starvation.

I honestly don't know what they could have done when this woman would have had 'proof' that she was not starving her child in the form of a consultant's opinion.

spotscotch Wed 31-Jul-13 22:30:01

Because usually in a car accident the emergency services don't have months of evidence and paperwork pointing to something very wrong leading up to the accident.

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 22:30:56

when I was a child minder I used to warm the kids wellies and coats on the radiator before the school run so they were snugly.

you do that for kids, any kids, other people's kids.

what went wrong with these monster parents? why, just why? that's what I want to know.

MrButtercat Wed 31-Jul-13 22:31:06

If safeguarding procedures (which following VC were supposed to stop this kind of thing happening )were followed correctly then sorry I am wondering what the point is.

If you go for any job which involves working with children you are grilled on it big time.

I don't get it.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:32:12

Hug your kids tonight,hold them tight,knowing they'll never experience that sustained violence
I know I will
And sadly some kids do live with violent inadequate adults,lets hope system is there for them

Chunderella Wed 31-Jul-13 22:33:13

None of us have any idea whatsoever whether the teachers or any other school staff had contacted the police. So let's not pretend we do.

HappyYoni Wed 31-Jul-13 22:34:13

The blame lies 100% with his parents. Social workers will never get every case right, there is no profession in the world that gets it right every single time. I think they do save he lives of many many children every year who they remove, but sometimes when the parents are brilliant at lying, and can explain away the evidence, sometimes hey will get it wrong.

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 22:34:25

no that's true. the facts are still to come out here.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:34:50

We need to be braver in reporting our concerns. On another thread a woman pulled up a parent berating her child and swearing at him using the most foul language.All the bleeding hearts came on saying 'well maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she needed more support, maybe she was loving and kind normally.'

This sort of attitude leave children wide open to worse abuse then just swearing. In fact some on the thread were saying that actually most children would rather stay in their household suffering the abuse then going into care because care was worse! That I think is why we are getting more cases like this one. We are constantly giving people second, third and 10th chances...

We need to make care better as opposed to allowing these chidlren to rot with parents who should be hanging their heads in shame.

And for all these SW (who are coming on saying they are experts in this area). What happened here? No one understands despite the red flags what happened.

pigletmania Wed 31-Jul-13 22:35:29

My heart breaks for this poor poor little boy, I wanted toick him up and give him a big hug and a nice big meal. I hope that there is a special place in hell for his killers

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:39:44

I have seen cases drag on and on because the parents have an answer to everything.
You can be as suspicious as you want but you cannot get a court order based on ' I reckon that mother is a manipulative nightmare and I am rarely wrong'

One times kids are saved from abusive situations because the parents screw up and do something like leave the kids home slope for a couple of hours.
It might be the least abusive thing they have done but it gives SS the excuse they need to get the police Lund with an epo (?)
Then they can work like mad to get a case to put before the courts to get an interim care order.

I know several families where it has happened like that.

Not because SS are rubbish or because nobody cares as much as the posters on this thread.
Because we have very strict laws in place that protect your family from unwarranted intrusion.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:40:11

I did follow some of this case. They were clearly uneducated monsters so all this talk about being clever and lying their way out of incidents just doesnt hold true. The jury found them guility in a couple of hours.

PinkSippyCup Wed 31-Jul-13 22:40:25

It is a sickening case, that poor boy sad

Just wanted to jump in and say (without pointing finger, because we don't yet know who was at fault) but in response to Brian saying it was outside the schools authority to contact the police, that's crap.

Anyone can make an anonymous call to the police. The sad fact is that this actually gets more action than reports from the school.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:41:01

Home alone not home slope

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:42:01

You don't ave to be educated to be a manipulative liar

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:42:24

I agree Mrs Dever but the laws are too much on the side of the parents (or various partners of the mother). We make excuse after excuse for these people and then this happens.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 22:44:08

I actually don't think the teachers are to blame, the system that seems to put a lot of "procedure" and form filling down in terms of child protection is what has let this child down.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:44:15

Pink...you can phone the police but you have to have something to report.
A child eating out of bins would be referred back to SS

FreudiansSlipper Wed 31-Jul-13 22:44:23

uneducated people can still be very good manipulative liars they obviously were

the jury had all the evidence around this case and they were not lied to by the parents that is why they found them guilty so quickly

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:44:46

Are you making excuses for them MrsDeve? And trying to justify why this poor boy wasnt taken away from them.

The jury saw right through them even though the mother claimed to be a 'victim'

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:45:57

You see this is how it goes on mn,significant incident and folk want enhanced powers,less parental rights
Fast forward few mn weeks,and its business as usual ,sw are intrusive,too much power
Cue some posts of dont trust em sw

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:46:10

I have a fairly slender 3 year old who is 2.5 stone.

I can't even imagine what a 4 year old who was only 1.5 stone looked like. How teachers, neighbours, anyone who saw him every day didn't notice how ill he was I can't even imagine.

The teachers could have fed him everyday, His parents were force feeding him salt to make him throw up.

The care system/SS are overwhelmed and understaffed.
Some people are evil bastards who are not fit to have care of a child.

That is why DC like this continue to be murdered in their own homes.

Not because of teachers failing to report.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 31-Jul-13 22:48:32

I dont think any one person is at fault here, or even any one organisation, but it is blatantly obvious that the system in place at the moment is simply not working and that is not good enough!!

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:49:50

It must be really hard being a social worker in child protection - the public rarely get to hear about the children who were protected and rescued from abuse and neglect. The times when the system worked.

Instead it's the thankfully rare times we hear when it goes wrong. It's a tragedy - and there's still a lot going on that rarely makes the news.

I know 2 child protection social workers both of whom have told me how stressful and utterly awful it is. Seeing the families and hearing the cases.

And when something goes wrong, the blame goes to them. Sometimes mistakes happen. In their job, it costs lives.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:50:13

But the laws are there for everyone.
They are the same laws for you as they are for Peter's or Kyra or Jasmine's parents.

There will never, ever be a foolproof system or anything like.

Children will always die because there will always be parents ho kill their children

A system can only o it's best. If it is Lund wanting it has to address its failings but if it is found to have done all it could we have to face the horror that adults kill children and sometimes there s no way of preventing it.

PinkSippyCup Wed 31-Jul-13 22:50:33

I'm talking generally. If you have concerns about a child then you can contact the police.

countingmyblessings Wed 31-Jul-13 22:50:45

So incredibly horrific & sad. RIP Daniel, sweet little angel xx

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 22:51:20

of course MrsD isn't excusing the parents. noone is.

Brian is wrong here. I work in a school and have contacted police re a pupil as a concerned citizen. anyone can.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:51:30

My DM feeds some of the children 5-6 years old's as she still volunteers at her old Inner London school. Mothers are still in bed or on some occasions there isnt any food in the child's house! She has reported some concerns. At her age (80) she just doesnt concern herself who she might 'upset'. If something worries her she will see the head.

AudrinaAdare Wed 31-Jul-13 22:52:08

Thank you Mrs DV. I would also know what else, short of kidnapping the child and preventing the physical attack which killed him, people expected the teachers and social workers to have done. The neglect was known about and presumably was in the system.

I have provided money and food for children and would have been sacked if it were known. I have made anonymous phone calls to police and social services about pupils. Unprofessional. Going to the press - impossible and rightly illegal.

I have had a fucking memo telling me to walk a particular child round to meet her mother at the gate without being told why and almost forgot because the Head Teacher neglected to think it was important to tell me that this child had been repeatedly raped by someone who who likely to pick her up and police and S.S were investigating. From the casual tone and the fact that it was delivered by a pupil I assumed it was because her mother might be a few minutes late!

This has really affected me and I have been on threads discussing it since it was first known. Daniel was so like my little DS. So helpless.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:52:09

Wtf are you talking about handcream?

