Multi-agency failings in neglect of four children

A Serious Case Review into the neglect of four children by a Gloucestershire mother and her partner has found there were multi-agency failings. Police found the youngsters infested with head lice, unwashed and undernourished.

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Key findings from report into neglect of children

The report by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board, the agencies involved outlined the lessons they needed to learn as a result of the case. Here are their key findings:

  • Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children's Board itself says it is improving training and support for professionals who work with children
  • Gloucestershire County Council emphasises the importance of responding to neglect accusations as rigorously as it responds to physical and sexual abuse. It also says the council must consider why parents are refusing statutory intervention for their children.
  • The District Council says it is working to improve communication between its services, including between housing staff who enter tenant properties for various purposes
  • Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust says it will ensure that children's views are fully taken into account when making decisions about their care, and that their staff will receive more training on recognition of neglect
  • Gloucestershire Police says its staff too will receive more training in neglect recognition

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Report says children should have been helped sooner

The children lived in squalid conditions Credit: ITV News

Four children who were subjected to years of neglect by their parents should have been taken into care far earlier, according to a report out today. The children who were from Gloucestershire, lived in squalid conditions and were infested with lice. The mother and father were each jailed for two years in June.

A report by the Safeguarding Children Board found that the authorities should have taken tougher action to help the children.

The motivation was to support the parents, who themselves had all sorts of issues of their own, to improve the way that they were caring for their children to make it better. I think we can all see now and it's clear from the review that actually the level of neglect was at a level where these children needed to be removed earlier.

– David McCallum, Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board
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