Welsh Social Worker Sacked for Failing to Report on Child Abuse

by Gopalan on  January 27, 2009 at 10:11 AM Child Health News
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 Welsh Social Worker Sacked for Failing to Report on Child Abuse
A Welsh social worker has been struck off the professional register for failing to respond to complaints of abuse of a child under her jurisdiction. The baby was eventually murdered, in May 2005.

The 13-month-old boy had been subjected to an unremitting regime of mindless violence.

His body carried a "constellation of 50 injuries." He had undergone beatings, had been thrown across a room by his ears, had been bitten and slapped and forced to inhale smoke.

Andrew Lloyd, the live-in boyfriend of the mother of the boy, was behind all the cruelty. He admitted to killing the defenceless child on the eve of a murder trial at Swansea Crown Court in October 2006.

He was later jailed for life with the recommendation he serve a minimum 24 year term.

Rebecca Lewis, of Swansea, south Wales, the mother of the baby, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of familial homicide at the end of the four week trial.

She did not intervene at any point of time to save her own son, the court had heard.

Subsequently the Committee in Cardiff was told that the Access and Information team in the Social Services Department of the City and County of Swansea had received two anonymous calls from the same person expressing concerns about the family of Aaron, who was referred to as Child A throughout the hearing, Wales Online reports.

Anne Teaney, the committee chairwoman, told social worker Mrs Eleni Cordingley: "In failing to act appropriately in response to the complaints between April 27 and May 5 2005, you are guilty of misconduct by putting Child A at risk.

"By exercising extremely poor judgment you failed to work in a safe and effective way. The misconduct admitted in this case is considered to be so serious that removal from the Register is the only appropriate sanction.

"This is necessary for the protection of the public and to uphold the public interest in maintaining confidence in social care services."

During the hearing, the Committee also expressed concern about the delay in the City and County of Swansea informing the Care Council for Wales about the result of a disciplinary hearing for Mrs Cordingley which was concluded in October 2007.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "The death of Aaron Gilbert in 2005 was a terrible tragedy and Swansea Council is very sorry that it happened.

"Following the Care Council's decision we have taken immediate steps to suspend the social worker.

"We will also need to consider what further action may be necessary in the light of the evidence and outcome of the Care Council hearing.

"Following Aaron's death the Local Safeguarding Children's Board undertook a Serious Case Review. It found that prior to the first anonymous phone call, Aaron was not known to Social Services. He was not on the at risk register.

"However, it concluded that all the agencies involved with the family had important lessons to learn and made recommendations on how these should be implemented."

Wendy Fitzgerald, Cabinet Member for Social Services at the council, said: "Our primary concern is protecting and promoting the welfare of children.

"Since Aaron's tragic death we have introduced a number of improvements to services

"This year alone, we have invested more than Ģ350,000 to recruit additional social workers. We have improved services and will continue to work with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate to bring further improvements.

"We will be looking at the evidence and outcome of the CCW hearing and considering what further actions are necessary."

Source: Medindia

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