If you cannot engage in intelligent conversation don't attempt to engage with me.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 22:55:10

You seem to want to have reasons/excuses as to why this happened Mrs Devere. It happened because our system is not fit for purpose. These people were on the radar yet wasnt removed.

eyebrowsfurrowed Wed 31-Jul-13 22:58:27

this hell took place in my city. I am completely wilted by what has happened.

i FEEL SO SICKENED speaking as a completely liberal person I've come to a point where surely these completely morally corrupt (devoid of love) people surely have no chance of rehabilitating themselves (that's definitely NOT the right terminology). But honestly, how do new parents hear this shit and just go on with normal lives. I do believe in prison as a tool for self correction but 4 years of torture to her own son? I don't know what I would to her given the chance...

VitoCorleone Wed 31-Jul-13 22:59:01

Absolutley heartbreaking. That poor little boy, starving to death, being beaten and force fed salt, what kind of sick motherfucker could do that to a little child.

I hope they both get the fucking shit beaten out if them in jail on a daily basis.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:59:12

Do I?
Where am I making excuses?

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 23:00:51

And since when is giving a reason the same as excusing abuse?
Since when is explaing actual laws to posters who are asking what happened, making excuses?

lovemynathy Wed 31-Jul-13 23:02:37

What bags me that we will never find out WHY all those adults, who have brains, eyes, supposedly common sense and get paid to look after children didn't see, or I would say didn't not care enough to lift thier bum and act. Look at all other stories, the news would tell the first bit, but NEVER follow up. The only think we will see and hear: the lessons must be learn ... Blah blah blah. I think there are so many people who were touched by this story, that every detail must be public. We get punished if we do not pay our taxes, speeding etc, why people who are responcible for us, our children get out of the hook so easily. I just feel they have a statement they wrote many years ago for cases like that,and they read it every time with small changes..... Poor little baby, God bless you, shame to us all who do not take actions when they should.

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 23:02:41

agree LEMis, if this can happen here, such terrible neglect and sufferings over a long period of time. a child starved and beaten here in 2013, known to the system, then something isn't working right.

there's no point in running safeguarding courses and having all of these things in place if a child can still die.

it wasn't a one off beating or killing with no preamble this was long drawn out suffering with witnesses.

his bastard patents killed him but everyone failed him.

AudrinaAdare Wed 31-Jul-13 23:02:44

They were on the radar and he may have been about to be removed for the neglect and injuries and weight-loss but nobody could predict that the poor child was about to be beaten to death.

This could happen to any child if they happen encounter a murderer.

You can't remove children until proper investigations have been made or this would clog up the system, lead to gross miscarriages of justice and potentially leave actual victims of abuse wide-open to more of it because guidelines haven't been followed.

I agree with scottishmummy shock

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 23:03:53

MRsD, you don't need to defend yourself here.

the comment was ridiculous.

Altinkum Wed 31-Jul-13 23:04:23

Hand cream, where is Mrs deV making excuses, she's explaining the law, not excuses.

Please read and take in the thread before jumpin to ridicules accusations!!!

PinkSippyCup Wed 31-Jul-13 23:04:54

Some posters don't seem to understand the case. MrsD is trying to explain and getting a hard time for it.

The school knew he was very thin/ hungry. He's mother had an excuse for it, backed my medical professionals! WTF were the school/ Teachers meant to do?!

If you have a child in your class and are told "X has a disorder which means he is very thin" which is backed up by doctors and a manipulative, murdering parent, as a teacher what can you do??

I feel so sorry for this teachers/ school. I don't know how I would ever get over something like this happening to a child in my class.

HesterShaw Wed 31-Jul-13 23:05:13

To think that some people desperate to adopt are refused on spurious grounds. To think that some people are unable to conceive and yet there are parents like this in the world.

GiantHaystacks Wed 31-Jul-13 23:06:50

I know lots of people who teach in schools in Coventry (but not this specific school) and I was asking them how the teachers could watch this happen. They couldn't comment on this case but they all said that they are always reporting parents to social services and nothing ever happens (apart from in one or two cases the parents turning up at the school and punching the teachers). They say social services are only interested in keeping children with parents, even if those parents are alcoholics/heroin addicts/violent criminals etc., and that social workers always speak to the parents first and only talk to the child once the parents have had a chance to coach them/terrify them into keeping quiet about the abuse. I also know someone who works in a children's home who says that some children are physically sick at the thought of spending time with their parents but are forced to go through with it because 'it's important to keep families together'. Even so, the idea that this poor boy was starving enough to steal food and the teachers' reaction was to lock food away from him is deeply disturbing. It seems enforcing the rules was more important than being humane.

I think more children need to be taken away from parents. Children are individuals in their own right and not someone else's second, third or fourth chance. Children might need parents but not necessarily the ones they are born with.

spotscotch Wed 31-Jul-13 23:08:27

they were on the radar and he may have been about to be removed for the neglect and injuries and weight-loss but nobody could predict that the poor child was about to be beaten to death.

Umm well it's not exactly a huge leap is it?!

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 23:09:04

Giant that's a shocking post. just heartbreaking.

eyebrowsfurrowed Wed 31-Jul-13 23:10:24

agree with all those defending the teachers 100%. not speaking as a teaher myself but know what a demanding, beautiful and tough job they do we should all support them. They are the lifeline of our children. There will be no-one that will be more saddened, upset and wholly grief stricken than the people that the people who actually did look after Daniel given half the chance.

countingmyblessings Wed 31-Jul-13 23:10:40

Why wasn't there a surprise visit by ss? They could've checked upstairs & would've seen the filth this poor innocent child lived in?
They put this boy through living hell. I feel sick just thinking of it... I can't get it out of my head.

eyebrowsfurrowed Wed 31-Jul-13 23:12:32

wow forget what i just said, haystack i didn't realise they had forbidden him from eating... what school was it?

MummyDuckAndDuckling Wed 31-Jul-13 23:14:11

This has really stunned and angered me angry. I can't even begin to imagine the fear that little boy must have had.

I just take comfort in the fact he is now in a much better place sad

AudrinaAdare Wed 31-Jul-13 23:14:14

It isn't a huge leap but for those reasons on their own I'd have had a third of my class taken into care every year.

Obviously if disclosures were made about cold bath immersion or being fed salt things would have escalated very quickly. Poor Daniel, he was so helpless.

MrsDeVere Wed 31-Jul-13 23:15:51

At the risk of being called an abse apologist again

Parents are told about referral to SS (by the referer, not SS) unless telling them would put them at further immediate risk.

No one has the power to remove a child immediately apart from the police.
SS cannot take a child without a court order.
They have to present evidence to obtain an order. If they don't, it will be refused.

So they can't take your children because your malicious neighbours want to cause you pain.

There are mistake, big ones.

But how is this resolved.
Change the laws and the mistakes will simply fall on the other side of the error spectrum won't they?

Either it's too easy to remove kids or it's too hard.

therumoursaretrue Wed 31-Jul-13 23:18:03

The news about this little boy is totally heartbreaking. It's just sickening to think there are people who could ever deliberately hurt a child and so impossible to comprehend.

Agree with others who have said the blame lies with the parents. However safeguarding is in place to help children like this, and it's utterly distressing to see a child slip through the net, especially with such horrendous consequences. I don't think it is at all excusable considering all of the relevant recent reports and training in relation to safeguarding.

PinkSippyCup Wed 31-Jul-13 23:21:32

It's just so awful and sad.
Hopefully when the SCR happens any mistakes made will be highlighted and we will all be able to learn from it.

(His, not he's*)

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:21:38

I think that's clutching at straws tbh. The TA said that his clothes were falling off him, his hair was straw like and he was pale. He was rooting around for any food he could find. Surely, anybody could see what is actually happening before their eyes - I.e a child is starving to death. Whether they suspected abuse or not there was a health problem that needed dealing with quickly, the Mother's inaction in dealing with the weight loss should've been an initial cause for concern. These are trained 'professionals' apparently, how would you be fobbed off with the Mother's response of an 'insatiable appetite' that she couldn't satisfy but at the same time only provide half a sandwich for packed lunch. The physical evidence was in front of the teaching staff of the food they provided plus he was rooting around for leftovers. Her comments and the evidence don't add up. You don't have to be a 'professional' to realise that. Equally, the School Support Worker who went to advise on Daniel's toliet problems had never even met the child she was advising on. How is that doing everything they could to establish the facts? The fact that the Mother was not keen on arrangements to improve his attendance should have been worrying but again it seems it was not. Having read the news articles it seems there was a serious lack of communication between the staff at the school IMO.

