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(85 Posts)
NAB09 Sat 07-Feb-09 16:08:23


edam Sat 07-Feb-09 16:09:52

She really doesn't lose an opportunity to confirm her astonishing lack of judgment and self-awareness, does she?

NAB09 Sat 07-Feb-09 16:11:18

I know

Did she really just say she didn't know about baby P?

donnie Sat 07-Feb-09 16:25:20

she is in the guardian today as well. I don't know what to think of her but I do agree that on the whole Social Services has suffered and been demonised to a point where noone would want to enter the profession.

I am listening to the int at the moment - I ust don't know what to think tbh.

Winehouse Sat 07-Feb-09 16:28:54

I think she may well be an arrogant woman, but she is not responsible for the death of that child, imo. It sounds as though all the organisations involved failed to act and let's face it, if a parent is determined to kill their child, they will succeed.

spicemonster Sat 07-Feb-09 16:31:27

How she can justify giving that little boy back to his mother when she had been charged with abusing him is beyond belief. I don't care if the charges were subsequently dropped, it's immaterial.

Winehouse Sat 07-Feb-09 16:34:56

But Social Workers are damned whatever they do, it seems to me. If they had taken him away from his mother even when charges had been dropped people would be up in arms about that as well.

This woman, whatever she is like as a person, is being held responsible for a whole range of people's failings.

spicemonster Sat 07-Feb-09 16:39:01

I agree that they get a hard time of it. But do you not think ss should take a child into care if there is an outstanding prosection for child abuse against their parent? I find that shocking.

She isn't a social worker incidentally, she has no formal training in social work.

spicemonster Sat 07-Feb-09 16:39:17

prosecution even.

edam Sat 07-Feb-09 17:08:16

and that's one of the key problems - the reforms after the Laming report into poor Victoria Climbie's death mean you have people with no knowledge of social work suddenly heading up the departments with the power to take children into care, or have adults sectioned. Madness.

pinkteddy Sat 07-Feb-09 17:12:34

I read the article in the Guardian today. I can't believe the Sun published Haringey staff phone numbers in the papers (including Shoesmith)and told their readers to phone them. How they get away with this kind of reporting is beyond me.

grouchyoscar Sat 07-Feb-09 17:12:56

I've given the programme a listen to with interest and (please flame me if I'm wrong) even though I approached it with an open mind I don't feel that she did herself any favours.

I appreciate she has had a terrible time of it. but she came across as a pen pushing rubber stamper and very guilty of buck passing. She was awfully 'it wasn't my fault' and 'why me? Poor me' In the end I ended up with my flesh crawling feeling 'yeah, and a toddler died on your watch'

Did I miss something?

AccidentalMum Sat 07-Feb-09 17:15:40

Ditto OP here.

elliott Sat 07-Feb-09 17:15:48

Yes but she also pointed out that if directors resigned every time a child was killed on their patch then we would lose a third of them every year.
I didn't hear the interview but did read the guardian interview and found it very persuasive.

MrsMattie Sat 07-Feb-09 17:18:02

She should be ashamed of herself. I cannot bear to listen to her.

nancy75 Sat 07-Feb-09 17:19:29

i think the whole way this was handled was disgusting. she may have been negligable, she may have deserved to be sacked (i didnt read about it in the papers i dont know). but if she deserved to be sacked it should have been because she didnt do her job, not because the sun newspaper was baying for blood, which, as far as i can see is what happened

pinkteddy Sat 07-Feb-09 17:22:04

Agree nancy.

grouchyoscar Sat 07-Feb-09 17:22:25

I've done child protection training myself and tho at my lowly level I know that if you suspect abuse you report it and document it then chase it up. There must have been something the head of a department should/must be able to do

MrsMattie Sat 07-Feb-09 17:22:35

She failed to take any responsibility for the death of a child on her patch. She didn't simply 'not resign' - she shirked all responsibility for it, for the complete failure of her staff to act when they should and could have on numerous occasions.

She is self serving and unprofessional, imo. I have absolutely no sympathy for her.

pinkteddy Sat 07-Feb-09 17:28:39

But grouchy they were totally fooled by the mother - they were checking regularly - they had no idea the woman had two men in the flat - the mother was taking the child willingly to medical appointments - the swelling on baby p's head was diagnosed meningitis. And don't forget the dr that failed to diagnose a broken back. The day before he died police were called and said there was no evidence to press charges! This was multiple failing across agencies.

grouchyoscar Sat 07-Feb-09 17:32:19

Thanks Pinkted, I thought I may have missed something fundamental

dittany Sat 07-Feb-09 17:39:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Sat 07-Feb-09 18:48:45

pinkteddy - there was indeed a shocking catalogue of failures by everyone involved in this case, not just SS. But that does not mean Shoesmith is blameless.

HER pathetic behaviour took the heat off the other culpable parties, though, sadly, so we the public don't know what Great Ormond Street have done to sort themselves out, for instance (although I think the doc who ignored the broken back was up before the GMC).

My godmother is a retired head of social services. She despairs at what passes for social work today. She knew ALL her team and made damn sure anyone could come to see her if there was a problem. She is horrified at the suicides in young offenders' institutions, too - in her day there were approved schools (borstals) and she never, ever, had even one child attempt to kill themselves. They were looked after.

spicemonster Sat 07-Feb-09 18:54:45

That's the whole point though pinkteddy - they shouldn't have been totally fooled - the mother had already been charged with child abuse so you would have thought that if they weren't going to take him into care, they would have been keeping an extremely close eye on him. I'm sorry to keep going on about this but I didn't know that before (found the entire thing way too distressing to read about at the time).

And she should have stepped down - bloody hell if Edwina Currie resigned over salmonella, Shoesmith should have stood down over Baby P

violethill Sat 07-Feb-09 18:57:57

I agree with the post which said social workers tend to be damned if they do and damned if they don't.

No way would I do it as a job - I honestly think you're put in a no win situation and scapegoated for other people's wrongdoing.

Let's be clear about this - guilt for killing BabyP lies with those who abused him and inflicted the horrific injuries and any other adults living under that roof who knew what was happening.

There may well be some level of failure in responsibility for protecting BabyP - and of course it's right that it's investigated thoroughly. But guilt lies with those who chose to kill the child.

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