Victoria Climbie an 8 year old from Ivory Coast who moved to London from France with her great aunt Marie Therese Kouao in the year 1999 was pronounced dead on 25th February 2000. She was admitted to St. Mary’s hospital in London with multi organ failure, hypothermia and had…
had been referred to and made public to the “Housing authorities, two child protection teams of the Metropolitan police force (MPS), a specialist centre managed by the NSPCC and she was admitted to two separate hospitals” (Lord Laming Report 2003, p.1.16)
This article examines the system based on the report published by Lord Laming in 2003, and evaluates the role of the individual and the social system in safeguarding children from child abuse. The object is to establish the moral responsibility of every individual in the child-care system and create awareness. The article focuses on factors on the agency and individual level that are deemed key to avert tragedies such as this from happening in the future.
The handling of the case by the Haringey social services and the NSPCC has been under heavy criticism and called a “gross failure” of the system in protecting a young life from abuse by her caretakers. The role of local authorities is to provide support, care and offer guidance to children under 18 in need of care in the area. It is their duty to assign cases that are brought to their attention to the respective agencies and place them into a “child protection register”. In this event the Local authorities outline all disciplinary and inter-agency policies to be implemented by the agencies. Research has shown that multiagency working is more pronounced during the early stages of the case while making enquiries and “less pronounced and apparent in implementing action plans” (Chahal and Coleman 2003, p.39). Agencies that handle the cases from the Local authorities work on the brief give to them. Therefore it is imperative that professionals from both Local and Agency levels communicate effectively. In Victoria Climbie’s case there was evidence that the front line staff that received her case were not kept up to date on the guidelines as outlined by the Children Act of 1989. The procedure books made available to them were not up to date on the ...
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