Child Neglect Inquiry ‘Must Put Focus Back On Management’

Expert Hopes For Lessons To Be Learnt

02.02.2011

The management of child neglect cases must be improved by social care authorities following the inquiry into the case of 13-month-old Alex Sutherland, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has urged.

A serious case review into the child’s death by Manchester Safeguarding Children’s Board criticised several agencies for poor management and described the issues in the case as “both predictable and preventable”.

The baby was found dead at home in November 2009, while his mother admitted neglect and was jailed last year.

Irwin Mitchell regularly provides support to a number of people who have been victims of neglect both on the part of social services and their families.

Gary Walker, a specialist in such cases at the firm, said: “This horrific case has undoubtedly highlighted some terrible issues, but perhaps the most important is that the review suggests the failings in the care received by the child could have been prevented.

“It is vital that lessons are learnt from these serious failings in an effort to avoid the same mistakes in the future, which in turn may ensure that no more youngsters suffer in a similar manner.

“I hope that the agencies involved in this case can move forward quickly to ensure vulnerable children get all of the support they need and protect them from any harm.”