Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Posting - Press Release from Kent Lib Dems

Note to readers the following press release is reproduced here to give some balance, concerning the recent perilous state of Kent's child services, regular and fair minded readers will acknowledge that I don't slavishly promote a single political view, indeed ironic as it is, one councillor has resorted to abuse and fiction, having been a "guest" poster on this site on more than one occasion.
Anyway I thought reading this, it gives some perspective, to the onslaught of public relations and bluster coming from conservatives in the county, as they have failed to address the route cause of this failure.

Kent had "Haringey" levels of vacancies in Childrens Social Services

Trudy Dean
Trudy Dean: "The system that allowed this tragedy to happen still exists. We must change it."

Liberal Democrats at County Hall have renewed their calls for an inquiry into the failure of services to children in care in Kent. Trudy Dean (Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition) revealed for the first time that data about vacancy levels in Kent were known to be at high risk well before an unannounced inspection by OFSTED resulted in a critical report.
At the Full county Council meeting on 9th February, Trudy gave County Councillors statistics revealing social worker vacancies as early as 2008 were across the county awash with red - indicating a level of high risk. Throughout 2009 over half of the county social work teams had vacancy rates of over 25% - worse than in Haringey where Peter Connelly 'Baby P' died in 2007.
Trudy Dean said:
"In Ashford, Swale, Dartford, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells rates were over 25% throughout the majority of the year. In Thanet rates were over 25% throughout the entire year. In Dartford vacancy rates were exceeding 40% over four consecutive months.
"I cannot believe Members given these figures would have failed to take the necessary action to fill these vacancies in 2008 - as we did when OFSTED blew the lid off this two years later!"
"This information was all available in KCC, but was never shared with councillors. I also understand it was never shared with the senior departmental management teams."
"So who did see it? Why it was not revealed? Why was KCC told in April 2010 that Children Social Services was 'coping' and that there were no concerns about professional standards. When only four months later (August 2010) OFSTED disagreed. Since then, under new staff, we have spent £14M this year and will spend another £7M next year bringing our services up to standard.
"But the system that allowed this tragedy to happen still exists. We must change it."
Trudy called for an inquiry into how it happened and an external inquiry since many of the individuals involved have left KCC.
"I want a clause in all officers' contracts to oblige them to reveal information which councillors need to do their job properly. If we take this simple step we will ensure these failures do not occur again - because the human cost of failure was borne by 2,600 of Kent's' children who were potentially at risk of serious harm"


  1. Children in Kent are far more at risk in care than out of it. These children probably had a lucky escape.

    Its the quality of the social workers that matters not the numbers.

  2. whatever happened to Trudy Deans Contacts? Didn't she have contacts in the BBC and the media that she was going to contact childrens services in 2008? Where is transparency?

  3. In relation to the performance of Councillors, I also believe that there should be some form of assessment. I am struck by the huge variation between councillors, for example, in the way they respond to correspondence - and in too many cases, do not respond at all (not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement). They seem to have time to write long articles in the local press, pop up for photo opportunities, and bore us rigid with letters to the press sniping at one another on personal matters, or suddenly find an issue that gives them personal publicity. But doing the mundane, day to day work of dealing with ratepayers or with serious local government policy issues - "no thanks"!

    A special aspect of this concerns the allowances for Shadow posts. What do we get for our money? At the moment - not a lot! It seems that one of the so-called Shadow Cabinet does not even know what his own responsibilities entail. And if I go on to the Council's web site - an important method of bringing information to the public - all the sections dealing with the Shadow Cabinet are completely blank.

    Now, I can see that the politicians involved, having been responsible for the worst election results for their party, by a wide margin, in the whole of Kent, and then having lost control of the Council, might find it difficult to adjust to life without the "prop" of council office facilities and staff to do most of the work for them. But there has been plenty of time to get their act together. So I suggest that, at the very least, it behoves the Council to seek information on what the proposed shadow allowances will be spent on. Hopefully, the expenditure will not be restricted to writing the usual boring articles, letters to the press, and all the rest of it - some of this money could usefully be spent on the shadow cabinet working up some positive policy suggestions.

  4. In my opinion they all cover each others backs no matter if they are politicians or staff, which seems far more important to them than exposing the scandals that are and have occurred within children services over a vast period of time. KCC councillors and (staff who should be protected for whistle blowing )these should be working for the public in helping to expose childrens servcies not calling for more social workers who need to canvas for work for their existence. The money would be far better spent on supporting families with no connections whatsover to social services. No crime needs to have been committed in order to lose your children forever and vast numbers simply go missing within local authorities or are abused or killed yet we hear nothing about this , why not?

    Lets hope that someone up there has the guts to raise these issues and ask for an independent review, as we all inherently know whats right and wrong.

  5. Didnt former KCC social services director Graham Badman also move to Haringey around the same time ?

  6. Lets hope this "independent " review is better than previous reviews that were promised by Mr Carter in the past which have turned out unsurprisingly to be far from independent.

    Many have been labelled conspiracy theorists for daring to tell the truth , lets see how many apologies are forthcoming then.

    In 2007,local authorities in England applied for 8,173 care orders. 7,624 orders were made. 336 applications were withdrawn, 290 "no orders" decisions and 21 orders were refused.

    In other words, the judgement of the social workers working for the council was so good, they were only refused by the judge 21 times (0.27%)

    More importantly 93% of the time the judge merely rubber-stamped the care orders.

  7. This will result in even greater numbers of children being taken into "care" to feed the already grossly bloated forced adoption industry.

    Government to dismantle 'bloated' adoption system

  8. The full speech by Michael Gove can be found here, 6:07pm.

  9. Thank you James

    Yes its absolutely disgusting isn't it.

    Soon children in school will think its abnormal if they are not brought up by over paid strangers instead of being raised as nature intended by their real families. May be its all about creating more disturbed children who will become criminals and require policing, mental health drugging , prisons etc which creates even more jobs in a controlled police state.

    Destruction of the family is what its really all about.

    The Baby P Effect and Social Services

  10. how many more ministers who were adopted themselves like Michael Gove who was adopted at 4 months are going to be allowed to inflict the same on other peoples children as is Anthony Douglas Chief Executive of CAFCASS and the Chair of BAAF adoption & fostering ?

    how can they have any idea what its like to be raised by their natural blood relatives, which is a child's right ?

    may be this is why they are cherry picked for the job ?

  11. For those who want more evidence of the corruption and cover ups watch this and do what you can to help expose it.