Daniel Pelka: New report to look into why child protection workers failed to intervene in tragic case of boy beaten to death
Four-year-old died of a head injury in March last year after a campaign of abuse by his mother and stepfather
Wednesday 25 September 2013
A new report will be published into exactly why child protection workers failed to intervene in the case of a four-year-old beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.
A safeguarding children board is digging deeper into a breakdown of the system of social workers, health professionals, teaching staff and police in the case of schoolboy Daniel Pelka, it has been confirmed.
It follows a written request for more work by the board from children and families minister Edward Timpson, following its publication of a damning 76-page serious case review into the boy's death.
In his letter to the Coventry board, Mr Timpson said: "Now these failures have been set out publicly in your report, people will want to know why they occurred."
He added the case review uncovered "a number of basic practice failures" and said that analysis of the issues was "essential".
Mr Timpson urged the board to look in particular at why information was not properly recorded, why it was not shared between agencies, and why four assessments by child social workers failed to identify the risk to Daniel.
He has also asked for more detail on what oversight was employed on the risk assessments.
The minister said answers were needed not only to establish accountability but because they were "critical to improving child protection practice across the country".
Daniel died of a head injury in March last year after a campaign of abuse by his mother Magdelena Luczak and former soldier and stepfather Mariusz Krezolek, both of whom were jailed for a minimum of 30 years for his murder following a trial this year.
Amy Weir, chairman of the Coventry Safeguarding Children Board, said a "brief" report containing the further analysis would be published.
"We have provided a full and detailed response to the minister, as requested at the end of last week, about our plans for further analysis of the serious case review," she said.
"A further brief publication will be written over the next few weeks to complete this next phase of the review.
"We are now totally focused on ensuring all agencies deliver and complete the actions arising from the recommendations in the serious case review and welcome the minister's continuing interest in this work."
Daniel died after months of physical and emotional abuse at the family home in Coventry.
The boy was beaten, suffering a broken arm which needed hospital treatment, and arrived at school one day with two black eyes.
He was also kept locked in a box room at home, fed salt and starved to the point where he stole food from other pupils' lunchboxes and raided school bins for scraps at play time.
Despite these signs, the serious case review report authors found no one had ever spoken to Daniel independently about his home life or acted decisively to intervene in his care.
It also found the child protection agencies were taken in by the "web of lies" spun by Daniel's mother and stepfather - both originally from Poland - and should instead have been "thinking the unthinkable" about what was going on.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "We have received a response from Coventry Safeguarding Children Board setting out their plans for further analysis of the serious case review, and their timetable for this work.
"We look forward to receiving the findings."
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