There was no mention of his Mother saying that she had his weight loss looked at by a health professional but he was wasting away. Any normal Mother would want to address the problem of his emaciation but she didn't - that should've rung alarm bells. This coupled with the fact that despite his 'insatiable appetite' she only initially gave him half a sandwich for his packed lunch. If your child has an 'insatiable appetite' and he is loosing weight rapidly do you give them half a sandwich for lunch? I don't see how the school missed this contradictory behaviour.

By all accounts social services don't seem to have been informed of any of this odd behaviour. Even if they where why would you not chase this up to a conclusion that was satisfactory- I.e something was being done about his emaciation. It is evidently not enough to ring the Doctor and leave it at that. This boy was starving Ffs- what was happening to rectify something so critical straight away!

Was there no question mark over whether he needed vitamins and supplements or just more food. Why was the paediatrician not told about the background, i.e that he was given half a sandwich for packed lunch? Equally, they cancelled three appointments prior to seeing the peadetrician when he prescribed supplements. Why was the information not communicated to social services. This child was starving and the Mother cancelled 3 appointments, why was this not known about?

If you work in CP it must be understood that manipulation of the truth by criminals is inevitable, so why the heck is a procedural process so simplistic and seemingly the antithesis to an 'investigation'?

GiantHaystacks Wed 31-Jul-13 23:22:36

I think another problem is that these days schools are afraid to be sued and teachers are afraid to be sacked over the slightest thing. I know in my day a teacher wouldn't think twice about giving food to a hungry child but nowadays their are so many health, cultural, religious and ethical issues around food teachers must be afraid to put a foot wrong.

AudrinaAdare Wed 31-Jul-13 23:27:13

Apparently a doctor was consulted, lied to and a diagnosis made. Doctor is always given more credence than a lowly teacher. I hope the serious case review holds this person as accountable as the teacher and s.w have been.

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:29:42

I think it is very easy in hindsight to say people should have noticed and what they should have done! the problem was the the lowlifes managed to cover it up. they lied repeatedly and got the sibling to lie. and they lied to everyone!

This is a shocking horrific case but cases like this are few and far between and hopefully lessons can be learnt. But out whole society is based on believing what people say - and sadly in this case we shouldn't have done!

GiantHaystacks Wed 31-Jul-13 23:29:43

I wonder if things would be better if the procedure was for schools to contact police directly rather than contact social services first? Social services are useless and seem to have their own 'keep families together at all cost' agenda. If we suspected someone was torturing an adult we would call the police, so why should children be fobbed off with social services and the lack of protection they offer?

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:30:23

An overhaul of the system, making it a more holistic one, where the agents involved work together competently to investigate a crime against a child would be a start. Children being the PRIORITY not adults. Criminalising ALL corporal punishment. There are loads of changes that could be made but this country is under the delluded impression that it is 'child centric'! Yes so child centric that we have one of the lowest ages of 'criminal responsibility' in Europe and yet we do not protect them from the crime of 'assault' until they are 18!

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:35:57

to be far to SS they are underpaid and over worked and have legal guideline to work within! Removing them from the system would not help!

AudrinaAdare Wed 31-Jul-13 23:37:05

I fed children very surreptitiously, Giant. I went without lunch and also let them keep pesky change they found when tidying my desk drawer. But yes, I would have been reprimanded and then sacked when I refused to stop doing it. Luckily hmm people like me left the profession and will never return to it.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:38:51

Cazzybabs, it is not about 'hindsight', if it it is written off as hindsight then there is no accountability, nothing changes. It is quite clear that incompetence or flaws in the system are at fault. Criminals generally are 'liars', surely it is a prerequisite of anyone involved in an investigative process to understand that 'all maybe not as it seems'?

nancerama Wed 31-Jul-13 23:39:16

That poor little boy. He went through so much in his short life. It's made me give my boy an extra big hug and kiss tonight.

I don't know what the answer is. These things should never ever happen, but in cases like this our anger is so often directed away from the perpetrators and towards those who probably tried to protect this little boy.

I started my training as a primary school teacher, but dropped out in my final year. During my training placements I encountered so many children who were troubled, neglected and abused. They turned up at school hungry and dirty. I was too young to handle it - I met these children and wanted to help, but there was very little I was permitted or able to do. Who knows how young and inexperienced the people who he encountered were? Who knows if their training and support was enough? I was only 21 years old and I found it tough enough on teaching placements - imagine dealing with this day in day out for years.

The children don't know how to ask for help (indeed many don't even know they need help - if they have only ever lived one kind of life, they see it as normal. The adults who are supposed to help are constrained by red tape and there are simply to many agencies involved. Information spends too much time being passed around and not enough time being acted on.

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:40:14

To be far reading daily mail newspaper accounts it does sound like he had lunch at school just nothing else and his evil step dad made him do military exercises

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:42:18

Goldenbear - that may be but we are judging without knowing the full facts! And I disagree about hindsight plus our whole legal system works on innocent till proven guilty!

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:44:04

personally I think there will always be cases like this! children hidden from the system, parents who lie convincingly - I wish I didn't think this but I do!

cazzybabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:46:02

also whilst I am on a roll - what about neighbours of the child - surely they must have noticed / heard something!

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 23:47:29

I am actually fantasising about how these bastards will be treated in prison.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:47:59

The court case has been reported on since the start so we do know quite a lot of the back story to this.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:50:11

FFS he wasn't 'hidden' from the system, how explicit do outward signs of abuse have to be before someone becomes 'unhidden'!!?

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 23:51:56

There was major incompetence and that is the reason it is headline news.

SaucyJack Wed 31-Jul-13 23:52:54

The school were told that he had a serious medical condition and his mother had letters from a doctor to say it was under investigation. Of course they weren't going to feed him on the sly or let him steal from his classmates' lunchboxes. They thought they were doing the right thing.

madrid Thu 01-Aug-13 00:00:55

I understand that health visitors went to the house but they didn't get to actually see daniel. Why can we not have a law that states that if a vulnerable child is visited and not seen by the visiting authority, then immediate police back up is provided along with the weight of the law?

God bless Daniel. X

GiantHaystacks Thu 01-Aug-13 00:03:49

@SaucyJack - I think that is one of the cruellest things about this case; the parents lied to make the school complicit in Daniel's torture. I also heard that the mother's boyfriend felt Daniel's stomach to make sure he hadn't eaten too much at school. The thing that makes me most sick is that they bribed the poor thing with the promise of a chocolate bar to make him lie to doctors and teachers. When I think about the poor thing keeping quiet about the abuse because a chocolate bar meant so much to him I could weep.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 01-Aug-13 00:07:19

The poor child, it's horrifying and so so sad.

I don't think we can say what really happened, as we don't have all the facts either way.

I can imagine errors happening, but we can't say really.

In systems that are not working, people can become very distant and uncaring as they feel powerless to affect a positive change. i can imagine how people could go through the motions of their job without picking up on the signals that would have shown how dangerous these people are. this wouldn't be one persons fault, an institutional problem I can well imagine.

But anyway, im thinking out loud, I don't think ss works well, but I don't know if improving it would have caught this tragedy before it happened. Truly evil people are hard to stop.

Chigertick Thu 01-Aug-13 00:17:50

This case has really made me feel so sad. I can't understand a mother not wanting to nurture her child.

With regard to the "failures" of the professionals involved - there does need to be a real overhaul of communication.

Since having my own children and their need to be referred to a consultant I discovered that the only information ( following the initial referral) came from me and dh. So info about illness etc - there was no request of information from elsewhere. It would have been very easy to look up information and give this to the dr to be followed up with tests etc etc
Just as all the information (if any) the HVs have is kept in the red book, same for midwives - there's no central place to bring together this information.(And all too often it seems that it is the bigger picture that needs to be looked at)

In my job I deal with children going for statements and again, despite the evidence that we need to work together HCPs in particular are not very good/happy/willing to do so.

Not sure what the answer is but there must be one? Although, very sadly, its too late for this little one hmm

theluckiest Thu 01-Aug-13 00:22:24

I find this case deeply distressing and unbelievably awful. That poor child.

