According to the BBC an independent review has been ordered into the Children’s Services Department of Doncaster Council. This follows a report in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday about a series of failings including:

  • A 14-month-old baby was killed by a cocktail of drugs, months after social workers were warned her mother was taking crack cocaine and heroin.
  • A baby of seven months died in bed with her mother, whose alcohol intake contributed to the death. Social workers who previously found the mother drunk in bed with the infant had asked her to sign an
    agreement to tackle her drinking, which she signed after consuming eight cans of beer.
  • Even when a three-year-old was taken by her parents took her on a violent raid on local shops —which ended with a high-speed chase by police, who found the child in the back of a car next to drug-taking paraphernalia — authorities failed to step in to protect the infant.

Doncaster has a directly elected Mayor, Martin Winter, who is an
Independent. There is also an Independent councillor who is the Cabinet
Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Patrick Wilson. Doncaster
does have some Conservative councillors and I am emailing the Group
leader Cllr Patricia Schofield to ask for for her comments.

My concern is that these incidents of this kind may arise not merely
due to idleness or incompetance on the part of the social workers
concerned by over ideology. Sometimes that might cause children to be
taken into care when they shouldn’t be -12 years ago in Cleveland over
a hundred children were taken from their families in a matter of months
over alleged sexual abuse. The vast majority were returned when the
allegations proved false. Feminist ideology played a part in that

But these days ideology more usually distorts the process in the other
direction. Social workers like keeping children with birth parents at
all costs because that represents an "ethnic match." The dislike the
"social engineering" of children from poor backgrounds being placed
with affluent couples wishing to adopt. Prospective adopters are
obliged to jumnp through all sorts of hoops – some justified some not. They have to pay lip
service, at least, to an array of Politically Correct social worker
prejudices. This is not so say that there aren’t plenty of social
workers who are sensible and dedicated – but even they are constrained
by the system. A vast array of procedures, guidelines and criteria
which thwart children being placed for adoption to a quite unreasonable