Friday, 30 July 2010

Council cuts will put most vulnerable children at risk

Birmingham city council has been under public scrunity again after the findings of the review into the death of seven year old Khyra Ishaq found it was 'preventable'. There was a litany of neglect. From her mother and stepfather, from her father as Deborah Orr rightly points out in an excellent article in yesterday's Guradian, from the family GP, and from Birmingham city council, in particular its Social Services and Education departments.

But rather than feel reassured that lessons have been learnt, I feel the opposite. The recent Ofstead report points out that "critical practice shortcomings, particularly within children's social care and health, mean that not all children are being safeguarded and protected." And with the city council planning hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cuts to services over the next four years, the words of Councillor Les Lawrence, cabinet member for children, young people and families, that the council will create "a children's social care service that better protects our young people from those who would harm them", rings hallow.

The planned cuts will put the most vulnerable children more at risk. Khyra' s memory deserves better than this.