Issued on behalf of the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board
Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board has today (Wednesday 7 December) published a serious case review report relating to a family, where neglect and emotional abuse was evident over a number of years.
The independent review relates to ‘Family HJ’ and concerns around neglect and possible physical abuse of a number of young children within the family. The review was completed in light of concerns that agencies could have responded more quickly and effectively to signs of neglect and abuse. As a result, the children suffered significant harm for a number of years, while in the care of their parents. This may have a negative impact on their longer term health and development.
Sally Halls, Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board independent chair, said: “This independent report identifies a number of learning points. It provides a firm base for practitioners and managers to learn from and develop practice to ensure that cases of childhood neglect are identified promptly and responded to effectively. This will be underpinned by a comprehensive and robust Child Neglect Strategy within Herefordshire.
“This was a challenging situation. The way professionals responded to the family’s ethnicity and culture and the complexities of the children’s disabilities, combined in a way which made it difficult for the level of neglect to be clearly identified and acknowledged. That said, those with responsibility for protecting children from harm must have the necessary knowledge, skills, confidence, experience and resources to achieve this. This is particularly important when working with children with disabilities in complex family settings, as it is well recognised that they can be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
“I am reassured that the agencies involved have fully accepted that there were times when their practice fell short of the high standards we would expect. They are working hard to improve their approaches to identifying situations where children and young people are being neglected, and the way they work individually and collectively with families to address concerns.
“These improvements are being supported by the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board through the provision of multi-agency training to practitioners within the county.
“Whilst there was some good practice by agencies identified, the board and I are clear that there is no room for complacency. We will be rigorous in ensuring improvements are made and are leading to better and improved outcomes for children and young people.”
To read the full report, please visit the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board website.
If you believe a child is being neglected or abused, please call 01432 260800 or visit www.herefordshiresafeguardingboards.org.uk.