The Scottish Labour party have stepped up their calls for a nationwide protection inquiry following the damning report released regarding the death of Declan Hainey.
A joint probe between the NHS and Renfrewshire Council has found that senior health and social work professionals failed to display both commitment and competence. The Scottish Government, who have been urged to oversee the recommendations made in the report, have said that they are considering the findings.
Johann Lamont, the leader of the Scottish Labour party has spoken out and said that right across Scotland there is overstretched social workers, resulting in vulnerable children being abandoned by both their parents and the system that is supposed to care for them.
Mr Lamont said that he is calling for Alex Salmond to order a wide reaching and independent inquiry into how the most vulnerable children in Scotland are being protected and what effect the Scottish Government’s budget cuts are having on those most in need, and that he wanted immediate action to ensure that the mistakes that led to the death of little Declan aren’t repeated.
Declan’s body was found in a rubbish strewn flat in Paisley in March of last year, and due to his boy actually being fused to his cot it is thought that his body had lain there for several months. He wasn’t even two years old. His mother, 37 year old Kimberley Hainey is currently serving at least 15 years for the murder of the little boy.
The experts that reviewed the case found that those care professionals involved ignored the blatant danger signs including the Hainey’s homelessness, mental health problems and drug abuse. They also failed in their duty to arrange proper monitoring of the situation and missed numerous opportunities to save the childs life. Tim Huntingdon, the independent chairman of Renfrewshire’s child protection committee commissioned the review.
He has said that nobody will ever know what actually went on, mainly due to the web of lies and deceit that was woven by Declan’s mother to stop everyone, including care agencies, friends, family and neighbours, from discovering the terrible truth. He added, however, that the review pulled no punches, and it makes it clear how things could and should have been done very differently.
Despite regular procedure reviews, a succession of shocking child neglect cases have horrified Scotland over the past decade, and it is these kinds of tragedies that Mr Huntingdon is determined to stamp out.