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Birmingham MP on Keanu death: 'We must change now'

Liam Nolan, MP for Hodge Hill, has said today's report is 'one more alarm bell'. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Birmingham MP has has said he hopes that Keanu Williams 'did not die in vain'.

A serious case review published today has said that the toddler was beaten to death by his mother and became an "invisible child".

"As a city I believe we must know now where the buck will stop, not just in the City Council, but in our city’s National Health Service, which saw a badly injured little boy.

"As a city, we must resolve today that this poor little boy did not die in vain.

"We must change and change now."

'Not enough social workers' at B'ham Children's Services

More than ten social workers and health workers have been sacked or disciplined over the death of a two-year-old boy.

Keanu Williams was beaten to death by his mother Rebecca Shuttleworth and jailed for 18 years.

A serious case review into Keanu's death found that social workers, police, hospital staff and nursery workers did not swop information and missed signs that Keanu was being abused.

Peter Hay from Birmingham Children's Services said the service does not have enough social workers.

National

Birmingham children's services warned after Keanu case

The Government has threatened Birmingham's under-fire childcare agencies with further action unless it sees rapid improvements in services.

Commenting on the findings of the report into toddler Keanu Williams' murder, Children's Minister Edward Timpson said, "This is an awful case and the Serious Case Review (SCR) shows that improvements are urgently needed."

Children's Minister Edward Timpson.
Children's Minister Edward Timpson. Credit: ITV News

He continued: "I have issued the council with a final warning - Ofsted will return to Birmingham this autumn to determine what progress has been made.

"There is no quick fix, however I have been very clear with Birmingham that unless I see rapid improvement further action will follow."

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'Very deep regret' expressed on behalf of agencies

The independent chair of Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), which published the report into Keanu Williams' death, has expressed "very deep regret" on behalf of all the agencies involved.

We apologise unequivocally for what were totally unacceptable and unnecessary failures, both collectively and individually, in every organisation which had contact with Keanu.

No one walked in his shoes. Staff were distracted by his mother's needs and by taking what she was telling them at face value.

– Independent chair of BSCB Jane Held

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Panel: Toddler's death 'could not have been predicted'

The panel conducting the Serious Case Review into Keanu Williams' murder agreed his death "could not have been predicted."

However, the report added that in view of his mother's background history, "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."

Keanu Williams' mother Rebecca Shuttleworth was jailed for life in June.
Keanu Williams' mother Rebecca Shuttleworth was jailed for life in June. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Keanu, who was born in Torbay, died in Birmingham in January 2011 after suffering a skull fracture and a severe abdominal injury caused by his mother, Rebecca Shuttleworth.

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

For more on this story, visit ITV News Central's website

National

Murdered toddler 'became invisible to the authorities'

Two-year-old Keanu Williams became "invisible" to the authorities while being subjected to months of cruelty, a damning report has found.

The Serious Case Review into the toddler's murder concluded that the professionals involved in his care failed to meet even basic standards of good practice.

A police image illustrating some of the 37 injuries identified on the body of Keanu Williams.
A police image illustrating some of the 37 injuries identified on the body of Keanu Williams. Credit: West Midlands Police/PA Wire

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

Read: Toddler had 37 separate injuries when he died

NCB respond to toddler death serious case review

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) have responded to the serious case review into the death of two-year-old Keanu Williams who was beaten to death by his mother in 2011.

This case starkly demonstrates the unintended consequences of recent reforms to child protection; an overly bureaucratic process; lack of individual responsibility; increasingly complex organisational relationships and responsibilities; and no one advocating in the interests of the child.

It is particularly worrying that the review found that no conversations were held with Keanu to find out what he was feeling.

No child at risk should ever be only seen and not heard. We urgently need to review how best to support children within the child protection system - especially the very young ones - to ensure their voices are listened to at every opportunity.

– Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau
National

'Opportunity after opportunity to intervene was missed'

The Serious Case Review into Keanu Williams' death found the toddler died "because people missed opportunity after opportunity to intervene, and do something decisive to ensure he was safe and properly cared for."

Keanu Williams was two years old when he was beaten to death by his mother.
Keanu Williams was two years old when he was beaten to death by his mother. Credit: West Midlands Police

The review, which was undertaken by the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), stated that although some staff "did their best" for the two-year-old boy, others "did not comply with required practice, processes and procedures."

"Those staff have already been held to account for this by individual agencies," Jane Held, chairwoman of the BSCB said.

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