Daniel's mother and her partner were cruel, nasty, manipulative and devious liars as well as sadistic torturers. They tried to cover their tracks and no one would ever have believed the extent of their cruelty.

Concerns were raised but who would honestly have believed the extent of their depravation? I cannot imagine how distressed I would be had I raised concerns and followed the correct channels, thought the case was being followed up and then this was the outcome.

Is anyone else concerned that the Every Child Matters agenda which was brought about following the equally horrific case of Victoria Climbie has been quietly scrapped, sidelined and funding pulled? OK, it wasn't perfect by any means but any scheme which attempts to implement a safety net between schools, SS and other agencies, for these incredibly vulnerable kids must be worth something surely?

So that we don't have to read about these bloody awful cases ever, ever again.

susiedaisy Thu 01-Aug-13 00:23:36

I can't get that poor little chap out of my head, its so so sad!

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 00:28:34

Yes as I said up thread, he was given half a sandwich for packed lunch, the mother told the school that he had an 'insatiable appetite' and there was a letter from a Doctor saying it was being investigated. However, that is not a letter stating categorically he had an official diagnosed health problem. The physical evidence of half a sandwich and his ravenous behaviour should've rung big fucking alarm bells but it didn't- there is no doubt this child was failed by the different agencies.

Equally, the Mother missed 3 appointments to rectify the problem of his emaciation - again, why wasn't this reported?

The School Nurse visited the home but didn't see him - again, not good enough.

This poor, poor, child - this was preventable.

thebody Thu 01-Aug-13 00:32:56

they exchanged text messages between each other disgusting how they would abusers him.

can't get that out if my head.

thebody Thu 01-Aug-13 00:33:59

evil evil fuckers.

countingmyblessings Thu 01-Aug-13 00:39:34

Too right it was preventable. Why didn't the hv have a quick nose upstairs? Why? Why? Why? I'm so distressed about this case.

chubbychipmonk Thu 01-Aug-13 00:40:54

I am actually still awake because I can't sleep for thinking about this poor beautiful little boy.

I have no words to describe his patents that adequately describe the depth of my repulsion toward them.

It's times like this when I'm glad of my religious faith & believe in heaven because I'd like to think he's safe there now & not suffering anymore.

May he find peace at last & may his 'parents' rot in hell for all eternity.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 00:42:29

Equally, 7 months prior to his death the Mother claimed the boyfriend had tried to strangle her to a visiting health Professional, why was this not reported, isn't domestic violence treated as abuse now. It doesn't matter whether it was true it's that nothing was done about children in that context.

2468Motorway Thu 01-Aug-13 00:46:35

I guess part of the problem is no-one could believe anyone could be so cruel. When a plausible medical issue was offered as an explanation people believed it because the reality is so unbearable.

RegularVoltaire Thu 01-Aug-13 01:02:03

Little Daniel should have been protected. He should have been protected from the woman who was supposed to protect him the most.

Every adult who knew Daniel has failed him and there will be a lot of people who can't sleep easy in their beds for a long long time.

The awful signs were there and those who knew him - teachers, social workers, neighbours, 'friends' - are all responsible for not doing something. It is everybody's responsibility!

Rest in peace sweet little boy xx

thebody Thu 01-Aug-13 01:05:28

chubby, I hope so too.

TheFallenNinja Thu 01-Aug-13 08:08:17

Another tragic case of a child dying because of itsnotmyresponsibiltyitis.

Of course, nothing will change, some low grade manager will be wheeled in front of the camera telling of lessons to be learned, there will be tv interviews with social workers telling us how busy they are and that it was a difficult case.

In the meantime, the parents will live in a fully risk assessed environment with heat, light and 3 square meals a day. Then they will be released and supported back into the community.

So proud to be British today.

Fraggle3112 Thu 01-Aug-13 08:47:44

He weighed 1st9 when he died- 3lb more than my 7mo son. How on earth was it not obvious he was severely underweight?

It's a tragic event and the blame lays firmly with his monstrous parents but prehaps if more questions were asked it could have been avoided and he wouldnt have suffered so much. I think it's a sad sign of the times that people no longer intervene because they are so scared of repercussions etc.

I just hope poor little Daniel is at peace now.

Eyesunderarock Thu 01-Aug-13 08:53:09

IMO there is currently far too many restrictions within the rules that prioritise the rights of the adults under suspicion. SWs, teachers, HVs are not allowed to enter a home and insist on seeing the child under investigation, or demand that they are taken to GP or a hospital to be checked.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of children are living in situations with varying levels of abuse and the adults get to set who and what happens for the majority of incidents. Police constantly see DV situations between adults and are unable to remove the children because the mother's need to be with her children is seen as more important than their safety.
The current options are not working, overcrowded and strained by the needs and demands on them and children are dying and being seriously hurt mentally and physically because of the failures.

FondantNancy Thu 01-Aug-13 09:08:54

This is incredibly distressing. I hope this little boy is at peace now and his sibling is getting the care he needs.

So upsetting that there is widespread outrage after his death but there was enough to help him while he was alive and desperately needing intervention.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 01-Aug-13 09:25:06

This is tragic. I've been following the story, feeling sick to my stomach. As a 2/3 of the way qualified SW with plenty of unqualified experience, my opinion is that communication was probably not happening. As an isolated incident, each 'problem' could be explained away but put this picture together and it is as horrifying as can be. Despite what the law and guidelines say, there is not a joined up approach to working in these sorts of cases.

Poor sweet boy and his siblings too. sad

DayOldCheesecake Thu 01-Aug-13 09:27:17

I've been following this case for months and it makes me want to vomit each and every time. I think he looks too much like my own boy and is similar in age for it not to have an effect.

What were the other parents doing? What were the teachers doing?

I was asking myself this morning, would I notice someone was seriously wrong with a child in my son's class or would I be too busy at the school gates to register the children of others? sad

I just want to scoop this little boy up and protect him and tell him he's loved.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 09:30:11

Nancerama makes a good point. What Dr saw Daniel? A consultant or a first year? Who was the sw assigned, someone with lots of experience or someone young?

I do feel now there is a acceptance of giving people the benefit of the doubt. To be mindful of cultural differences etc and to keep the family together if at all possible. That means that even when the red flags ae waving widely people still hold back, they understandably dont want to make a mistake so they hold back.

My DM flagged some concerns regarding some children she taught. Due to her age she didnt give a toss about political correctness and giving people every chance. She gave children who were clearly coming without breakfast and unwashed some food. Is she following process? I dont think she cares. At 80 what are they going to do - fire her! And if it ever came out that a 80 year old ex teacher flagged something to a inexperienced head and something happened - the media would have a field day.

RedHelenB Thu 01-Aug-13 09:31:28

And the Dad?

Nancy66 Thu 01-Aug-13 09:51:40

The dad seems to be a waste of space as well. Left when Daniel was one and returned to Poland and (as far as I can see) never saw Daniel again.

I'm utterly baffled by the fact that this poor, beautiful little boy was singled out for abuse and his siblings were not.
My mum used to work in child protection and she had one case where one of many siblings was singled out time and time again as a punchbag when his mother got angry or frustrated. She would literally drag him out of bed and beat him up to relieve her tension. Luckily he was taken away from her but was apparently distraught at this because his abusive mother was all he had ever known. I pray he's doing much better with living carers now.

Eyesunderarock Thu 01-Aug-13 10:17:51

It is quite common for one child to be the focus of the rage, and hate and abuse and for the others to either be golden children, or treated normally.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 10:28:24

The Dad is blaming all and sundry - he was being interviewed last night. Clearly had little input into his son's life.

BuntyPenfold Thu 01-Aug-13 10:29:18

Why are people so afraid to act?

I know a lovely and truly caring school nurse who took a child home with her for a week, in order to force SS and police to act. She knew the child was seriously abused (abused and deprived of food daily, raped at weekends) but couldn't get any notice taken.

When she made a stand, at great risk to herself, the child went into care and the parents were imprisoned. Why was it neccesary?

