herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Social workers in Baby P horror can work again

Two social workers who admitted a string of failings in their care of Baby Peter will be free to return to work within months after they escaped being struck off today.

A disciplinary panel, which heard that 17-month-old Peter Connelly might still be alive if Maria Ward and Gillie Christou had done their jobs properly, suspended Ward for two months and Christou, her team manager at Haringey social services, for four.



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But the General Social Care Council (GSCC) committee ruled that they should not be removed from the social care register, arguing that this would be a disproportionate reaction to their mistakes.

Ms Ward (40) and Ms Christou (52) admitted failing to ensure the little boy was visited regularly enough, losing contact with him for a time and not keeping adequate records. Peter Connelly -- known as Baby P -- died in his blood-spattered cot in Tottenham, north London, on August 3, 2007.

He had suffered more than 50 injuries despite being on Haringey Council's at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over eight months.

His mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker, and his brother, Jason Owen, were jailed in May last year for causing or allowing Peter's death.

Ms Ward was Peter's nominated social worker from February 2007 until his death, and Ms Christou was her team manager.

But their efforts were "ill-focused, naive and inadequate" and they failed to spot the signs that the toddler was suffering abuse, a GSCC conduct committee hearing in London was told.

hnews@herald.ie

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