To undertake a comprehensive and independent top-down review of UK Social Services.

To undertake a comprehensive and independent top-down review of UK Social Services.

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Adam Cartlidge started this petition to UK Parliament

To undertake a comprehensive and independent top-down review of UK Social Services with the specific aim of eradicating the continual systematic failures that keep allowing innocent children to be abused and consequently die, whilst also trying to identify what is fundamentally wrong with the whole of UK Social Services, not just for the UK Government to investigate the individual failures that have ultimately failed to prevent the needless death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and previously Baby P and numerous other tragic cases. 

Whilst the Government has announced that the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will investigate what went wrong in Solihull and then try to implement lessons learned across the UK, this doesn't go far enough for me. There needs to be a comprehensive top-down review of the whole of the UK Social Services infrastructure covering fundamental key factors such as:

  • Why isn't Social Services funded sufficiently, this seems to be the single core issue that sits at the very heart of the numerous systematic Social Services failings?
  • Why is there such a lack of Social Workers at a time when they are required more than ever and what can be done to improve recruitment as many Social Workers are leaving the profession through sheer exhaustion due to having to manage up to 40 cases of potential child abuse at any one time? Social Workers are absolutely vital and provide the first and only line of defence between a child and potential abuser, the remuneration they receive needs to reflect the necessity of the work they undertake in the community
  • Has each Social Worker received the appropriate level of training to correctly judge a given situation? Adequate training needs to be a key investment area going forward
  • Do Social Workers have sufficient powers to enter a property without the consent of the carer, if a child is known to be at risk and to talk to a potential victim privately without the potential abuser being present and coercing the victim, as quite often the Social Worker talks directly to the abuser and is then deceived into believing the child is safe and well cared for, when in fact the opposite is true?
  • So many times, we have seen that the same Social Worker doesn’t see an individual case through to a satisfactory conclusion for the potential victim, with multiple different Social Workers visiting the victim over time, resulting in a lack of trust from the victim, due to a lack of a relationship with a single Social Worker and a lack of continuity and understanding of the child in question and the circumstances they face. This can only improve with a reduction in cases allocated to each Social Worker, so that the same Social Worker visits the same victim each time, to build trust and to monitor any significant changes in behaviour and demeanor since their last visit
  • Why Social Workers only seem to intervene and remove a child from an unsafe environment once it has become severely toxic, if there are any significant concerns for a child's safety, the child should be removed immediately, pending further investigation?
  • Social Workers have reported that they have identified a child that is being abused, but they either haven't been able to convince the police to intervene, which they require as they do not have the power themselves to remove a child on their own, or the time taken to produce the documentation required to remove the child has taken so long that it has led to the child being left in serious danger for an unacceptable period of time, if we trust Social Worker's to make a judgment call on a child's safety, then we need to give them the powers to act themselves unhindered on that judgement
  • Whether increased workloads due to a lack of Social Workers is leading to needless individual errors in judgement?
  • Why caseloads for Social Workers are so high, with a single Social Worker having to manage up to 40 cases at a time, rather than the previous levels of circa 17 cases, culminating in insufficient time with each potential victim and ultimately resulting in misjudgments relating to the child's safety due to a lack of discussion and interaction with the victim? Social Workers are also finding that managing such large case numbers means they have to travel long distances to see all of the potential victims, leaving insufficient time to discuss the welfare of the victim, before travelling to the next case
  • Why hasn't the UK Government invested sufficient time, money and resources into implementing the recommendations identified from previous Government reviews of cases where children had died as a result of insufficient action and systemic failures of Social Services?
  • What can be done to reduce the bureaucracy, red tape and antiquated processes and frameworks, that results in Social Workers spending more than 50% of their time filling out documentation, rather than visiting potential victims of child abuse? 
  • Why aren't Social Workers all issued with body cameras, similar to those utilised by the emergency services, body cameras would allow them to record real-time evidence, assisting with convictions, but also allow for an independent review of the footage, where Social Services have failed to act to save a vulnerable child?
  • Fundamentally, why previous Government reviews and the resulting implemented recommendations have again failed to prevent another needless death of an innocent child?

Thank you very much for your support, it is so very much appreciated, we owe it to Arthur, Star, Baby P and the many other beautiful children lost to systemic child abuse in this country, to stamp out child abuse in all its forms once and for all. Together we can give these children a voice and force major change and ensure these tragic incidents never happen again.

540 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!