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 10:32:41

Candycoatedwaterdrops hits the nail on the head- the communication between the different actors appears to have broken down. Effective coordination of all responsible actors is required.

The focus should be on what is best for the child and should not differentiate between intentional or unintentional acts or passive and active neglect. In Daniel's awful predicament this approach would've identified an issue with the Mother missing appointments when her child was emaciated. Equally, there would've been concerns highlighted when the Mother highlighted domestic abuse from the partner. This was 6 months before his death. If the needs of the child were a priority, coordinated efforts would've had to identify a solution for this.

Well done to that school nurse. I wish more people would do what she did.

Eyesunderarock Thu 01-Aug-13 10:36:19

Agree, the needs of the child should be an absolute and clear priority.

wispawoman Thu 01-Aug-13 10:41:25

Have just been listening to R5 where 'lecturer in Social Work' has been asked about this case. She spent most of the time making political points about the government and simply wouldn't address any of the questions she was being asked by the interviewer. Having said that, I have been in situations where social workers were meant to be visiting children when concern was raised by schools; on several occasions we were told parents were not in; unless there are huge amounts of evidence a tick is just put in the box to say the visit has been made. If parents really want to pull the wool over professionals' eyes, there is simply not enough time and staff to keep following these up. However in the IT age you would think that cross checks could be made by all agencies.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 11:02:59

Exactly, lots of boxes to be ticked/not ticked. The boxes aren't the important thing, the child is. An abusive parent not being in, not answering the door- if I was trying to avoid detection and it was as easy as pretending to be out then you can see how children are failed.

BatmanLovesAllan Thu 01-Aug-13 11:04:16

Part of the problem is, people are quick to demonise Social Care and other professions involved in Child Protection.

For example, when I worked as part of a safeguarding team, I was trained to use the One Database (that's what we called it - ContactPoint was the official name). It contained all the names of all the schoolchildren in the UK, and any referrals that had been made to Social Care / EWOs / Youth Workers etc. If you made a visit, or a phone call, or sent a letter, you logged it, detailed what was said / happened, attached any documents eg letters sent / received. The idea was that it would be joined up working. And if a family moved counties or boroughs, the information would be there, at the new authority's fingertips, instead of the family having a clean slate.

What happened? People were outraged that their children's names were included in a database - they weren't abusers, why should they be included?. NIMBYism, to an extent. So it was scrapped. The information sharing idea went back three steps.

Imagine if it was still around, and all the concern logs from the teachers, and the HV visits, and the SW visits had all been logged and detailed... would it have helped? It may well have done.

Poor little soul.

Nancy66 Thu 01-Aug-13 11:06:21

Batman - but presumably such a system exists for children deemed 'at risk' ?

Eyesunderarock Thu 01-Aug-13 11:07:38

Not really, that's why they tried to set up a central hub for information gathering and sharing.

Nancy66 Thu 01-Aug-13 11:10:46

That's just ridiculous.

Why can't a central hub be set up for at risk children - surely it's over complicating things to include every child in the country, the majority of whom won't be at risk.

Eyesunderarock Thu 01-Aug-13 11:17:01

There's a link between poor housing and children at risk, so the hub was trying to match information about children on the At Risk register with Housing and SW reports, and the police.
Too many adults felt that they were being placed in a difficult situation, they didn't want their families involved and became very hostile about the possibilities of misuse and misinformation.
Which given the state of data handling, accuracy and protection online is understandable.

HesterShaw Thu 01-Aug-13 11:47:59

Have been thinking about this a lot. Daniel's mother and stepfather were the ones responsible and are 100% guilty. I hope they are locked away forever and if they ever are released, it will be well beyond their child-creating years.

However, the little boy was let down by everyone else in his life. Everyone. He starved to death in front of all of them and nothing at all was done. I hope an awful lot of soul searching is going on, as well as the official enquiry. I still can't believe that after Victoria and Peter, two other children who were let down by this country in spectacular fashion, this has happened again.

I'm an atheist and I know there is no heaven, but at least his pain is over now. What a short and horrific life he led.

The only reason I can imagine anyone doing this to a little child is that they had become for some reason utterly utterly desensitised and dehumanised and entirely lacked empathy and compassion of any kind. This kind of behaviour made them feel powerful and it was taken to its ultimate conclusion. How could anyone get like that? That's one of the questions.

Nancy66 Thu 01-Aug-13 11:53:36

This case is highly unusual in that both the mother and boyfriend seem to have been equal in the level of abuse they inflicted on Daniel.

Usually - even in the case of Baby P - one in the partnership will be the sadist and the other enables but doesn't partake. It's rare to get two equally twisted pro-active abusers.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 11:54:57

Hester - I really struggle to understand why people are like this too.

And they were BOTH like this. Is it that common to have BOTH people who behaviour like this and then literally gang up on a child and abuse him like this? Why just him? What about the other child, was she abused too. How on earth can she move on from this. She tried to help him.

I just hope that these two get what they deserve but somehow I dont think they will just rot in jail. They will be protected, given warmth and food, and lets not forgot their human rights.

Of course they wont be together in prison together which is something. Perhaps these two need to think now whether life is in fact worth living. Society doesnt want them. We all feel phycially sick as to what they have done

JackNoneReacher Thu 01-Aug-13 12:04:52

Brian Calling the police would be way outside their authority

It is not outside anyone's authority to call the police should they feel that another person is in danger. I think most teachers know this. I hope so anyway. Someone upthread said it was unprofessional to step out of the system and do this. Yet if a situation escalates suddenly it may be the only course of action.

BatmanLovesAllan Thu 01-Aug-13 12:06:51

Yes, I can see the flaws in a database system, but we really haven't got anything else as good in place. People do their best, but communication between many parties can be a right bugger at the best of times. I don't know what the solution is really.

But the people who are saying it is 100% the parents to blame, yes, I agree. I think the outside agencies have a tough job, working within their remits. And like someone else said, you never hear about the success stories. If only we had a foolproof system.

Still, I wish that Daniel had been one of them, and that his short life had not been one of misery and pain. He would have had a chance with foster parents sad

BatmanLovesAllan Thu 01-Aug-13 12:11:23

What I'm trying to say is, on that system, all the little details added up. Every visit, every letter, every call, every concern in school. It made a picture. We don't have anything like that now, afaik.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Thu 01-Aug-13 12:12:41

I work in secondary. I have called Social Services, the police, involved school nurses, EWOs, the lot. But I can't physically stop parents hurting their children. There are some I want to 'kidnap' to get them out of the shit situations they live in - take them home and look after them properly. It is fucking awful.

'But I can't physically stop parents hurting their children' - yes absolutely. The responsibility is always with the abuser.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 12:50:06

Yes but child protection has to be pretentative, combative not just a reaction to an event. Of course the parents are responsible for this crime but major flaws enabled this to proceed to such an extent that a child is dead. I'm sorry but abusers to murders - why was that escalation not stopped?

Trigglesx Thu 01-Aug-13 12:57:27

Maybe there should be some sort of "coordination SW" that works in the schools that coordinates information of any concerns. Figuring if they are now starting funded nursery places at 2yo, that's from at least 2yo onwards. They could have the power to liase with medical personnel, police, and SWs regarding children. This person would also get copies of any police contacts with the children, any SW contacts, any concerns reported by medical concerns. Perhaps that type of position is now necessary in order to avoid the problem of lack of communication between the agencies - this would literally BE the link. That would be the main purpose of the job - pulling all this information together with a view to safeguarding children.

I would be happy to see my taxes go up a bit in order to fund this type of position in schools. I say schools because this means the huge data base between all agencies would then not be needed. If a child moves, then data will be copied and sent to the new school for their coordination SW to review and continue on in their area.

Obviously I could be incredibly naïve, but doesn't it seem that the whole problem is that the lack of communication means that there is no "one agency or person" that has the whole picture?

