Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Could anyone have saved Liam Fee ?

"One of the questions raised by the case of Liam Fee - whose mother and her partner were convicted of his murder - has been could anyone have saved him?"

"On a number of occasions concerns were raised about the little boy, who was only two-and-a-half-years old when he died."

"His nursery alerted social services, worried by a change in Liam, and the fact that he was losing weight and had a number of injuries."

"Liam's childminder had also made her concerns known."

"The High Court in Livingston heard from Patricia Smith, who used the same childminder. Ms Smith told the jury she phoned Fife Social Work department after meeting the Fees in the street."

"Liam was in his buggy but she told the court she didn't know if he was drugged or dead."

"A senior Fife social worker admitted in court that at one point Liam `fell off their radar`. A member of staff had gone off sick, no-one else was assigned and Liam's case was not reviewed until further concerns were raised."

"Det Insp Rory Hamilton, of Police Scotland, said: `During joint interviews with specially-trained detectives and officials from Fife Council, the evidence began to build towards a picture of horrendous abuse which directly contributed to the version of events being put forward by the two accused being utterly discredited`."

"`This was a complex, challenging and sensitive investigation which involved interviewing two young children to establish the level of abuse and neglect both they and Liam Fee had been subjected to`."

"`It was because of their courage that detectives were able to identify Rachel and Nyomi Fee as being responsible for a wide range of serious offences against three children`."

From (GIRFEC) Programme Board minutes (page 4) [10.09.2013]
"Alan offered an example of good practice on information sharing from Fife. Fife already had the Named Person in place and the police had been sharing information since April 2013. 400 cases per month had been raised."

Liam died in a bedroom of the family home on Saturday 22 March 2014. There had been several warnings to child protection services, but his Named Person did not save him.

Despite Humza Yousaf`s statement on Question Time about the dangers of misconceptions about the Name Person scheme, the biggest misconception is that the scheme will prevent such abuses.

It`s time to throw out the GIRFEC wellbeing data grab and start investing more in child protection social services who need to be properly trained, focused and resourced.

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