Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Workers 'support Baby P sackings'

Baby P
Baby P was repeatedly injured despite many visits by the authorities

Eight out of 10 social workers who responded to a poll think new managers should be brought in at Haringey Council in the wake of Baby P's death.

The Community Care website survey also found 86% of 250 respondents felt that the case of Baby P reflected wider childcare protection problems.

He died in the London borough, despite being seen more than 60 times by social workers, doctors and welfare groups.

The council said it was "co-operating fully" with a government review.

On Tuesday the leader of Haringey Council, George Meehan, apologised for the 17-month-old baby's death.

Community Care is a website and magazine for people working in the social care sector, at all levels of seniority.

Its readers' poll found that 79% of respondents felt new managers should be brought in at Haringey Council following the Baby P case.

It found that 53% believed doctors should be fired over the case and four out of 10 called for Haringey's director of children's services, Sharon Shoesmith, to be replaced.


Haringey Council has come under intense pressure to review its social service procedures in light of the case.

The Liberal Democrats have called for the resignation of Mr Meehan, who admitted there had been failure "by all the agencies involved".

Children's Minister Ed Balls has sent inspectors to the council, who are due to report back to the Department for Children, Schools and Families in two weeks.

A spokesman for Haringey Council said: "A government review is under way and we are co-operating fully. This will report back shortly."

Baby P died in a bloodstained cot on 3 August last year.

He had suffered more than 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and a lodger. They will be sentenced next month.

The Community Care survey also found more than 40% of respondents felt media coverage of the Baby P case had made it more difficult for them to do their job.

George Meehan, Leader of Haringey Council
Council leader George Meehan has apologised over Baby P's death

Deputy editor Emma Maier said the poll's findings reflected serious concerns within the profession.

"The general feeling is that the Baby P case reflects wider problems in social care, despite reassurances otherwise from the Association of Directors of Children's Services," she said.

Many of those who responded said they believed the case highlighted "unrealistic" caseloads, too much paperwork, a lack of social workers, as well as inadequate training and supervision.

Respondents were also angered by "demonisation" of social workers and expressed concern that media coverage would lead to further recruitment problems.

But many social workers said they were reluctant to pass judgement until they had seen the north London council's full report of the serious case review, Ms Maier said.

"They want to find out more so they can really tackle and engage with the issues that arise from this case."

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