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 13:00:11

And really - does every do the best they can do in a job or do most, a large minority just do enough. All the jobs I have worked in I have never witnessed that level of commitment.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 01-Aug-13 13:17:42

I see quite lot of student social workers through work, and generally speaking they are all nice, enthusiastic people who openly say that they want to be a SW because they enjoy working with people, want to help people, want to help people live the best and happiest lives they can. It's lovely. It's also sad because you know that actually, they are going to be so bogged down with the constraints of the local authority and the law, as well as shockingly high case loads and a lack of support, that they will never really get the chance to do a decent job, and stuff like this will slip through the net and not only will a poor child have to go through this, but the SW then has to live with that for the rest of their lives. Second guessing every choice they made in their interactions with the family.

I don't know what exactly went wrong here though the themes seem to lack of communication and joined up working, a very manipulative couple who managed to convince the school and other HCPs of their lies, family and friends who seem very quick to blame social services but can't offer up an explanation of what they were doing. It's just so sad and pointless and this little boy ultimately paid the price.

I would like to think that if I thought this was happening to someone that I knew, that I would do something. But if that doing something is reporting them to SS, I don't have a huge amount of confidence that anything would actually happen. Not because the staff are crap, but because the system is such a nightmare.

Slightly off topic, I wondered if others felt the same as me about this: The thing that has got to me the most is that he was denied food/starved. Maybe my feelings about motherhood are too wrapped up in the 'you must nourish them!' rhetoric, but to me it's almost a primal need to feed and water my child, that the idea of someone deliberately starving theirs makes me so angry and upset. The violence... seems to have effected me less than the starving. I can't watch it on the news as I keep crying (which isn't going to achieve anything) at the idea of this poor hungry little boy.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 13:34:01

Yes of course there are great, committed SWs that work hard and a lot of problems exist due to financial cuts and what we prioritise in this country. Coordinating Actors to work effectively for the needs of the child costs money and a shift in societal expectations of what child protection should be concerned with as it is nowhere near that ideal yet!

Wellthen Thu 01-Aug-13 13:36:02

I think reporting the actions of the teachers in a negative way will simply lead to people not saying anything. Imagine if the reports were saying 'there is no evidence, no past complaints, nothing, this child just died one night' - the only people being blamed would be his parents. And yet because the adults involved DID do something, they are being blamed.

I dont think anyone would actually think 'I wont say anything in case I get in trouble' but I think subconciously teachers wont want to get involved.

We should be encouraging people to constantly come forward. It should be made easier and easier for teachers to make their concerns known. The teachers who said something should be congratulated. They did SOMETHING.

JenaiMorris Thu 01-Aug-13 13:38:19

Whilst questions must be asked as to what could have been done to prevent this indescribable series of events, I can't begin to imagine what Daniel's teachers and all the other professionals involved must be feeling.

I understand why people point the finger, but from where I'm sitting I can't see anything anyone could have done that, without the benefit of hindsight, would not have had people crying 'nanny state do-gooders', or worse.

Which isn't to say that that lessons can't be learnt.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 01-Aug-13 13:47:20

And how many times a year do we read about 'heavy handed' social workers and people complaining about social services getting involved when the parents think they are in the right etc. Social workers can't do anything right as far as the tabloid press goes.

I thought briefly about becoming a SW, till I learned what a thoroughly demoralising job it is. I've met so many totally burned out SWs, it's depressing.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 13:52:37

Wellthen, teachers work with children- they have a moral and professional obligation to report their concerns. That is why they did 'something'.

If you work in child protection or with children I think you should be prepared to ignore labels of the 'nanny state'.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 13:58:28

This case is not just been written and spoken about the tabloids though is it? It has also be reported and discussed by those with credibility- Radio 4, the broadsheets.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 01-Aug-13 14:04:18

That wasn't my point really. No matter what social workers do, they get accused of doing the wrong thing. Everyone thinks they know better. And hind sight is always 20:20.

You can't just tell people to ignore accusations of being part of the 'nanny state' because when public perception is that you are just an interfering busy body who either wont actually do anything to protect children, or are planning on swooping in in the middle of the night to steal perfectly well looked after children from their beds, these people create barriers to you doing your job.

thebody Thu 01-Aug-13 14:13:44

I agree with you HopALongOn, there is some special evil to slowly starving a child to death. it must have been agony for him surrounded by food he couldn't access and people who just couldn't see the wood for the trees.

also for me the blatant texting with glee between the patents as to how they had/ were going to torture him.

on a par with the Wests and Bradey/Hinkey.

I hope they die violently in prison I really do.

nancerama Thu 01-Aug-13 14:31:00

I can't stop thinking about this poor little boy, and all the unloved children he represents.

Whilst the blame must 100% lie with his parents who are simply evil, I feel this case also shows how the NHS constantly let's down those who are unable to speak for themselves.

The "parents" managed to convince the medical profession that he had some strange metabolic condition and those around him fell for their excuses as they didn't dare question medical authority.

My DH has a life-limiting medical condition and is under consultant care. His consultant regularly writes to our GP with details of his condition, details of drugs that are incompatible with his condition or with other medication he is prescribed and recommendations for treatments. Recently through DH reading the letters he has been cced onto and looking up drug names and their generic names we have discovered that the GP has merrily been prescribing something DH should never take. DH is intelligent enough (just) to have taken an interest in his care and has been able to address this.

Tragically in the case of small children and the elderly this disgraceful paper trail of misinformation means that things aren't spotted, aren't questioned and aren't treated.

The GP was happy to accept the parents word for the fact this little boy was being seen by a specialist. They never bothered to check whether this was the case. It's too easy to assume that communication is caught in a backlog of paperwork.

JakeBullet Thu 01-Aug-13 15:25:11

Yes it is crap, but this child is not the first and sadly won't be the last.

Why?

Because abusers are deceitful, conniving and utterly convincing. They will cover their tracks as much as they can and because MOST people do not treat their children in this way they are given the benefit of the doubt.

More children will die and everyone involved in those children's lives will miss the opportunities to save them because they will believe what they are being told by parents, doctors letters etc.

Can you imagine a child with a genuine metabolic issue being referred to social services because they were losing weight like this child was. The parents would be straight on here and ranting under AIBU to which they would be reassured YANBU. They would go to the press and shout loud and clear that their child is not being abused.

Because accusing a parent of abuse is awful and nobody wants to do it and make a mistake.

PeriodFeatures Thu 01-Aug-13 15:30:32

Everyone talks about "safeguarding" but it appears that they are just paying lip service to it and children are suffering either through unintentional neglect or willful cruelty

I don't understand, after the whole Baby P thing that this can still slip through the net

If you are genuinely interested OP, it is worth reading the Monroe Report.

I don't know enough about the case to comment.

PeriodFeatures Thu 01-Aug-13 15:51:00

theluckiest

Is anyone else concerned that the Every Child Matters agenda which was brought about following the equally horrific case of Victoria Climbie has been quietly scrapped, sidelined and funding pulled? OK, it wasn't perfect by any means but any scheme which attempts to implement a safety net between schools, SS and other agencies, for these incredibly vulnerable kids must be worth something surely?

Yes. I think i'd be right in saying that this has led to a return to reactive child protection culture rather than a culture of early intervention, safeguarding.

The practice that was implemented by this policy didn't even get an opportunity to become embedded. The culture of short-termism that has become the norm is the fault of the governments. No one can dig -in and do a job any more, we are all trying to navigate an ever changing political landscape an getting swallowed up by bureaucracy to focus on the job in hand.

JenaiMorris Thu 01-Aug-13 15:57:56

Are medical practitioners authorised to discuss concerns with schools? And vice versa?

Genuine question.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 17:01:46

Jake, I think that is quite a defeatest attitude. Resigning ourselves to the deaths of children by abusers is frankly not good enough. These people weren't particularly clever at covering their tracks. The Mother would give him half a sandwich for his lunch, the boy was ravenous and yet people believed the lies despite the evidence in front of them contradicting this. The woman missed 3 appointments to sort out her child's emaciation and yet no one considered that to be a concern.

gordyslovesheep Thu 01-Aug-13 17:09:00

people show a real lack of understanding of this case and of how SS work

see they can't just swoop in a take children - there has to be a legal reason to do so - in this case there wasn't - a Doctor has decided he had a genetic condition and that was why he was thin and hungry

SS and the school DID try to do something - as did the police and the health visitors

There will be a SCR and the facts will come out

Please bare in mind that services for children have taken the BRUNT of the massive local authority cuts imposed by this government - social services, Connexions, Youth Service, EWO's Parent Support Staff, TA's, Sure Start Centers etc etc - all agencies at the forefront of Safeguarding

people are trying to stop a tidal wave with a single bag of sand - it's horrible

JakeBullet Thu 01-Aug-13 17:38:15

I dont know about defeatist although I can certainly see why it might come across that way. Just realistic.

