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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 June 2019

Terrible child murders linked to cuts

Northants council's cuts policies led to bankruptcy, photo Steve Score

Northants council's cuts policies led to bankruptcy, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Jean Thorpe Child protection social worker (personal capacity)

The terrible murders of two young children in Northamptonshire have been published in reports called 'serious case reviews'. Dylan Tiffin-Brown, aged two, was murdered by his father in December 2017 and Evelyn-Rose Muggleton was murdered in April 2018 by her mother's partner.

Both reports comment on the impact cuts made by Northamptonshire's Tory council have on children's services. The reports refer to high staff turnover, management sick leave and inadequate IT systems.

Although the serious case reviews made clear that it was unlikely anything could have been done to prevent the "single catastrophic incidents" that led to the murders, there is no doubt that council cuts have contributed to and been a huge cause of the dire staffing and workloads for social workers.

An Ofsted inspection last October found social workers were "overwhelmed and drowning."

Over 260 children needing social work intervention did not have an allocated social worker. Some staff had caseloads of up to 50 children.

25% of qualified social worker posts were filled by agency staff, and therefore temporary, and a further 18% were not filled at all!

Bankrupt

In August 2018, Northants council became the first to go technically bankrupt for many years. It passed a further 70-million cuts budget.

The council already outsourced huge parts of its services and will now privatise children's services to an 'independent' organisation.

Ray Jones, a social work academic and former director of Wiltshire children' services, made a damning comment on the privatisation plans:

"Instead of the focus being on building a stable secure workforce... there will be the distraction of creating a new Trust... the two new Northamptonshire councils will be accountable for a service where their only influence will be through contract management of an independent company outside the transparency of public services."

The Socialist Party completely opposes the privatisation of Northamptonshire's children's services. We call for full funding for all the county's vital public services and a reversal of previous cuts.

If the government doesn't do this, the councillors should. If they refuse, they should stand aside for anti-cuts councillors who will.

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In The Socialist 12 June 2019:


Safe homes for all

Fire tears through Barking flats - cladding off now!

Grenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice


Nationalise to stop closures

Ford closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

Nationalise Ford to prevent closure

Fight the closures save every job!


News

Widespread condemnation of horrifying, violent, homophobic assaults

Terrible child murders linked to cuts

Tory drug hypocrisy


Workplace news

Scottish airport strikes - fight for better pay and pensions

Stagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

Socialists in Unison hold positions in elections

South Western Railway guards to strike again

Socialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference

Southampton hospital workers win

Sellafield nuclear workers' strike


International socialist news and analysis

Southern Ireland elections

Sudan: Military crackdown to break revolution

Nigeria: Stop police harassment of Abbey and Azeez!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

D-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS

Edmonton joins Enfield North Labour in supporting 'no cuts' fightback strategy

Save Essex libraries protest


Opinion

TV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

The Socialist Inbox


 

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