I think we'll be hearing the 'Lessons will be learn' mantra over the next few months

  Forum Editor 23:03 02 Aug 2013
Locked

as facts about this case emerge

For me, one of the most telling comments was made by Nushra Mansuri, from the British Association of Social Workers who said "There are very few words we can use to describe his [Daniel's] experience.....The next stage will be the case review, when we may get details on what was missed by agencies and this will be critical.....I wish that we could have a completely infallible system but that is not possible....We can look at cases like Daniel's, but we cannot give a cast-iron guarantee that mistakes will never be made."

I wonder how the people who suspected that Daniel was being abused, but did nothing, feel, now that he's dead. I wonder how difficult it is to devise a system that fails safe, and enables school teachers, neighbours, and others to voice their doubts in a way that triggers highly trained people to investigate rapidly. I'm sure the answer is that it's pretty easy, once the resources are forthcoming. Like many other things it will come down to money, but surely there can be few more important things for society to do than keep its children safe from such appalling abuse? Very young children are helpless in the face of such brutality, so shouldn't we be protecting them in a more robust fashion?

We seem to say all the right words each time it happens, but we don't follow up with action. I know that there are very many hard-working, conscientious, caring social workers doing their best in the face of budget cuts, and I think we're lucky to have them. We need to do much more, however........ don't we?

  rdave13 00:12 03 Aug 2013

Yes. Listening on radio 4 tonight, on the way home, listeners were warned on the 'graphic' details the Judge's summoning up of the trial. I had to turn off the radio.

  Forum Editor 00:59 03 Aug 2013

rdave13

You're not alone - my wife is no stranger to hearing about the darker sides of human nature, but she just couldn't handle the TV news information, she had to leave the room.

I think most people experience feelings of intense anger when these cases come to light. It's almost impossible to believe that adult people could treat a young child so brutally, yet it happens repeatedly. I'm sure it has always happened, but in 2013 I would have thought we could do much better than say over and over again that 'lessons will be learnt'.

The Judge said that she had not seen "a single sign of genuine remorse" at any stage during the trial from either of the defendants. There was no sign of it, either, as they were taken down to the cells. I hope that the full horror of what they did will begin to haunt them in the months and years to come.

  N47. 01:01 03 Aug 2013

What lessons were learnt and action taken over baby P and many others before them.

  Forum Editor 01:23 03 Aug 2013

N47.

"What lessons were learnt and action taken over baby P and many others before them."

Exactly. I heard someone on the radio saying that there are likely to be other cases because Social Services are experiencing such a serious funding crisis. Lessons being learnt are not much good if the people who learn them don't have the resources to translate them into action.

  rdave13 01:27 03 Aug 2013

Forum Editor

and they will serve a "minimum" of thirty years in gaol.

Not good enough in my humble oppinion. They should be there for life.

  Forum Editor 01:30 03 Aug 2013

rdave13

Don't forget that in 30 years time they will have to apply for release - it isn't going to be automatic. A good deal will depend on their attitude and conduct in prison.

Don't you ever sleep? I'm off to bed.

  rdave13 01:34 03 Aug 2013

Forum Editor , "Don't you ever sleep?",

Only when I can afford to.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:01 03 Aug 2013

Lets not get carried away with using budget cuts as justification for people just not doing there jobs. We have had these stories all to often in my lifetime and we have always 'Lessons will be learnt' mantra. Lessons are invariably not learnt then the politicians,to placate the angry public set up inquiry and then promptly ignore virtually all recommendations which come as a result of the inquiry.

So many people must have seen the evidence with their own eyes that things were not right with this young boy and either did nothing or did very little but look to blame any and everything except their own failings.

Yet no heads will roll, no responsibility apportioned, a minor cog might get a slapped wrist but nothing more. Time and time again we have seen taking responsibility for your actions particularly within public service is not a requirement of your job. And the more senior you are this policy of denial of any responsibility becomes almost part of their job description.

No doubt over the next few days/weeks there will be much wringing of hands and wagging of fingers not to mention those trying to make political capital out of a terrible situation.

Such a sad ending for a sad and oh so short life.

  Forum Editor 10:20 03 Aug 2013

Chronos the 2nd

I think you've identified the critical failing in the current system - it's a lack of accountability. In the Commercial world people are, broadly speaking, accountable for the mistakes they make because it's so easy to identify who is actually to blame when something goes wrong.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but if they can be rapidly detected and acted upon the damage can usually be limited. The person concerned can be re-trained if necessary, or the system adapted to make a particular mistake less likely - the process goes on in thousands of businesses on a daily basis. That it does is because there's a bottom line involved, and business management teams are less likely to lose sight of the ball. If you drop a clanger in a commercial context the repercussions are usually pretty immediate.

In the public sector there's no commercial pressure in that sense - the business rolls on, regardless of failures on the part of its employees because customers generally can't go elsewhere.

What's needed is more accountability right through the organisations, so it can work proactively, rather than - as in this case - re-actively, after the event. All the rigorous inquiries and lesson-learning in the world aren't going to bring Daniel back to life.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:34 03 Aug 2013

I don't think for one minute that we can hold the commercial world as a shining example of accountability or the acceptance of responsibility, even to use your words of 'broadly speaking.'

We only have to look at the banking profession, the newspapers the hundred or so blue chip companies,currently unknown for some reason, who have employed dodgy private eyes for some very dodgy jobs. I very much doubt there will be a rush for anyone hold their hands up and accept responsibility.

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