Letter: Essex social workers are innocent

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The Independent Online
LYNN BARBER suggests that social workers should only be appointed to posts involving responsibility for children if they have children themselves. No doubt she would agree that no one should become a teacher unless they have children. And bald hairdressers are beyond the pale.

It is tragic but true that many children in Britain suffer terrible abuse. Their rights cannot therefore be above scrutiny or above the law. The mistakes of social sevices departments are well- publicised, but social workers are invested with statutory powers, because a difficult and unpalatable problem exists.

Lynn Barber referred directly to the recent case in Essex, highlighted in the Spectator. However, the Department of Health has exonerated the social services department, saying social workers acted within the letter and spirit of the law.

Terry Philpot

Editor, Community Care