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Baby P council still failing at risk children, says report

The council criticised over the Baby Peter tragedy is still failing to protect all vulnerable children adequately, a report said today.

Haringey Council in north London has made only "limited" progress in tackling areas of weakness identified in a review in November, official inspectors concluded.

Social workers' caseloads remain too high and their decisions in individual child protection cases continue to be "inconsistent and insufficiently robust", the report found.

Baby Peter was 17-months-old and on the at-risk register when he died at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger in August 2007.

He had suffered 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over the final eight months of his life.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls removed Haringey Council's director of children's services, Sharon Shoesmith, from her post in December after a damning report into her department.

She was replaced by Peter Lewis, who came from neighbouring Enfield Council.

The inspectors - from Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary - were asked by Mr Balls to report on how much progress Haringey had made in the past six months.

They found improvement in some areas - such as tackling a backlog of cases - but noted there were grounds for continued concern about vulnerable children in the borough.

Their report said: "Inspectors and the council identified serious concerns about the safety of some children named in social care files, and the council and its partners accept that currently not all children are adequately safeguarded."

Haringey is the same council that was severely criticised for failing to prevent the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000.