I agree though that we cannot simply say "well these things happen". It needs to be picked apart in a serious case review.

I would hate to work in child protection. ...the responsibility of knowing that one wrong decision could lead to a child being seriously injured or murdered is awful.

But as is often the issue, there will have been a catalogue of mistakes and missed opportunities.

JakeBullet Thu 01-Aug-13 17:39:42

...and totally agtee with gordys last post.

NewChoos Thu 01-Aug-13 17:48:39

Poor boy - it's heartbreaking.
I just don't understand why people do vile things like this sad

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 18:18:13

How patronising Gordy, are you suggesting that people can't have an opinion on something unless they have experienced it themselves?

Of course they did 'something' as they are duty bound to do so- it is whether enough was done. This boy had never been seen by the GP he was registered with, he'd had none of his 'injections'. When he broke his arm this information must have appeared on his medical records but no suspicions were raised. He missed 3 appointments regarding his emaciation- hardly a Mother showing great concern about her son wasting away in front of her. Wasn't this behaviour odd, raise any suspicions? The Mother told medical professions he had a rare eating disorder- why did they just take her word for it. The Mother gave him half a sandwich for his packed lunch, common sense may point to this being the cause of his low weight I.e the lack of food. He had both eyes bruised a week before he died, no written record of this was made FFS!

Of course children can't just be taken off their parents but an effective system would ensure that happened when It was essential in preventing abuse, ultimately the death of a child. Children should have the same rights of protection under the law as adults. That is not the case currently, it is barbaric!

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 01-Aug-13 18:22:54

There are a few people on here who just do not understand the constraints of the law.

Trigglesx Thu 01-Aug-13 18:33:00

Are medical practitioners authorised to discuss concerns with schools? And vice versa?

There are confidentiality issues. But personally I think that parents should be required to sign a form, when registering a child for school, giving permission for HCP to discuss a child with the school in the event of any concern for the child's wellbeing, as long as it's documented.

JakeBullet Thu 01-Aug-13 19:23:59

Where safeguarding children is concerned then information can be shared freely.

scottishmummy Thu 01-Aug-13 19:25:58

All info between mdt,local authority,gp,nhs is shared regards safeguarding

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 19:32:01

Some are complaining about cuts by this current government but other high profile cases were during the previous government. We cannot keep blaming cuts, inexperienced SW's etc. Its taking the easy option.

The fact is that this wasnt a high priority case until he was murdered by these two scum bags. It would be interesting to see what calibre of SW was asigned to this case. How much experience did they have? We cannot keep rolling out senior management saying 'lessons will be learnt' or trying to find a scapegoat SW to take the blame.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 01-Aug-13 19:44:52

"Where safeguarding children is concerned then information can be shared freely."

It can be but I'd bet a good amount of money that in this case, it really wasn't. Lack of communication between professionals is one of the common denominators in all of these tragic and preventable cases. I have read many, many serious case reviews.

scottishmummy Thu 01-Aug-13 19:46:57

Idle speculation is pointless.the scr will systematically examine evidence

kim147 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:00:53

If we were talking about a dog in such a condition, would something have happened earlier?

Lazyjaney Thu 01-Aug-13 20:07:32

Too many armchair social workers on this thread. I'd bet they'd also be the first ones shouting if SW intervened and parents were found to be innocent (plenty of those sort of threads on here) orvif SW go in heavy on spurious anonymous tipoffs (ditto).

These parents conned the doctors, they were clearly very skilled at conning many people. As to blaming teachers that's ridiculous, they are not first line here.

GameSetAndMatch Thu 01-Aug-13 20:23:54

i phoned the NSPCC directly once about something Id witnessed. their answer? it has to go through SS first.

so i phoned SS. their answer?
have i tried the NSPCC?

they were just passing the buck one to another.

phoned police -999 and they told me to phone the non-emergency number!

meanwhile i could hear the abuse through the walls, i put the phone to the wall and said this wasnt the 1st time id heasrd this.

absolute FA anyone did. police answer- ''well make a note of it and please report if you hear it again, and try SS''.

one to another.

person in question was only saved as in the end I and another neighbour phoned an ambulance. ONLY then was child taken away from ''parents''.

and of course on the news the usual standard excuse ''we were looking into it, there will be a full investigation....''. shit.

and it will happen again and again and again with STILL the standard answers.

NO excuses any more. no excuses about red tape and logging and monitoring etc etc.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 20:24:04

lazy - but the signs were there. It doesnt sound like the services were joined up. Individually it might not look suspicious but once you look at the case overall its a horrible mess.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 01-Aug-13 20:25:24

handcream Hindsight is a great thing. In isolation, all the signs were not there. Each professional saw a difference slice of the pie. I agree that information sharing was lacking.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 20:36:08

So, what are we going to do about making things more joined up. Who was looking at the whole picture? Answer - no one.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 20:43:06

Discussion Is an essential part of a democracy Scottish. This is headline news because it is astonishing that such an awful tragedy was left to unfold. It is right that people are discussing this and that this country thinks about how it wants child protection services to work. Deliberation is key to democracy, it is not 'pointless' and can continue alongside any SCR!

nancerama Thu 01-Aug-13 20:44:22

Which brings me up to my rambling post about the NHS earlier. We only have to deal with 2 teams - the consultant at the hospital and the GP and there are massive gaps in communication. Things go wrong.

Imagine how chaotic the system is with so many agencies involved. Messages not getting through. Inconsistencies arising. Does anyone notice?

As always it comes down to poor communication caused by overworked professionals with too many cases and too much paperwork.

No doubt money will be found to plough into an investigation, several reports, a token payoff or two for those at the top to depart quietly. What a shame that money couldn't have been found from the outset to pay for a few more social workers.

gordyslovesheep Thu 01-Aug-13 20:44:53

No Goldenbear I am suggesting people base their indignation on fact - surely it's better to understand how social services work before ranting that they didn't take him away?

Lazyjaney Thu 01-Aug-13 20:54:28

I suspect tibias impossible to design a systemic approach that can deal with parents both determined to abuse and kill their child, and capable of fooling all the professional services they dealt with.

The only way you could probably stop this is giving SS huge intervention rights over parents, which of course would then have most of the people on this thread frothing about interfering bureaucrats causing misery by taking kids away for false alarms.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 20:58:45

Gordy - we certainly need to understand what happened here within social services. I suspect breakdown in communication and key agencies not speaking to each other. Everyone looking at their own little bit and no one taking overall responsibility for this case

filthycute Thu 01-Aug-13 20:59:17

gamesetandmatch More courage to do what you did and push and push. All of us want to have been able to prevent this. a shared culture of non acceptance, of transparency and support. Children need to know no one thinks this is ok.

kim147 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:07:24

handcream

Wasn't that what came out of other serious case reviews in the past?

Communication.

I'm just doing some refresher training for child protection. I always get asked about it at interviews - "How do you keep a child safe?"

Can you?

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 21:12:07

I think there is quite a consensus of indignation based on the lack of intervention, communication between Actors- minimal. People are basing their arguments on what they have heard or read, this information is the basis of most peoples' knowledge on this thread unless you were personally involved with the case. Personally, I can read and decipher information to Inform my view on a news article as I'm sure a lot of people can. Equally, people are aware of the legal restrictions and are arguing for changes in CP, a complete overhaul.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:12:40

Kim - sorry I am not sure I understand the comment 'Can you?'

I am trying to make the point that there are always comments such as 'lessons learnt' etc. There is something seriously wrong here. People blaming underfunding and the lastest government. Do you really think throwing money at this problem will resolve it or do we need to start to become more joined up.

An agency perhaps overseeing a case that over arches ALL agencies, police, medical profession etc and can take responsibility having all the facts from all the depts involved.

