– Chris Cook, Chair of the Lincolnshire Children's Safeguarding Board
This report shows how important it is for front line practitioners to make sound judgements. Flawed decisions such as the ones outlined in this case are extremely rare. This case is not representative of Lincolnshire's safeguarding arrangements. Safeguarding children is complex work and robust professional challenge is fundamental in minimising risk.
It is important that we undertake reviews of this nature and look for areas for improvement. Each time, services are improved and children's lives are made safer.
We fully accept the findings of this report. A social worker involved with this family failed to properly consider the risks posed by the parents and they should have taken more account of historic information about one of the parents. The social worker believed the parents could look after the twins in the community with support from a range of agencies. This was an error in judgement that put the children at risk of harm and in fact, the children should have been made subject to court proceedings and a recommendation to Court that they be removed at birth.
There was also a lack of curiosity and challenge from other professionals and agencies to the plan put forward by the social worker. However, ultimately as lead agency for child protection, Lincolnshire Children's Services takes responsibility.
– Debbie Barnes, Director of Children’s Services
I want to reassure the public that this single error of judgement is not representative of social work practice in Lincolnshire. Since being appointed Director of Children's Services, I have undertaken extensive audits of our safeguarding arrangements. I have also invited a nearby authority to carry out a safeguarding assurance visit and they as well as ourselves are satisfied that safeguarding arrangements are effective. All Lincolnshire agencies are highly committed and motivated to safeguarding children in the county.