Climbié inquiry will make 100 recommendations

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The Independent Online

The report of an independent inquiry into the killing of Victoria Climbié, to be published today, will make about 100 recommendations for reform in the biggest shake-up of the child protection service for a generation.

The report of an independent inquiry into the killing of Victoria Climbié, to be published today, will make about 100 recommendations for reform in the biggest shake-up of the child protection service for a generation.

Lord Laming's report, which has taken 21 months and follows the most detailed child abuse inquiry undertaken to date, will highlight the lack of communication among the agencies involved and their failure to focus on the child, rather than her carers, in their misplaced efforts to help.

It is expected to recommend a new duty on such agencies to give priority to child protection, and new joint teams to be created to provide a comprehensive locally-based service. The report is also likely to call for tighter regulation of private fostering.

Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, will launch the report in the Commons today, but the Government's formal response will be given later.

Victoria died in February 2000, aged eight, her tiny body covered in bruises and injuries inflicted by her great-aunt, Marie-Thérèse Kouau, who had brought her from Ivory Coast, and Kouau's lover, Carl Manning. Kouau and Manning were jailed for life in January 2001.

Her death adds to the litany of child abuse tragedies, stretching back a quarter of a century to the killing of Maria Colwell in 1973, in which the failure of agencies to communicate has been blamed as a principal factor.

Yesterday, a group of eight childcare organisations, including the Association of Directors of Social Services, the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association, publicly apologised for the failings that led to Victoria's death and said agencies should be legally required to state how they will protect children.