Goldenbear Thu 01-Aug-13 21:17:51

LazeyJaney what do you base your impossibility predictions on? Is it because this country is such a leader in CP that we cannot further improve our exemplar practices?

kim147 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:24:41

handcream

Sorry - that's a response to the interview question "How do you keep a child safe?" with the response "Can you?"

I'd like to think that there are many children who are being kept safe due to intervention work and because someone said something.

Unfortunately, in this area,mistakes cost lives.

And as usual, lessons will be learnt. The same ones we probably already know.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:38:23

Phew, I thought you were asking me to safeguard all children.

I dont work in SS but do have two children. I do really think that the agencies arent joined up. They have some 'concerns' but not enough to intervene, however looking at the whole case might well make someone come to a very different conclusion.

I might get flamed but for me these are the red flags

1. Mother who is always trying to explain brusies and weight loss to everyone who asks. Defensive and has a ready answer for everything. The jury saw right through her.

2. Son has poor attendance at school. When he is there he is found searching the bins

3. Single mother (I know flame me!) with skanky boyfriend who I believe was wanted in Poland for other crimes and someone correct me if I am wrong worked as a prositute. Why wasnt that flagged? Birth father showing no interest but quick to blame what has happened on others. Did he not see Daniel at all? Did he not wonder why he was so frail and underweight.

4. Refusual by family to allow Daniel to be seen when visited at home. Can you imagine where they locked him to ensure he wasnt available?

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:43:31

Its interesting as well. Apparently the mother and her boyfriend needed translators as did the father when he spoke. Not sure why as they have been in the UK for a number of years. Why do people move to a country and make no real effort to learn a language. Surely you cannot get by without knowing it let alone get a job.

Lazyjaney Thu 01-Aug-13 21:43:36

Lazyjaney what do you base your impossibility predictions on? Is it because this country is such a leader in CP that we cannot further improve our exemplar practices?

How many kids are under great threat every year do you think? How foolproof would a system have to be to have no one falling through the cracks? If a system is 99.9% foolproof (very high level for dealing with people) then you need only 1000 kids being very badly parented to get one of these cases a year. We have c 15 m kids in the UK.

ChristineDaae Thu 01-Aug-13 21:44:06

Haven't read the whole thread, but on sky news there is an article from this disgrace of a woman's mother defending her and blaming social services for failing 'the test'
Clearly a deluded family

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:47:40

Apparently when they were in court they seemed accepting of what had happened. Lets wait for GM claiming her daughter is a victim and was made to do it by her wicked boyfriend.

I would be storming into this family and seeing what is going on when they blame a crime as wicked and violent as this on SS. What is going on within the extended family. Another red flag I think if they think this is normal behaviour to be blamed on others.

gordyslovesheep Thu 01-Aug-13 21:51:46

I think if you read it as 'blaming the current government' you have misread my post - under funding of agencies for children and families is ONE undeniable issue - it is not the only one

Your information held by public bodies is subject to data protection...yes in an actual safeguarding concern situation that is overridden - but if you have niggly worries and a need to find information (such as a new social housing address for a missing young person) you will struggle to access that

People don't share - often people don't even record information accurately, often people forget, make mistakes etc

BUT if you have one person investigating 12 cases or one person dealing with 40 ...you can see which might miss something - a social worker I know has recently had this happen due to redundancies and cut backs - so you also can't escape the FACTS that most of the local funding cuts have impacted on children, young people, the elderly and families - making safeguarding a LOT harder

earlier intervention would be better - for all families - but that cost money

ChristineDaae Thu 01-Aug-13 21:53:58

Hand cream that's exactly what she's done!

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:09

I dont necessarily agree that giving unlimied amounts of money will change the outcome. Its the way these cases are investigated and the way agencies work on their own that's the issue. No one had the overall story.

When money was being poured into government agencies it wasnt any better.

handcream Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:33

Christine - oh God! I was just guessing. This family needs a urgent review if they think this is normal behaviour. They are also Polish which does surprise me tbh. I have a Polish friend and they pride themselves on being family oriented and really quite traditional in their views.

People can do bad things whatever their nationality.

handcream Fri 02-Aug-13 09:40:24

I agree Northern but I am wondering why they clearly had poor English, the birth father on TV spoke in Polish after they had been in the UK for a number of years

handcream Fri 02-Aug-13 09:41:01

Also wondering if the man was wanted in Poland for some crimes why he was allowed to leave and come to the UK.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Fri 02-Aug-13 10:23:26

I don't understand people saying "the jury saw right through her" - at that point, Daniel was dead and police had spent months building the case. Very different situation.

sashh Fri 02-Aug-13 10:55:43

I heard on the Radio that he had TWO black eyes a week before his death and the TA described him as looking very thin so why was the action taken so minimal?

How many times on here have there been posts saying 'AIBU to be furious with the school for giving my child (insert nuts, chocolate, meat, fruit shoot etc).

Or complaints about children being weighed?

Teachers can only do so much.

How many parents saw him at drop of and pick up time?

Apparently the mother and her boyfriend needed translators as did the father when he spoke.

It is a right in English law that you can present evidence in your first language. Few Welsh speakers can't communicate in English but they can give evidence in Welsh in an English court.

handcream Fri 02-Aug-13 11:07:50

Sashh - I didnt realise that re translators. Thank you for the clarification.

Black eyes, how awful. Surely to God someone should have realised. I know I am looking for someone to blame. I am sorry. I just dont understand how a young boy had two black eyes and nothing was done. What on earth have those scum been doing to that poor boy.

For me its the pictures of him at school, smiling for the camera. What on earth was his short life like? And he managed a smile. Makes me want to cry.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Fri 02-Aug-13 11:27:28

A week is not a long time. From the news is seems like this happened over the course of six months, I can easily see how it slipped through the net when you consider how long it takes to get the wheels of beauroracy moving and even for teachers etc to see a pattern.

Goldenbear Fri 02-Aug-13 15:12:20

Sash, how many times do we see on here a thread complaining that a teacher is interfering because they have shown concern over their child who is very underweight and only fed half a sandwich for packed lunch, is emptying the contents of bins to satisfy that hunger and has quite a lot of bruising in unlikely places including two black eyes. You simply don't read anything like that on here and I for one have only ever read about people not wanting their children to be weighed because they're a bit chubby. Or the results have come back from a weighing exercise and someone's child is considered obese. The poster asking for reassurance about this from others. I have not once read my child is very underweight, I give him half a sandwich for lunch but they're quering my motivation behind this considering his weight.

HopALongOn, exactly there were previous concerns for this child, the weight issue was not appearing to improve, he was looking in bins for food and yet he turns up to school with bruising on his neck and two black eyes and nothing is recorded the day this occurs. Is it usual practice then to wait for a period of time to pass until such an incident would be recorded- I don't think so is the answer to that.

People who think Daniel was failed by apparent 'child services' are asking why- with so many indicators of abuse this child was let down. I cannot believe people are essentially arguing that nothing could've been done better- are you kidding?

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 02-Aug-13 15:30:12

Goldenbear You seem to be (purposely?) misunderstanding. The issue was that information was not correctly shared and communicated effectively, thus each professional involved did not see the whole picture, rather glimpses of it. From what I've seen, most people are agreeing that there needs to be a better approach to joined up to with safeguarding cases.

wannaBe Fri 02-Aug-13 16:16:40

At the end of the day, the people responsible for this child's death were his mother and stepfather. And in truth, if you had a previously healthy happy child who appeared to deteriorate would you automatically assume abuse? esp given there was another sibling who was in good health? It's very easy to sit on the sidelines and look at the evidence, evidence gathered after the murder and the criminal investigation, and say that someone should have seen/noticed something and done something.

The first time Daniel presented with a broken arm he was apparently a happy chubby child, no-one could have predicted at that point that he would be starved. And in truth he wasn't starved to death, yes he was emaciated and this should not be discounted, but starvation was not the cause of his death, so while it's easy to sit here and say that a child was being starved to death, in fact it's the wider abuse that was the issue here.

The people responsible here are the parents. On the whole I am not an advocate of the death penalty, but I think there are some exceptions...

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