1,400 at risk children 'are not safe' in Birmingham

Keanu Williams was beaten to death by his mother. Photo: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

There are 1,400 children deemed to be at risk who are not safe in Britain's second largest city because the council is unable to "guarantee the standard of safeguarding work", the head of children's services in Birmingham admitted to ITV News.

The shocking admission comes after a damning report into the death of two-year-old Keanu Williams, who was beaten to death by his mother, found he became "invisible" to the authorities in Birmingham.

A serious case review into the murder of Keanu concluded that professionals involved in his care failed to meet even basic standards of good practice.

The independent report, published today by Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board, said child protection workers in various agencies "collectively failed" to prevent Keanu's death.

Keanu, who was born in Torbay, died in Birmingham in January 2011 after suffering a skull fracture and a severe abdominal injury at the hands of Rebecca Shuttleworth.

Keanu Williams suffered at least 37 injuries, including a skull fracture and a massive tear in his stomach. Credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

Shuttleworth, formerly of Hay Mills, Birmingham, was jailed for life in June after a near-six-month trial heard her son suffered at least 37 injuries.

Rebecca Shuttleworth was jailed for life in June after a near-six-month trial. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Making eight recommendations to the organisations involved in Keanu's care, the review's author said various agencies were guilty of a "loss of focus" after a core assessment made shortly before the toddler's first birthday.

The main finding of the review overview report was that professionals in the various agencies involved ... collectively failed to prevent Keanu's death as they missed a significant number of opportunities to intervene and take action.

They did not meet the standards of basic good practice when they should have reported their concerns, shared and analysed information and followed established procedures.

The serious case review panel was in agreement that Keanu's death could not have been predicted.

However, in view of the background history of Rebecca Shuttleworth... it could have been predicted that Keanu was likely to suffer significant harm and should have been subject of a child protection plan on at least two occasions to address issues of neglect and physical harm.

Dan Rivers reports from Birmingham:

Excuses given to health professionals by Shuttleworth after incidents of abuse, including a radiator burn to his foot, were not credible, the review found.

The 182-page report said:

Keanu experienced a number of presentations to hospital and to the GP, which were all explained by Shuttleworth as bumps and falls due to unsteadiness.

The last hospital presentation involved a child protection medical assessment which was not undertaken in accordance with good practice standards.

The last hospital presentation involved a child protection medical assessment which was not undertaken in accordance with good practice standards.

Keanu was returned to Shuttleworth's care with a burn to his foot believed to have been caused accidentally by a hot radiator.

"Based on the medical evidence, this conclusion was mistaken and therefore Shuttleworth's description on the 'accident' was not deemed credible."