Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Middlesbrough council 'failed' abuse victim

Middlesbrough Council's Gill Rollings said chances to support the boy were missed

A Teesside council has apologised for failing to identify that a teenage boy with serious health problems was being abused at home.

The boy moved to Teesside in 2005, but missed 18 medical appointments over the next three years.

He was admitted to hospital in 2008 with 28 bruises to his body at which point social workers were told.

But a serious case review found Middlesbrough council failed to act promptly enough.

The boy, known as K, is now 18 years old.

We regret that this child's predicament was not identified or dealt with at an earlier stage
Gill Rollings, Middlesbrough Council

The review found that although there was a history of child abuse in the boy's family, his situation was not investigated until he was forced to seek help from a neighbour in August 2008.

The review, which was ordered by the South Tees Local Safeguarding Children's Board, said although procedures were followed "to some extent" the council's application was "haphazard."

It has recommended the authority improve its information sharing and that police and health officials have a better understanding of domestic violence issues.

Gill Rollings, Middlesbrough Council's executive director of children, families and learning, said: "We regret that this child's predicament was not identified or dealt with at an earlier stage.

"The purpose of this impartial and thorough review has been to establish where shortcomings exist in the services we provide, both as an authority and in partnership with other agencies, and ensure they are addressed.

"We fully support all the recommendations in the report and these have all either been implemented or will be put into place in due course."

Mike Carr, the council's executive member for children, families and learning, added: "We are concerned at any situation in which a child suffers, particularly at the hand of a close relative, and we do all in our power to ensure that does not happen.

"Safeguarding is a vital part of the work we do, with partners, and this case will ensure our procedures are stronger and more transparent in future."

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